Hairy Maclary from a Donaldson’s Dairy

“Out of the gate and off for a walk went Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy…”

Sound familiar? That’s because the Hairy Maclary series, written and illustrated by Lynley Dodd, is one of New Zealand’s (and the world’s) best-loved picture books. Who can’t love that cheeky wee dog, Hairy Maclary, and all his furry mates – from Bottomley Potts (covered in spots), to the villain of many books, Scarface Claw!

But did you know that Scotland has claimed these books as their own?  “WHAT?? How can that be?” we hear you cry!

Although the Hairy Maclary series are peppered with loads of New Zealand references such as the word “dairy” (this would be called a “corner shop” in Scottish lingo), and illustrations with cabbage trees, Pōhutukawa, ponga trees and flax, the name “Maclary” is a decidedly Scottish-sounding name!

What’s in a name?

Scottish and Irish  surnames frequently have the prefix Mac or Mc. When these surnames were originally developed, they were formed by adding the Gaelic word mac, which means son of, to the name of the original bearer’s father. For example, the surname MacDougall literally means son of Dougall.

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Image: Matt Lewis, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Where is Scotland anyway?

Scotland is a part of the United Kingdom (UK) and occupies the northern third of Great Britain. Scotland’s mainland shares a border with England to the south. Scotland also has almost 800 islands, including some famous ones like Shetland (known for its sheep and complicated knitting patterns), Orkney (known for its prehistoric sites), and Skye (known for its history and beautiful scenery).

See if you can find Scotland on a world map HERE

Who is Lynley Dodd?

Lynley Dodd is an internationally celebrated writer for children. She wavs born in Rotorua and now lives in Tauranga. Lynley graduated from the Elam School of Art in Auckland with a diploma in Fine Arts, majoring in sculpture. She went on to teach art before taking a break to start a family. She began to work as a freelance illustrator and illustrated another popular picture book My Cat Likes To Hide in Boxes by Eve Sutton. There was no looking back as Lynley went on to write and illustrate her own books for children. These include the Hairy Maclary series (of course!), The Nickle Nackle Tree, The Smallest Turtle

Who is Hairy Maclary?

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Image: Hairy Maclary and Friends Sculpture in Tauranga (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Hairy Maclary (or ‘HM’ for short) is a small hairy dog created by  Lynley Dodd. HM can be described as a ‘bitser’, which means he’s of mixed breed. “Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy” was first published in 1983 and the series has gone on to sell over 5 million copies worldwide. HM’s adventures are usually in the company of his other animal friends and he’s depicted as a friendly, but lively little dog that gets into a lot of mischief. There is now a series of 12 books and a further nine books about his friends, all with catchy rhyming stories and realistic, colourful and fun illustrations.

In recognition of the success of these books, a sculpture of Hairy Maclary and other characters from the books was officially unveiled on the waterfront in Tauranga in 2015, the city where Lynley Dodd lives.


If you haven’t discovered the wonders of Hairy Maclary and his equally hairy mates, why not add these to you Summer Reading Adventure lists and enjoy some good ole Kiwi reading fun:

Hairy Maclary treasury : the complete adventures of Hairy Maclary / Dodd, Lynley
“A collection of ten stories featuring the mischief and mayhem of Hairy Maclary.” (Catalogue)
Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy / Dodd, Lynley
“A small black dog and his canine friends are terrorized by the local tomcat.” (Catalogue)


The nickle nackle tree / Dodd, Lynley
“In the Manglemunching Forest there’s a Nickle Nackle tree, Growing Nickle Nackle berries that are red as red can be. And that’s not all that’s nestling on the twisty branches of this laden tree. Count up some fabulous Lynley Dodd creations, such as one Ballyhoo bird, kicking up a din and two squawking Scritchet birds with legs so twiggy thin, to nine friendly Natter birds, building nice new nests to ten fussy Fissick birds in yellow feathered vests”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)


Hairy Maclary’s caterwaul caper / Dodd, Lynley
“Hairy Maclary leads all the other dogs in the neighbourhood to investigate the terrible caterwauling created when the tough cat Scarface Claw is caught up in a tree.” (Catalogue)
The life and art of Lynley Dodd / Macdonald, Finlay
“Dame Lynley Dodd is New Zealand’s best known author and illustrator of children’s books. Her career was launched in 1973 with the publication of My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes, which she collaborated on with cousin Eve Sutton. Other picture books soon followed and in 1983 the world famous Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy was launched. Hairy Maclary’s success placed Dodd in the international spotlight and the Hairy Maclary and Friends series is today one of the world’s most successful series of picture books. The Life and Art of Lynley Dodd is a beautiful full-colour hardback telling the story of Lynley’s early years, time at art school, teaching career, marriage and success as a children’s author. The book is a pictorial history as much as a written one, and as such includes photos of the author’s early years as well as the artwork she produced as she moved towards her world-renowned style – art school pieces, early political cartoons and illustrations for the correspondence school among others.” (Catalogue, abridged)

My cat likes to hide in boxes / Sutton, Eve
“Cats from many different countries may like to do all kinds of strange things, but my cat, an ordinary round-the-house cat, likes to hide in boxes.” (Catalogue)
Scotland / Harman, Alice
“This series provides an introduction to the study of the United Kingdom for young children as the illustrated ‘Fact Cat’ character leads the reader on a trail through the book, helping them to discover answers to key questions.” (Catalogue)
Encyclopedia of surnames / Ayto, John
“The Encyclopedia of Surnames is not just another dictionary! With entertaining coverage of more than 7,000 surnames listed alphabetically, it provides a complete and accessible companion to tracing the history of names.” (Catalogue, abridged)

 

 

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