First edition of this scarce Melbourne-printed fairy book from the New Zealander artist, one of three books in the Mite Merry Series that were "milestones" in Australian children's book production.
"After Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, the artist who dominated the fairy genre in Australian children's books was Harold Gaze." – Marcie Muir
This story in verse features a gorgeously illustrated koala, fairy and a strange animal with the body of an emu and a camel's head. Except for a short stint at art school in London, Gaze was largely a self-taught artist. Eventually he moved to Pasadena, where he did some work for the Disney Studio. Gaze didn't illustrate a large number of books, but his work is distinctive and wonderful. Robert Holden describes the books in this series: "by Australian standards these titles were milestones in the history of children's book production. Their large quarto format and pleasing typography and layout were indicative of the publisher's understandable enthusiasm and belief that a major new talent had arrived." This is a great copy of a rare book.
Read more: Holden, A Golden Age: Through the Magic Door: A Collection of Australia's Classic Fantasy Writing, 80; Muir, A History of Australian Children's Book Illustration, 77; Muir, A Bibliography of Australian Children's Books, 2699.
Melbourne: Whitcombe & Tombs Limited, . 10'' x 7.5''. Original side-stitched blue paper wrappers, color paste-on. Illustrated by Gaze with 3 tipped-in full-page plates (two in color) and 8 pen-and-ink drawings in-text.  pages. Faint corner stain on front wrapper, light rubbing to edges, else clean and bright: difficult to find in this condition.
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