GIBBS, May (1877-1969)
Gum blossom babies.
At head of title: ‘Words and pictures by May Gibbs’. Sydney : Angus & Robertson Ltd, [1917-20]. Tall octavo (220 x 142 mm), publisher’s printed brown wrappers with pictorial onlay to front, original ties; pp , colour frontispiece, with 11 additional full page sepia illustrations; a very good copy of the cheaper one shilling edition. Muir 2733.
May Gibbs’ charming and whimsical creations have become icons of Australian children’s literature. First published in 1916 as a 2/6d edition, Gum blossom babies was reprinted as a smaller and cheaper edition, uniform with Gumnut babies, eight times between 1917 and 1920: in 1917, 1918 (twice), 1919 (twice), 1920 (three times). ‘By the end of 1920 nearly thirty-three thousand copies of this reprint had been sold’ (Muir).