Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, Their Adventures Wonderful - May Gibbs 1918 - Angus & Robertson Ltd., Sydney - First Edition, first issue (W. C. Penfold & Co Ltd., 183 Pitt Street) A pretty first edition of May Gibbs' best known work, and her first full-length book. Charmingly illustrated with a colour plate tipped onto the front covers, a colour frontispiece, pictorial title page, twenty-two full page sepia-tinted plates, and vignettes throughout the text (in black).

‘This enchanting story of two little gumnut brothers and their friends, set in the Australian bush, captured the hearts and imaginations of generations of children. Offering lessons for its young readers, the story balanced good with evil by introducing the bad Banksia Men and Mrs Snake. There was also an underlying conservation message: “
Humans, please be kind to all Bush creatures and don't pull flowers up by the roots”.

Gibbs dedicated the book to ‘Lefty and Bill’ which were nicknames for her beloved mother and father. When the book was released in late 1918 it was an enormous success with the first, second and third editions selling out almost immediately.’ - State Library of New South Wales.
  May Gibbs (1877-1969), author, illustrator and cartoonist, has captured the hearts and imaginations of generations of Australians with her lovable bush characters and fanciful landscapes. Her iconic children's literature and folklore is still as popular as ever, holding a special place in the Australian consciousness. Best known for her Gum Nut series of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, Gibbs also wrote and illustrated many other children's books, produced long-running cartoon strips and a variety of commercial work. A fiercely determined woman, she was Australia's first full-time, professionally trained children's book illustrator, developing an uniquely Australian fantasy vernacular which is relevant now as it was then. In 1955, May Gibbs was appointed Member of the British Empire (MBE) in acknowledgement of her important contribution to children’s literature.

First edition, first printing, with publisher’s address on verso of half title and also on last page as ‘W. C. Penfold & Co Ltd., 183 Pitt Street, Sydney’ (changed to ‘88 Pitt Street’ for printings of 1920 and later). The illustration of
The Hat Shop opposite p32, and Snugglepot Fights the Red Gumnut opposite p42, indicating their first placement, and round vignette of two Gum Blossom Babies to rear cover, later editions did not have this vignette (although neither the placement of illustrations or the round vignette specifically indicate a first printing). Other points to note, for future reference: Text in black, plates in sepia (apart from colour frontispiece), verso plate on page 21 Secondhand Houses has partial portion of same plate in reverse, possibly offset from another slightly wet sheet at printer’s? (not seen in the digital copy at State Library of New South Wales (although not convinced theirs is the first, as it has their library stamps to the verso of each plate, which would be criminal, so perhaps they scanned another copy?).

References: State Library of New South Wales [].

pp. [2] [2 Colour Frontis] [2 Pictorial Title Page] [2] 87 [1]. In publisher’s half blue cloth over pictorial paper covered boards, front panel with lettering in brown and round colour illustration laid on, rear panel with brown coloured vignette of two Gum Blossom Babies, grey pictorial endpapers.
  Condition: Near fine, neat gift inscription to half title, small bookseller's plate to lower edge of front free endpaper.   Ref: 108051   Price: HK$ 4,800