Note: This object includes a cultural stereotype. Such representations are not condoned by Museums Victoria which considers them to be racist. Historical distance and context does not excuse or erase this fact.

Children's book 'Toby presents Ali, Oigle and Toitle: A Tale of the Northern Territory' written by R. Henri & G. Arnold. Published in Sydney by Hudson in 1955. The book is aimed at children between the ages of two and ten and is a moral tale.

Toby is a wise old Aboriginal man who oversees the adventures of Ali the crocodile, Oigle the eagle and Toitle, the turtle. Their adventures are illustrated by George Arnold mostly in black and white, but occasionally in colour. The book concludes with Toby administering the following advice: 'You are now all as wise as I am - you have learned your lesson: You've learned just too mind your own business and be satisfied. Don't show off and try to do better than anyone else.' The story may have been drawn from first hand experiences of crocodile hunting in the Northern Territory. In 1952 Rene Henri was president of the Australian Crocodile Shooters' and Big Game Club in Melbourne and interestingly, in the book, Ali the crocodile is chased by a crocodile hunter.

Physical Description

Children's story book. On the cover there is a backdrop of blue sky and rocky outcrops. There is a tall aboriginal man, with white hair, holding a pipe on the left hand side. On the right hand side a dog, an eagle and a tortoise, stand on a cliff. There is text in red and blue.


The significance of this children's book lies in the way Australian animals and an Aboriginal man are animated for a moral tale for mostly white Australian children. The depiction of Toby the Aboriginal man is stereotypical of the day - a wise, old Aboriginal man who wears barely any clothes. At the end of the book even the animals wear clothes for instance, Ali the crocodile appears in top hat and tails. The depiction of this story is also reflective of the 1950s when crocodile hunting was accepted and newsworthy.

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