Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy
ABC Books 2008 (25th anniversary edition)
Remember this … “Out of the gate and off for a walk went Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy …” and by the time you got to the end of the book he had been joined by his mates Hercules Morse (as big as a horse; Bottomley Potts (covered in spots); Muffin McLay (like a bundle of hay); Bitzer Maloney (all skinny and bony); and Schnitzel von Krumm (with a very low tum). How proud and posh they were until they met … Almost every child born in New Zealand or Australia in the last 25 years knows what happens next! Who could bring down such a bold band of brothers?
Children love the sound of the rhythmic and rhyming language and the repetition of the characters on each page which make it a perfect read-aloud as your listeners will be joining in and eagerly anticipating who will join this canine crew., as well as enjoying the pictures which work with the text perfectly, as they should.
There are few children’s books that can celebrate their 25th anniversary, and even though it may make some of us feel really old, we must congratulate Lynley Dodd on this incredible achievement. Hairy Maclary is a timeless character, and I know from personal experience that he is just as popular with today’s littlies as he was with their parents.
This is a beautiful golden edition, complete with a bookmark and a CD tucked in the back. The endpapers feature letters written to the author over those 25 years – letters I am sure she treasures as much as we treasure Hairy and his mates. However, there are many versions of this classic available including both paperback and digital. Hairy even has his own website for what is now his 30th birthday. Here, there are games and activities as well as an interview with Dame Lynley Dodd about how Hairy and his mates came to be.
If your child really likes this one, look for others in the series. There is a list here, which also includes many of her other stories. Even at a young age, children learn to love particular authors, and Lynley Dodd is one who is always a favourite and rightfully so..
How lucky our children are to still have Hairy in their lives – this is a must-have for both the school and home libraries.