Celebrating 100 years of May Gibbs

Media release - 7 June 2018

It’s been 100 years since May Gibbs’ much-loved bush babies found their way into the homes and hearts of Australians, and Kempsey Shire Library is celebrating with a free exhibition and an adult craft workshop.

Published just before Christmas 1916, the first of May Gibbs’ gumnut baby books were an instant success, and more titles quickly followed. Gibbs went on to become Australia’s first full-time, professionally trained children’s author and illustrator.

She was also an early environmentalist, urging her readers to ‘be kind to all bush creatures’.

Kempsey Shire Library’s Team Leader of Library Services, Angie Meers, said the free display, from the State Library of New South Wales, will be held from Saturday 16 June to Thursday 28 June and is open to the whole community.

“Featuring illustrations of many of her most popular characters such as Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, the display explores May Gibbs’ early work, her influences and inspirations and the working process she followed through her career,” she said.

“For anyone who has grown up with or is familiar with May Gibbs’ work you will thoroughly enjoy this display.”

A May Gibbs’ inspired adult craft workshop will also be held in the library on Tuesday 19 June from 10:30am to 12:30pm and will be presented by FOLK (Friends of the Library Kempsey) volunteer, Renee.

For more information about the exhibition or to RSVP your attendance for the craft workshop, contact the library on 6566 3210.

Self portrait painting of May GibbsSelf portrait by May Gibbs, 1923
Watercolor painting of Wattle BabiesMay Gibbs’ Wattle Babies 1918