Lunley Dodd is a children’s writer known internationally as the creator of Hairy Maclary, canine rogue-hero. Born in Rotorua, educated at the Iwitahi School, Tauranga College, Elam School of Art (Dip FA) and Auckland Teachers’ College, she taught art at Queen Margaret College.
She began her career in children’s books in collaboration with Eve Sutton, for whom she illustrated My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes (1973). Several delightful books with her own text and illustrations then appeared: The Nickle Nackle Tree (1976), Titimus Trim (1979), The Smallest Turtle (1982) and The Apple Tree (1983). She won the 1978 Choysa Bursary, and the 1981 New Zealand Book Award for her illustrations in Clarice England’s Druscilla (1980).
Then, in 1983, came the first of the series of books that would bring Dodd renown: Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy. With their astute evocation of animal behaviour, energetic alliterative verse and lively, cohesively designed illustrations, Dodd’s characters and their memorable attendant rhymes have become internationally known: Hairy Maclary, Bitzer Maloney all skinny and bony, Schnitzel von Krumm with a very low tum, Bottomley Potts covered in spots, Muffin McLay like a bundle of hay, Hercules Morse as big as a horse, and, every suburb’s fiend, SCARFACE CLAW the toughest Tom in town (‘EEEEEOWWWFFTZ!’).
The sequels—Hairy Maclary’s Bone (1984), Hairy Maclary Scattercat (1985), Hairy Maclary’s Caterwaul Caper (1987), Hairy Maclary’s Rumpus at the Vet (1989) and Hairy Maclary’s Showbusiness (1991)—were all shortlisted for the Children’s Picture Book of the Year Award, which Dodd won outright in 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1992.
Many other titles have also been shortlisted: Wake Up, Bear (1986), A Dragon in a Wagon (1988), Slinky Malinki (1990), Find Me a Tiger (1992), The Minister’s Cat ABC (1992), Slinky Malinki Open the Door (1993), Schnitzel von Krumm’s Basketwork (1994) and Sniff-Snuff-Snap! (1995), about a bossy warthog. Now living in Tauranga, Dodd holds a special place in children’s literature for her vivid wit in both word and illustration. Hairy Maclary and Slinky Malinki have each featured in stage musical versions by Paul Jenden and Jan Bolton.
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Through The Looking Glass Children’s Book Reviews
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