To us she is May Gibbs, creator of Snugglepot & Cuddlepie. But to her family, she was known as ‘Mamie’.
In a land far away, where fairies and pixies and elves live deep in the woods, a little girl is born. Her family call her Mamie. Mamie loves to sing, dance and paint with her magical friends. Her days are like a modern-day fairy tale. But when her family moves to the bottom of the world, Mamie’s life is turned upside down. From green fields drenched with rain to hot skies and dusty plains, will she ever find new fairy friends in this strange and beautiful land?
For my daughter’s birthday she was given a copy of “Mamie” by Tania McCartney. The book was purchased not realising that it was a semi-biographical account of the life of May Gibbs. The book was chosen for the character of Mamie, a girl who searches for fairies wherever she goes, who loves to draw, dance and create, a girl just like my daughter. It is a lovely story that we both enjoyed reading very much and of course both my children giggled at the bare bottomed fairies.
It got me thinking about May Gibbs and her story of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. We own a very old, very well loved edition of the book. It belonged to my Granny and my Mum added her own touches to the book, colouring in the black and white illustrations. I searched the book to see its year of publication, but none was included. It is well over 50 years old.
As a child I loved the idea of fairies, especially of ones that might live in the gum tree in our front yard and I now can’t wait to share the story with my children. In the last few years some new picture books about Snugglepot and Cuddlepie have been published making the story more accessible for small children.
We have recently purchased these stories for my school library and they are a lovely introduction to Snugglepot and Cuddlepie for young children. We also have a much newer edition of May Gibbs original story in the library which I think will be the copy I will be reading to my children.