On Sunday we waded into a effervescent sea of face painting, ice cream licking and bad joke telling at the State Library’s Children’s Book Fair. Without a plan we ended up in the foyer of a small theatrette and found ourselves ushered in, just in time to see … LYNLEY DODD! What luck! There were a lot of great authors and illustrators speaking there but Lynley sits squarely at the top of our list. We are big ‘Hairy/Slinky’ fans. You have to love books that grab your kids so much that they can recite large wads of text off by heart and habitually turn up to dinner in a cat mask.
She was wonderful and warm just how you’d imagine. In fact, I’m sure the gentle Miss Plum is Lynley herself. Anyway – she chatted about the kink in Slinky Malinky‘s tail, how the true owners of Hairy are in fact the Donaldsons and not the Maclarys, and how she doesn’t actually own a dog – shocking the socks off the audience with that one. But the highlight was watching Miss L take the mic and ask a question. Her utterly chuffed grin lit up the whole room for me. I was watching a personal triumph. A wonderful moment of bravery and reaching out into the world. And I couldn’t think of a better person to have that brave moment with than Miss Plum.
There’s a great little article in The Age on Lynley’s appearances at the festival, and a really nice portrait by Luis Enrique Ascui too.