Wattlebabies, by Cecilia May Gibbs 1924

Cecilia May Gibbs moved with her family to Australia in 1880. She began drawing as a small child and was encouraged by her father. In 1896, she went back to England to study. London made a deep impression on Gibbs, causing her to write and illustrate her first book 'About Us' in 1901. On returning to Australia, she settled in Sydney. In 1916, May Gibbs produced her best-known book 'Gumnut Babies'. It was followed by such books as 'Snugglepot and Cuddlepie' (1918), 'Little Ragged Blossom' (1920), 'Little Obelia' (1921), 'Wattlebabies' (1924) and many others over the next 45 years.

Under the pseudonym Stan Cottmann she published two comics, 'Bib and Bub' (1924-1967) and 'Tiggy Touchwood' (1925-1931) in the Sunday Sun. 

When she died on 27 November, 1969, Cecilia Gibbs had no children of her own. She had won however, the love of generations of children with her books, illustrations and comics. In 1988 a street in Richardson, Canberra, was named May Gibbs Close. 

art by Cecilia Gibbs

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