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Cuddlepot and Snugglepie Visit the Shoalhaven

Australia's most famous babies will be visiting the Shoalhaven in a travelling display. 

Shoalhaven City Council Mayor Amanda Findley is encouraging residents to visit Nowra Library before Thursday, 21st February and enjoy the exhibition. 

"It's 100 years since May Gibbs' characters have found their way into the homes of Australians and Nowra is hosting the travelling display of her artwork," Clr Findley said. 

"May 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.

"Shoalhaven Libraries are celebrating by hosting a special gumnut story time and children are welcome to come into the library to pick up a take-home craft project of gumnut hat during the exhibition period. 

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 the books they read as children down 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.

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

Alison Wishart is available for interviews. (insert phone number) 

For details on the exhibition and special events at Shoalhaven Libraries see the Library website 

Pictured: Library staff member is Marie Torbruegge.

  • Cuddlepot and Snugglepie Visit the Shoalhaven

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