Historical information

This "first reader" for children in a Victorian Primary school was fashioned by the period that it was printed in (1951), and the associated educational principles was applied by the Victorian Educators. It defines the role play of young children, at this point, in their educational development and contained within the(1950's) "society's" mores and expectations. This book was widely used by state schools in Victoria including Mt Beauty and Tawonga Primary Schools.


This reader is significant to the Kiewa Valley because it demonstrates that there was still a very marked "one book" fits all school environmental approach by State educators which the local schools were apart of. This book is one of the KVHS children's school book collection, which many were donated by local families whose children went to Mt Beauty Primary School. Therefore this reader represents a social history significance for the period from 1950's and 60's. The book is in good condition, consequently making it suitable for exhibitions, and highlighting schools in the Kiewa Valley along with what local children read in these schools.

Physical description

This primary school reader has an orange cover with "John and Betty" printed in green. Below this is the green outline of a young boy leading his dog(Scottish Terrier) on a lead. Behind him is the red outline of a young girl (bow tied waist belt) in front of a cat(tail up). A thick green line is situated below the figures. The cover is 180 gsm thick. Inside the book are colored sketches of a boy and a girl playing well defined "boy" and "girl" activities (gender specific for the period of print 1951) Below these activities are simple descriptive words for the above activities.

Inscriptions & markings

On the front page "John and Betty" below this "The earliest Reader for the Little Ones". Below this "Illustrations by Marjorie Howden" Further down the page and in smaller print is "Education Department of Victoria 1951". Below this and under a fine line "A.C. Brookes, Government Printer, Melbourne"