A Bad Week for Australian Icons

September 9, 2006 at 2:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

First, the Crocodile Hunter, then author Colin Thiele, and race car driver Peter Brock.  At least Colin Thiele got to live to a decently old age, dying in hospital at 85.  Apparently you have to be killed reasonably young, while doing the dangerous thing that made you famous to be offered a state funeral, though.

I wasn’t a fan of any of theirs, really, especially not Irwin or Brock.  I enjoyed Thiele’s books, but they were too closely tied to schoolwork to be favourites.  Actually, reading the Storm Boy excerpt posted at Sarsaparilla makes me think I should reread some of them, this time without any resentment-inducing book reports hanging over my head.

Now that I live in Boston, the many references to Make Way for Ducklings always remind me of Farmer Schulz’s Ducks (sadly lacking a web presence – it’s about a farmer and his daughter who try to find a way for their ducks to safely cross the new highway that’s been built between their farm and the river).  I think Farmer Schulz’s Ducks is a better book, but whenever I try to explain the story to people, they seem horrified that a picture book would include the carnage that accompanies each failed attempt at a safe crossing.  I was a very easily traumatised kid (I refused to read almost anything by Hans Christian Andersen), but somehow I coped with the ducks’ deaths.

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