It’s been more than 100 years since May Gibbs’ adorable characters found their way into the hearts and homes of Australians.
The Gumnut Babies became an instant hit when they first appeared in a booklet published by Angus & Robertson on December 5, 1916, and the Gum-blossom Babies soon followed.
To celebrate the centenary, the State Library of NSW has put together a touring display that will arrive a Cessnock Library on October 3.
Gibbs was Australia's first full-time, professionally trained children's book author and illustrator. The display explores her early work, her process, examples of how the war influenced her and, of course, the characters Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, Ragged Blossom and Little Obelia.
“Many Australians have fond memories of growing up with the gumnut babies and their friends, with the books being passed down through generations,” library services coordinator Rose-marie Walters said.
“May Gibbs was also a keen environmentalist and fiercely patriotic.
“Not many people know that during the First World War she designed a series of postcards and bookmarks featuring her popular characters to send to the soldiers overseas.”
The free exhibition will conclude on October 12.