Saturday, 26 October 2013


Released Yesterday 25.10.13

NZ Writer and Illustrator
Finlay Macdonald, illustrated by Lynley Dodd with photos from various sources
The Life and Art of Lynley Dodd
Penguin Books 2013  $50.00hb 208pp
ISBN 978 0 1435 6796 7
Themes:         Biographies/ Authors and Illustrators - children’s books - biographies

At last here is the full story of the small girl who grew up in the magic surroundings of the Kaingaroa Forest in the middle of the North Island, New Zealand.  She became a household name world wide beginning with the first picture book about Hairy Maclary (and friends) published in 1983.  The book is as much a visual record as well as a text one with wonderful insights into the actual writing and illustrating process. It seems many aspiring writers think that writing the text for a picture book (to say nothing of producing the illustrations) can be virtually tossed off over a long weekend. I wish every one of these writers would read the chapter A beginning, an end and a plan to see what is really involved.  It could be up to a year’s work or more until perfection is reached and even then, this amazing woman who has brought so much pleasure to so many children, is never totally satisfied. Finlay Macdonald has written an extremely readable text and highlights the vital partnership between publisher (Ann Mallinson) and artist. It is a handsome book and one that will be treasured.

Adult (but of interest to all ages for various reasons).

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