After her bush baby characters appeared on the cover of another author's book, and in a series of popular booklets, Australian illustrator May Gibbs published The Tales of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie in 1918, during the country's Armistice celebrations. For the first time, Australia had fairy tales of their own, not European imports, with characters rooted in the local flora and fauna. The book was a huge bestseller, is still in print [as are the sequels], helped forge a national cultural identity, and became a touchstone for generations of Australian children.
So why have I never heard a peep about it in my life, ever? Is it because the country was worried others might get the wrong idea about babies stuffed into pots and naked children's cricket? Yeah, well...
Check out Peacay's selection of amazing illustrations from Gibbs' Gumnut Babies series at Bibliodyssey [bibliodyssey]
All Gibbs' proceeds go to a charity for disabled children, so buy 'The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie Including Little Ragged Blossom and Little Obelia' now. [amazon]