“Mother, there is a big, roaring, yellow, whiskery lion in the meadow!” Not any more. Sadly Margaret Mahy died yesterday and all our thoughts go out to her family.
A national taonga, she was simply our best loved children’s author, and her many, many books (verse, short stories, picture books and novels-hers was a prodigious talent) shaped a generation of readers. There were witches in cherry trees, piratical mothers, a three legged cat, whiskery lions, even Norvin (who looked like a Great White Man-Eating Shark). Like the eclectic objects pulled from Down the back of the chair her characters sprang from an inexhaustible imagination, a profound love of story telling, and richness of language.
Always generous with her time, she was a passionate advocate for literacy, literature and libraries, and her rapport with children was dynamic– who can forget that rainbow wig! Willingly we listened, read and celebrated Margaret Mahy’s passion and skill in telling stories – and long may it continue. What better Pied Piper could we ever ask for?
Many Answers entry with a lot of information for further exploration about Margaret
See images, articles and film clips about Margaret on Digital New Zealand.
View a selection of online resources about Margaret Mahy in our High Interest Topics section.