illustrated by Desmond Digby
ISBN 10: 1460751922
Imprint: HarperCollins – AU
On Sale: 01/01/2016
List Price: 14.99 AUD
I think I have lost count of how many times over the years as both a classroom teacher and a teacher-librarian I have shared S. A. Wakefield’s classic stories about the Bottersnikes and Gumbles. I know I was devastated when I lost my own copy of the first volume (probably during one of the innumerable house moves) and then often struggled to find a copy in subsequent libraries.
How overjoyed I was to find that a brand new edition was released to coincide with the new television series (and why did THAT take so long!? About time we had some more Australian content for our children!).
Thank you Harper Collins for allowing me the opportunity to wallow in the nostalgia of one of the most iconic Australian children’s series with this wonderful volume.
For those who don’t know (really?) there are many creatures living in the bush with which you are no doubt familiar but there are also the Bottersnikes and Gumbles.
The Bottersnikes are very unpleasant and hideously ugly beasts. Lazy and bad-tempered, they live in rubbish dumps where they eat pictures out of old magazines and newspapers and have a special fondness for mattress stuffing – or indeed anything they can scrounge in their indolence. They despise the bush and its inhabitants and particularly hate the Gumbles – but love to capture these in order to make them do all their work.
The Gumbles are cheerful little squishy critters who love their natural surroundings, always try to protect the animals who live in it and always keep it tidy. Their bodies are so pliable they can be squashed and reshaped in many different ways and always return to their original shape – which comes in very handy whenever they are snaffled by the Bottersnikes and stuffed into jam tins until it’s time to do some grubby work.
This new edition takes a selection of various stories from the four original books in the series (and the original illustrations) and romps its way delightfully throughout as the Gumbles, despite their continual captures, always outwit the nasty ‘snikes.
Apart from the rampant humour throughout the stories this has always been my ‘go to’ for kicking off environmental units of work. The children love the stories with their rich and crazy adventures and the total triumph time and again of the happy little Gumbles.
Rush out now and make sure you get your copy! Highly recommended as a read aloud from around Year 1 up and for more independent reading from about Year 3. Watch a clip from the TV series here.
Why not try making some Gumbles – I think the squishy balloon craft could easily be adapted for this.