A DAY OUT FOR EDITOR DES (THAT’S ME)
Well one day my guardian Pauline Conolly took me to Sydney as a special treat. Now she loves going to the State Library, but I don’t (boooooring!!) I was pretty p…..d off when we ended up there (sorry, I promised I wouldn’t swear. That’s not really swearing though). I thought I’d be going to my favourite lolly shop!
We went up some stairs in the library and Pauline said, ‘Look Des, we have to follow a trail of gum leaves.’ Well gum leaves are great if you’re a koala….. which I’m not. In case you’re interested, I’m of Chinese extraction. I quite like trees though, and we even live at a house called THE GUMS
Anyway, off we went. It was me who found the first gum leaf……probably because I’m closer to the floor than Pauline.
Do you know what? May Gibbs was an Australian artist. She wrote and illustrated lovely books all about our own flora and fauna….that’s flowers and animals in case you don’t know. At the end of the gum leaf trail there was an exhabish, sorry exhibition of her work. It was to celebrate her most famous work of all, a book called Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. It was first published a hundred years ago.
There were some great pictures on display, especially the ones with kookaburras in them. I have a kooka mate called Toffee, so I really liked these ones.
Miss Gibbs drew a lot of cartoons during World War I to cheer up the poor soldiers. The pictures were very clever and sweet. They were sent to the men in what were called comfort parcels…..billy cans full of lollies , Anzac biscuits and …….smokes!
And this one was so funny.
Fancy eating snake for breakfast. They love snakes. An old lady Kookaburra organized lots of little Sister Suzy gumnut babies to knit warm socks for the troops. Look, she made a special pair from spider silk for her soldier son……
GETTING TO THE ‘BOTTOM’ OF THE MAY GIBBS STORY
You know what I liked best about the exhibition? (don’t tell Pauline)…..there were bare bottoms! Hahahaha I wrote a whole story about bottoms once. I got into trouble, but I didn’t give two hoots. If you want to read it, click HERE . I still hoped to go to a lolly shop after we finished at the library, but we had to catch the train home.
I could do something like Miss May did. I have all the right materials.
When Miss May Gibbs died in 1969 she left all her money to help little children. She was very special, wasn’t she. Well she lived by the harbour in Sydney and Pauline said she will take me to see her house one day soon. I’ll tell you about it IF SHE EVER DOES. Unfortunately Pauline does not always keep her promises….sad but true!
You can leave me a message if you like.
Or you might like to visit my very awesome Facebook page.
Lots of love, Editor Des xxxx