The Giggle Gum Tree written by Juliet Williams
illustrated by Elizabeth Botté
Lily and Amanda Smart are lucky girls. They live in a tall house made of purple bricks, and every day they get to walk to school through a park filled with beautiful trees. Their favourite tree is the Giggle Gum, and they look forward to playing in it.
But not everyone likes the Giggle Gum because it has overgrown a pathway nearby. Some people complain, and soon the Tree Police put up a sign saying the Giggle Gum Tree is going to be cut down.
Afraid they’ll lose their leafy friend, Lily and Amanda come up with a plan to save it. But will it be too late?
The Giggle Gum Tree was launched in Warrnambool, Victoria by Paul Jennings, one of Australia's best known authors of children's books.
ISBN 9781921479182 Junior Picture Book, 32pp
Release date: 15 May 2009
AUD $26 (HB)
USD $18 (PB)
NZD $28 (HB)
ISBN 9781921869532 eBk
"Juliet Williams’ first picture book tells the unusual story of how two girls galvanise a community to save their favourite gum tree from being removed by the tree police. On Lily and Amanda’s journey to school they pass under a tree with ‘long swishy branches and … feathery leaves’. This tree has such an effect on the girls that they are ‘giggling gerties’, always happy to do their chores and keen to learn. However, others find the tree troublesome and the tree is due for removal until the girls convince the townsfolk to build a path around the tree with the bricks from their too tall house.
Elizabeth Botte’s illustrations captured the attention of my daughter who marvelled at the colours employed in the spreads and she particularly liked ‘the faces’. The illustrations fill the page and there is no white space. Younger readers may prefer a larger font size as the text is quite small.
Wlliams is donating proceeds from the book’s first
print run to Community Connections. Teacher’s notes are available from the IP website."
– Donna Austin, Buzzwords
Juliet Williams and her partner Bill live on 10 acres in country Victoria with their two daughters, and an assortment of animals.
Juliet grew up in the southwest coastal town of Warrnambool, with fairly equal passions for writing, social justice and horse riding. This social justice interest lead to a combined Arts/Law degree, followed by fifteen years working in the community sector, mainly as a community lawyer and educator.
The Giggle Gum Tree is her first picture book to be published, and was inspired walking through the bush with her daughters. Inspiration also came from managing out of home care programs, and witnessing the resilience displayed by children living in foster care. She is donating royalties from the book’s first print run to Community Connections. www.comconnect.com.au
Elizabeth Botté works long hours in a lofty Melbourne studio but spends far too much time gazing out her window at the birds and the trees.
The illustrator of many titles including Lost in the Rain, Sorrow, Murder Weekend, The Touché series, The Right Team, Racing the Tide and Gone! She was the Extensive Reading Foundation awards finalist in 2008 for River of Dreams.
Also a painter, consistently selling artwork over the years and exhibiting in many cafés and galleries, just recently at the Ballarat Gallery of fine Art.
The illustrations for The Giggle Gum Tree were inspired by the style of sweet and luscious images in 1950s children’s books. Books bought on sale for 99c when she was a little girl during the 1970s remain precious favourites in her collection today.