THE GENTLE GENIUS OF MAY GIBBS

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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

 

Editor Des at The Gums

My home among the gum trees.

Anyway, off we went. It was me who found the first gum leaf……probably because I’m closer to the floor than Pauline.

Follow the gum leaves.

Follow the gum leaves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, another one.

Oh, another one.

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.

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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.

Toffee, me and my girl Milly.

Toffee, me…. and my girlfriend Milly.

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!

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And this  one was so funny.

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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……

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Christmas bells and bare bottoms.

Christmas bells and bare bottoms.

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.

Snugglepot and Cuddlepie

Might be caught BEHIND ho ho.

I could do something like Miss May did. I have all the right materials.

Editor Des with banksia and gum nuts

Hmmm, what could I do with all this?

 

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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! christmassydney-024

You can leave me a message if you like.

Or you might like to visit my very awesome Facebook page.

Goodbye,

Lots of love, Editor Des   xxxx

2 Comments
  1. I love gumnut babies and anything to do with the wonderful May Gibbs.. Unlike you, dear Editor Des, I was horrified at the bare bottoms when I was little, but I soon got so engrossed in the stories that I forgot all about them.
    You behave yourself now, you know that Pauline always does her best to keep promises..

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