In 1964, The Legends of Moonie Jarl, the first Australian Aboriginal children's book, was published. It was also the first Aboriginal children's book in schools at that time. Over 50 years later the stories continue to be shared among the Butchulla people. Stories that they would like again shared by all Australian children.
The book tells the traditional stories of the Butchulla people, the Indigenous people of Fraser Island and the Fraser Coast, Queensland. It was written and designed by Butchulla siblings Moonie Jarl (Wilf Reeves) and Wandi (Olga Miller). The Legends of Moonie Jarl gives a deeper understanding and appreciation of Butchulla culture among the broader community, and contributes to community pride locally.
These are the stories that were taught about the origin of birds, animals and plants. These are the stories which belong to all Australian children, for their own birds and animals are the subjects of legends which have been handed down since the First Time. In this book you will learn how the wallaby got its pouch, how the boomerang was invented, how the swan stretched its neck and why the flying fox hangs upside down.
My father, who was a head-man of the Butchulla, told us many things in the evenings before we went to sleep. He would tell us the stories or legends of our people, some of which are similar to the fairy tales you heard when you were young. I learned from my father many things. - Moonie Jarl