Title: The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
Author: May Gibbs
Published: October 1st 2007
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers Australia
Genres: Fiction, Children
The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie combines in one edition May Gibbs’ much loved classics, the Tales of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie (first published in 1918) and its two sequels, Little Ragged Blossom (1920) and Little Obelia (1921).
Quintessentially Australian, these delightful tales have never been out of print; indeed the fantasy world of May Gibbs has been a source of continual fascination for generations of children. May’s is a world filled with fears and excitement and adventures both extraordinary and everyday. A world peopled with small creatures, where the real mixes tantalizingly with the imaginary and provides a window to the magic we all believe exists in the bush.
In this new edition, all of May’s original artwork has been sourced and re-scanned and the illustrations look as exquisite as the day May put down her paintbrush all those years ago. A fresh new design in full colour that is true to the original editions of these three stories makes this new edition a delight to rediscover – or read for the very first time.
It is an absolute pleasure to be involved in showcasing the great work of one of Australia’s most treasured children’s book writers and illustrators, May Gibbs. As part of the celebrations to commemorate one hundred years since the work of May Gibbs was first published, a range of May Gibbs books have been remastered, in updated formats for audiences new and old to enjoy.
Here at Mrs B’s Book Reviews, I will be conducting my own promotion of May Gibbs, an Australian icon I have admired since a young girl, through a series of three book reviews. I am beginning my celebration of the work of May Gibbs, with a review one of my most precious stories from Gibbs that has stayed with me since a child, The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. I discovered this book as a young girl growing up in Australia in the 1980’s and it is a story that has stayed with me my whole life. I always look fondly upon my reading adventures with the endearing Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. Now, as an adult and a mother to two young children, the magic in re-reading this text and sharing the journey with my own children has been a magical experience.
The edition I received for review from the May Gibbs brand of The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, was re-formatted and released in 2007. The long lasting appeal of this defining piece of Australian children’s literature is evident, as this treasury has not been out of print since it was first released in 1918. Generation after generation of Australian children and their families have enjoyed taking a turn in the Australian bush with the sweet brothers, the gumnut babies, called Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. The adventures of this cute twosome are defined by the acquaintances the duo have with a range of native Australian animals, such as koalas, kangaroos and kookaburras. There is a high sense of adventure depicted in the text, as Snugglepot and Cuddlepie are faced with many perils during their adventures in the bush that the reader hopes they overcome. There is an overwhelming sense of danger for Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, as well as their animal friends, as they try to avoid the Bad Banksia Men, providing a good versus bad element to this very special text. When this classic Australian masterpiece reaches its end, readers will leave the story with an understanding of friendship in all its forms and love in their heart for these gentle creatures.
The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie 2007 edition comes with an added bonus. Two extra bush tales are included in this wonderful edition. The first of these sequels is titled, Little Ragged Blossom and More About Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. A trio, consisting of Little Ragged Blossom, plus Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, embark on an adventure together. They take a turn undersea and must face the wrath of both the feared Bad Banksia Men, along with some new ocean themed enemies. They also make new friends on their unforgettable journey and they reunite with dear old friends. This sequel is another testament to the power of companionship between the title characters in this text.
The second accompanying sequel to the main text is titled, Little Obelia and Further Adventures of Ragged Blossom Snugglepot & Cuddlepie. This particular adventure takes our favourite bush babies away from the bush, to the ocean for another thrilling adventure. Again, our loveable characters must battle the Bad Banksia Men and another nasty foe, Giant Octopus but they are assisted by their loyal friend, Mr Lizard. This is another fine tale from Gibbs that highlights the power of friendship. Each of these additional extra tales compliments the main feature narrative.
In this new edition of the famed work of May Gibbs, readers will be pleased to see an added bonus to the treasury. For adult readers of the text, such as myself, this was a most welcome surprise at the close of the book. The bonus material is a mini biography that highlights the background of author and illustrator May Gibbs. For this reader, who recently visited the home of the young May Gibbs in Harvey, Western Australia, this made for a fascinating read. Equally interesting was the publication journey of the May Gibb’s collection and the way in which Gibbs’ work was used as a tool for promotion in the dying days of World War I. Overall, this extra material enhanced my reading experience of this edition of The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.
What makes The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddle Pie, as well as all work produced by May Gibbs, is the way in which the stunning and quintessentially Australian artwork perfectly compliments the prose. If you are yet to discover the world of May Gibbs, I would suggest this edition of The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie is the best place to start your journey – you won’t look back!
To learn more about the author of The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, May Gibbs and to purchase the book visit here.
*I wish to thank the May Gibbs brand for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.
Giveaway time! The May Gibbs brand is kindly giving away a set of May Gibbs books via my blog, as part of the centenary publication celebrations to one lucky reader of Mrs B’s Book Reviews (*Australian postal addresses only). All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter link below. Good luck!