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Cinderella Mousie

In 1968 Zara Holt wrote a children’s story entitled Cinderella Mousie, with vivid word sketches bringing the scenes to life. The main character wears ‘blue jeans and a turtle-neck skivvy with blue and green stripes, and her thick brown shoes and long white socks’ and her lunch is ‘a big fat chop and some potatoes and butter, and some spinach, and then she had some chocolate milk and some fruit salad and cream’.

The story includes the wry observations characteristic of the author. Children are told the golden rule of enjoying food: eating ‘one only, instead of one more, which is quite different’. A tale of a clever kangaroo is reinforced with ‘the man worked for the CSIRO and told her it was really true.’ Among the emus, kangaroos, platypus, and black swans, there is a sulphur-crested cockatoo calling ‘Have a cup of tea’, and a galah that responds ‘Whacko!’.

Zara Holt wrote this story during March and April 1968, while in the first months of mourning the death of her husband, Harold Holt.

Zara Holt and young child during Holt’s tour of Asia, 1967.

Zara Holt and young child during Holt’s tour of Asia, 1967.

NAA: A1200, L63367

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Did you know ...

An election is not how most of our 26 prime ministers have gained, or lost, office. Most ended their terms when they lost the numbers either in the parliament, the Cabinet, or the caucus.

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