21 January, 2011

Australian Picture Book Authors and Illustrators: Graeme Base - My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch

Title: My Grandma Lived In Gooligulch
Published: 1983
Awards: None

This was Base's first book and introduced the world to his wonder detailed illustrations.

Told in verse, Gooligulch tells the story of Grandma's idyllic life with a variety of native wildlife and their antics around her house. One day Grandma and wombat head off for a seaside holiday, flying pelican class of course! At the beach, Grandma gets swept out to sea and has never been seen again, yet the writer is sure she is alive. 

And yet, I have a feeling
That my Grandma's still alive
Having drifted to an island,
Where she'd manage to survive.

From there prehaps she made her way
To England or to Spain,
Or maybe San Francisco,
On a Western Railway train.

She could be taming tigers
In the jungles of Tingoor...
...But I think she's back in Gooligulch,
Just like before.

The pages of Gooligulch alternate between brown and while pencil drawings with the verses on them and luxurious double spread coloured pictures.

And from a window out the back,
She'd sit and watch galahs
Fly down beside the pool and drink, 
Beneath the evening stars
Now Gooligluch has got a pub,
A mainstreet with a hall,
A petrol pump that doesn't work-
And not much else at all.

 This first book hints at the brilliance of Base to come. Already the illustrations are wonderfully detailed, with something new to be found at every turn.

Links to other Graeme Base books I am looking at can be found here.

The official Graeme Base website can be found here.