Leaf Magic



Today is Margaret Mahy day in our house. We started with my 34 year-old copy of Leaf Magic but had to retire that one pretty quickly on account of it being completely spineless and because Oscar’s eight month-old reading habits have more to do with tugging than any kind of actual reading. I let him attempt to lick the leaves on the front cover for for a bit, though, before we moved onto his shiny new Margaret Mahy storybook compendium. To be honest we didn’t get too far with that one, either, although Oscar did fixate on a teddy bear in The Witch in the Cherry Tree for a while. His book interaction usually involves him singling out an object (in this case the teddy bear), making a big kissy mouth at it, trying to eat said object and yelling at it, with his dribbly little mouth affixed to the page.

Also we moved on from reading time because I got weepy reading to him and trying to explain Margaret Mahy’s passing, and also because he spied the shiny bin in his room and wanted to marvel at his big warped reflection in it.


Margaret wrote this inscription when I was three months old. And some years later (hopefully not too many years later, because my attention to detail is rubbish) I used it for writing practice. Interestingly enough I corrected the spelling of my name and reciprocated by misspelling hers (as well as introducing a few extra misspellings). Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery and all.

In happier literary news, four new Katherine Mansfield stories have been discovered. I learned of this shortly before I learnt about Margaret. It was an emotional rollercoaster of an evening.

And here’s Oscar practising his reading on a more durable target: my brother’s Listener article from last week.


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