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BOOK REVIEW: Gumnut Babies by May Gibbs

| 29 November 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Gumnut Babies by May Gibbs

Angus & Robertson
August 2016
Hardcover, $39.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Picture Book

7/10

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At first glance, one could be forgiven for thinking that this book hasn’t earned its place on the shelf alongside the other forty dollar titles that Harper Collins has released under the A&R imprint.

Overall it is gorgeous, with dust jacket and hardcover in alternating colours (the dust jacket is mostly blue with a green spine; the hardcover is mostly green with a blue spine), marker ribbon, a rainbow of page colours (a different colour for each story), and gorgeous illustrations. But there is no denying that the first half of the book is a lot more sparse than most of the other titles in this range, with fewer than fifty words to a double page spread, but the second half definitely makes up for it, with stories that are much heavier on the words.

This does add to the value of the book as a whole, but also strands it in something of a no-man’s land, with half the book being too young for some readers and the other half being too old for the readers who enjoyed the first half. It’s not a gradual increase of words, but a sudden jump between the two drastically different levels, as such, it is not the kind of title that lends itself to being progressed through as a child’s reading ability/attention span increases.

Due to the inconsistencies (and the big gap in reading ages), this would better fit a collector of May Gibbs titles, as opposed to a young child experiencing her for the first time, and the mini-biography and reviews of first editions at the end of the book back this notion up.

 

Stephanie O’Connell

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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