[Editor: A review of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie (by May Gibbs), included in the “Have You Read?” column. Published in The World’s News (Sydney, NSW), 16 November 1918.]
Have you read?
Snugglepot and Cuddlepie (May Gibbs).
In this very charming book, “all about two little gum nut babies and their adventures wonderful,” Miss May Gibbs is at her very best. In dealing with “Wattle Babies” and “Gum Blossom Babies,” this talented artist-authoress showed a grasp of her subject which few others can ever hope to attain, but in this latest book she has excelled even herself, both in artistry and story.
Miss Gibbs has a wonderful gift for putting bush lore in its most attractive form, and we feel sure that young and old (whose hearts are young) will revel in the contents of this book. The wealth of expression she imparts to her various characters, and the subtle, humorous touches she gives by a deft line here or a dot there, stamp her as an artist of real rank. In fact, so far as bush babies and their varied expressions are concerned, it would not be out of place to rank Miss Gibbs with Phil May. She never bothers with unnecessary detail. With a few strokes she produces effects that compel laughter.
As an example of what is meant, readers are referred to page 4 of this issue, on which is reproduced the picture of “The Lilly Pilly Picture Palace.” Look at the various faces, each different, each expressive of a distinct shade of expectation; and then the gum nut Charlie Chaplin is quite the exact thing. One really wonders how the artist crowds so much in so little. It is explainable only by the one word, genius. And the letterpress is as good as the drawing.
The story deals with the adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, two foster-brothers, and a very fine story it is, too. There are caves and bushes and wonderful humans, and all the ingredients that go to keep up the interest of young and old. It is good to be children in these days, and have such fine stories and pictures, covering so much really useful information, served up in the form it is here.
If, in the midst of all this praise, it is not out of place to sound one discordant note, we should like to have seen one drawing left out — “The Terrible Trap.” It is a most excellent drawing, but the subject is one that rather jars. However, where all is so good, even this may be overlooked.
Published by Angus and Robertson, Sydney, from whom we have our copy.
The World’s News (Sydney, NSW), 16 November 1918, p. 29
[Editor: Corrected “It it explainable” to “It is explainable”.]
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]