Jan 122016

May Gibbs, who had arrived in Australia from England as four year-old in 1881, doubted English fairies could survive under the Australian sun, and this is how she came up with her inimitable Australian characters, the Gumnut Babies – of whom the most famous are Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.


Written and illustrated by May, a highly-talented artist, Tales of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie chronicled the adventures of two bare-bottom cherubs who wore green gum nuts for hats. Their world was exclusively inspired by the fauna and flora of the Australian bush, including their adversaries, the big, bad Banksia Men, who Gibbs modelled on the appearance of a type of Banksia ‘cone’ she probably first noted as a child in Western Australia.

BanksiaManThe children of Australia immediately embraced May’s unique fairy folklore. Immensely popular from the time it was published in 1918, Tales of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie has remained in print ever since! Along with other stories about the Gumnut Babies, May’s books continue to delight youngsters of all ages in whose imaginations her characters will live forever.

2016 Snugglepot & Cuddlepie™ 1/2oz Silver Proof Coin

Housed in newborn gift card packaging, this coin portrays an original May Gibbs illustration of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie peeking out from a pair of gum nuts. A beautiful gift to mark the arrival of a new baby, the Australian legal tender release has a maximum mintage of just 5,000.


Following the first official Australian coin to celebrate May Gibbs’ Snugglepot and Cuddlepie in 2015, The Perth Mint has issued a second coin portraying her iconic bush characters .

Related story: Perth Mint issues first coin to celebrate May Gibbs’ Snugglepot and Cuddlepie




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