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Nationwide Mahy Mania


Nationwide Mahy Mania

Central Library Margaret Mahy Storytime

Children’s authors, illustrators and librarians will celebrate Margaret Mahy’s books from the bottom of the South to the top of the North, in libraries throughout the country on Saturday 11th August at 11am.

Authors and illustrators responded to the news that their acclaimed colleague Margaret Mahy had passed away on Monday 23rd July, first with sadness then with a will to celebrate her work. Margaret Mahy had 200 children’s books and hundreds of short stories and poems published. She won the Carnegie medal twice (writers’ Olympic Gold), and many other international and national awards including the Hans Christian Andersen (equivalent to winning the Nobel prize).

Messages flew across Facebook and within minutes authors and illustrators were contacting their local libraries to see if they would like a storytelling session. Librarians were quick to take up the challenge. One week later, 80 libraries, two museums (Auckland and Te Papa), numerous book shops, schools and kindergartens across the country were organised for Mahy Mania.

Storytellers are entering the Mahy spirit by wearing colourful wigs, zany hats and outrageous outfits. Margaret Mahy often wore a rainbow-coloured wig, a scarf with badges all over it and a penguin suit on occasion. Illustrator Fifi Colston designed an activity for librarians to download for children that complements Mahy’s book called ‘Down the Back of the Chair.’

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Auckland authors, illustrators and librarians after their storytelling session will go the Margaret Mahy Memorial at the Town Hall, 2.30pm to hear tributes and farewell their beloved colleague.

If you would like to join in the Margaret Mahy storytelling sessions – go to to find out where it ‘s being held in your town.

Margaret Mahy died aged 76 in Christchurch on 23rd July at Nurse Maude Hospice in St Albans.
Margaret Mahy was awarded the Order of New Zealand in 1993, Carnegie Medals in 1982 and 1984 (first writer outside Britain to receive the award), 2006 Hans Christian Andersen Award.
Margaret Mahy’s books have been translated into 15 different languages.


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