Margaret Mahy once told a group of kids how, when she was young, she loved stories so much she started writing to “squeeze myself right into the stories”.
And in the process, she squeezed generations of us into her stories too. I grew up with Mahy’s characters – the Lion in the meadow, the nutty Mr McPhee, the Man whose mother was a pirate – and fell in love with language made magical by such Mahy-isms as The Great Piratical Rumbustification.
Mahy died on Monday after a brief battle with cancer. But her stories really will keep her living on. We’ll read them to our children and they will to theirs’. And that’s a pretty wonderful legacy to leave.
All of our thoughts are with Mahy’s family and friends at this sad time.