Librarian Kylie Young holds a copy of A Lion in the Meadow, the first book published by Margaret Mahy, whose death on July 23 prompted staff to organise readings celebrating the life and work of one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed literary figures.
The readings will be held at 11am on Saturday August 11 at four libraries – War Memorial, Eastbourne, Naenae and Wainuiomata. Library staff, as well as local children’s book authors and illustrators, will participate in the events.
Council libraries stock copies of at least 80 of Mahy’s more than 120 books. However, one of the most enduring stories – and the one that launched her career in 1969 – is A Lion in the Meadow. The themes in that book, like so much of her output, still resonate with young readers. One note among dozens left by booklovers at a tribute display erected by War Memorial staff sums up that enduring admiration. “After Margaret Mahy,” writes eight-year-old Eva, “all cats in long grass become a ‘lion in the meadows’.”