Pat on the back for unkempt canine hero

Hairy Maclary and friends are making their way to Hamilton - Lynley Dodd: A Retrospective opens on Saturday, January 26 at Waikato Museum.

Children's book character Hairy Maclary may be internationally known but it is creator, Dame Lynley Dodd who is the magic behind these stories and Lynley Dodd: A Retrospective is a celebration of the work of this prolific author and illustrator of children's books.

The first of the original works dates back to school days and the most recent, Slinky Malinki Early Bird, was published in July.

Waikato Museum director Cherie Meecham has collaborated with Tauranga Art Gallery to bring the exhibition to Hamilton.

"For those of us who have grown to know and love Lynley Dodd's lively characters and her energetic alliterative verse, this is a special treat," she says.

"Visitors will see original drawings of Dodd's characters and gain a unique insight into the process of designing and writing children's picture books."

The popular exhibition, curated by Tauranga Art Gallery director Penelope Jackson, has had a second successful showing in Tauranga where Dodd lives.

Dodd began her career in children's books in 1973 when she worked with Eve Sutton to illustrate My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes before writing and illustrating her own books, The Nickle Nackle Tree and Titimus Trim.

In 1983, Dodd produced the first series of books to feature unkempt dog, Hairy Maclary. Since then, much of Dodd's work has centre on the canine rogue-hero and his sidekicks.

Dodd's characters and their memorable 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.

The free exhibition runs until March 24.

Dame Lynley Dodd will visit Waikato Museum for a book signing and public interview session on Saturday, February 2 and visitors can enjoy story reading sessions every Saturday at 2pm for the duration of the exhibition.

More information at

- Hamilton News

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