The Poppykettle Papers

The Poppykettle Papers

"The Poppykettle Papers" is a children's book written in 1999 by Michael Lawrence and illustrated by Robert R. Ingpen.

The story follows mythical, ancient, Peruvian gnomes whose story is discovered in the modern day by two boys who find "The Poppykettle Papers".


In 1980, Robert Ingpen published "The Voyage of the Poppykettle", a children's book. He later published "The Unchosen Land", its sequel.

These stories were so popular in Ingpen's home, Geelong, that a fountain and an annual Poppykettle Festival celebrate the mythical landing of the "hairy Peruvians".

"The Poppykettle Papers" is an updated re-telling of the original two books.

Historical and folkloric references

The book ties in to various historical and folkloric stories of Australia's early settlement.

One such story is the discovery in 1847, by Governor Charles La Trobe, of a set of keys embedded in the earth near Corio Bay. These keys, known as the Geelong Keys, are believed by some to have been dropped by Portuguese explorers some hundreds of years previously, but the Poppykettle Papers suggest another origin -- namely, that the Hairy Peruvians left them there.

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