Frequently Asked Questions

Wise T. Owl attempts to answer lots of questions and even ask a few in the children's book series! This section enables you the reader, critic or peer to ask a few questions yourself or look up the answers to questions that are frequently asked.

Q&A - Wise T. Owl's Book Series

At the moment, the author's website (this website) is the only place you can purchase the Wise T. Owl books. When other outlets become available we will let customers know. Stay up-to-date by joining the T. Owl newsletter and liking T. Owl on facebook.

Wise T. Owl books are a new children's book series, self-published by Australian author, Maureen Nathan .

After Wise T. Owl's stories are first written, the illustrator, Dylan Chambers, creates hand-drawn black and white pictures in his sketch book with his pencils. These drawings are scanned onto a computer so they can be worked on by the graphic designer.

Miranda Cooke, of Design Intentions on the NSW South Coast, is the graphic designer for the books. She starts by tracing Dylan's drawings to create vector based graphics and then colours them in with her digital design programs. The story and the finished illustrations are then ready to be laid out ready to be printed into books.

Miranda's flair and eye for colour has resulted in the crisp friendly colours used in the series. Wise T. Owl is lucky to have such creative people to help him tell his stories to the world!

The book series has developed as a result of readers asking for more stories by Wise T. Owl  to use as springboards for discussion with children and adults alike.  There are currently 61 subjects in the list of possible titles.

Of these, 8 are either printed or in process (as at early Oct 2013), see the possible future stories list...

The number of books in the series is limited only be the number of questions asked of Wise T. Owl, the time and energy of Author Maureen Nathan, Illustrator Dylan Chambers and the team.

Self publishing Australian author, Maureen Nathan -

If you need to know more, you can ask her a question! (to the right of this page)

Book Q&A - Wise T. Owl's Story Of Money

Why dont banks have great big vaults like Fort Knox where they hold gold to give back to bank customers instead of paper (fiat) money?

Gold has not been used as a currency in any western country or country belonging to the IMF since 1971. The International Monetry Fund has 2 conditions for membership. One is that gold is not used as a backing for currency. This way banks do not have to have gold in their vaults. Customers can buy gold as bullion or coins, but not from banks. In 1971 the Bretton Woods Agreement  which used gold and other precious metals as backing for currency, broke down.

For a concise history refer to:

What is a bride price and who pays it?

A bride price is usually paid by the groom or his family to the bride's family.  A dowry is usually paid by the bride's family to the bride, groom or the groom's family.

In many countries in Africa, wealth is calculated by the size of your herds and flocks. Bride price is still paid in cattle in different parts of Africa, although women are trying to make it illegal.

Can you explain more about what a tithe is?

The word 'tithe' comes from very old English and means one tenth of something that is paid to a ruler of some kind. 

Tithes began as part of a religious organisation. Paying a tithe to help the poor is part of the tradition in the Jewish religion. These tithes are voluntary and not compulsory. Some of these traditions continued in the Christian churches. The Islamic faith has a similar system of 'alms giving' as a religious obligation, but the amount is different. English churches did not have the legal right to receive 'tithes' until 855 AD.

Many countries with strong church leaders imposed tithes on the population, including in conquered countries.

In England the tithe became law in 1285. The French system of land tax known as 'la dime' also means  one tenth, but the amount paid by the French to the church in food products  was seldom that high. 'La dime' like the English tithe reached a stage when it was no longer used locally for the benefits of the nearby population. It was abolished after the French Revolution in 1790.

In Wise T. Owl's Story of Money it is explained how rulers came to demand tithes as payment which became a compulsory tax to their governments.  In olden days the tithe could be paid as 10% of what your grew or made. Nowadays the taxes are much higher than 10% and are paid using some form of money.

The book, Story of Money mentions Fiat Money. What is it exactly?

The first book in the T. Owl series, Story of Money looks at early means of exchange then builds to the establishment of a currency that has no solid base.

The term 'Fiat Money' is based on the Latin translation of the well known biblical phrase "Fiat Lux - Let There Be Light".

The money could be made of pieces of paper, pieces of stamped metal, or even disks of pottery or buttons.  When there is nothing kept in storage to base the currency on, whether it is gold, silver, pearls or pigs' tusks, the currency is simply created by government or banking whim. 

This means that somebody (usually a bank or reserve bank) decides to create Fiat Money to circulate without having anything to back it. They might say "Fiat Money - Let There Be Money" - and there is.

There are hundreds of games like Monopoly, with pieces of paper for us to use as money in the game.  These pieces of paper are Fiat Money created for the purpose of the game.

You can find out more about Fiat Money on websites like Wikipedia...

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