Australia’s most famous babies visit Hawkesbury Central Library

It’s 100 years since May Gibbs’ adorable characters found their way into the homes and hearts of Australians. Hawkesbury Library Service is celebrating with a free travelling display from the State Library of NSW, featuring May Gibbs’ iconic artwork. The display will be held from Friday, 18 January to Friday, 1 February 2019 at Hawkesbury Central Library during opening hours.

Wattle babiesMay Gibbs was Australia's first full-time, professionally trained children's book author and illustrator, and the display features reproductions of some of her most beloved characters including the gumnut babies and the brothers Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

According to State Library of NSW Senior Curator Alison Wishart, generations of Australians have fond memories of growing up with the gumnut babies and their friends, and passed on the books they read as children to their own children.

The gumnut babies became an instant hit when they first appeared on 5 December 1916 in a booklet published by Angus & Robertson, and the gum-blossom babies soon followed.

The display explores May Gibbs’ early work, the characters of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, Ragged Blossom and Little Obelia, her process and examples of how the war influenced her work.

Gum Nuts“May Gibbs was a keen environmentalist and she was also fiercely patriotic,” Ms Wishart said.

“Not many people are aware that, during the First World War, she designed a series of postcards and bookmarks featuring her popular characters to send to the soldiers overseas.”

On Tuesday, 22 January and to coincide with the May Gibbs display, the former curator of May Gibbs harbourside home Nutcote will present a talk on the life of May Gibbs. Attendees will go in the lucky door prize to win a May Gibbs gift set.

The display and talk will be at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor.

DISPLAY | May Gibbs
Friday, 18 January – Friday, 1 February 2019 during opening hours

A display exploring May Gibbs’ early work – including Snugglepot and Cuddlepie – her processes and examples of how the war influenced her work.
FREE - no need to book. All welcome.

TALK | Nutcote and the Life of May Gibbs
Tuesday, 22 January 11am-midday

Rebecca Turnbull, former curator of May Gibbs harbourside home Nutcote, will share her stories of this home and May’s life outside of Snugglepot & Cuddlepie.
FREE – bookings essential via or call 02 4560 4460 to book.May Gibbs

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