May Gibbs is arguably Australia's greatest children's author-artist.
She may be fairly compared with such internationally recognised author-artists as Beatrix Potter or Tove Jansson (famous for Moomins!).
An American comparison might be Robert Robert Lawson.
May Gibbs is best known for "The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie", although "Scotty in Gumnut Land" and "Prince Dande Lion" are also outstanding children's illustrated novels.
An earlier massive biography by Maureen Walsh covered her whole life and career very well.
But happily, research for a later exhibition of Gibbs' work resulted in discovery of fresh information, and examples of her early work as an artist, artistic innovator and entrepreneur, and a contributor of cartoons and other work to Australian magazines.
This research by children's literature expert Robert Holden and co-author, resulted in a revelatory exhibition.
It also led to this book.
Anyone interested in Australian art, Australian children's literature, Art Nouveau and Art Deco in Australia, and in May Gibbs (obviously) will find this book essential reading.
One major issue pursued by the authors is Gibbs and her considerable activities campaigning for women's rights, and especially the right to vote!
Also, they uncover, far more than Walsh was aware of, Gibbs' work as an entrepreneur, organising public events such as art shows, costume parties, and similar entertainments. She even appeared on the theatrical stage, and exhibited to considerable praise as a painter - notably of flowers.
The parallels with Beatrix Potter's botanical artwork are striking!
This book will be fascinating for new-comers to Gibbs, also!
It should serve to encourage wider reading of May Gibbs as a remarkable author-artist, not well known or appreciated in North America.
Very highly recommended,
John Gough firstname.lastname@example.org