The Christmas Tree Tangle
|Author:||Margaret Mahy; Sarah Davis (Illustrator)|
Margaret Mahy is internationally recognised as one of the all-time best writers for young readers, her books having been translated into all the major languages of the world. Twice winner of the prestigious Carnegie Medal, she also won the Esther Glen Award five times, the NZ Post Children's Book of the Year, and the Observer Teenage Fiction Award once.
Born in a country town in New Zealand, the oldest of a family of five, with over twenty cousins in the surrounding neighbourhood, Margaret Mahy grew up with a strong sense of being part of a close family. She died in 2012.
In 1936, the year Margaret Mahy was born, only four books for children were published in New Zealand. Mahy was influential in changing the landscape of children's literature in her homeland - one of the most prolific of authors, she penned over 100 titles. Her output includes poetry, picture books, works for older children, teenage novels, television scripts and stories for magazines and newspapers.
Mahy grew up in a close family with five brothers and sisters. Her always vivid imagination made life at school interesting rather than easy. After seeing The Jungle Book, she announced to her astonished seven-year-old classmates that she could talk to animals - 'I had to resort to talking a certain gibberish and eating leaves and drinking out of puddles to prove how close I was to the Animal Kingdom.'
She started writing as a young child and admitted to being something of a show-off - 'I can remember carrying my notebooks around in an effort to introduce them into the conversation.' She began writing children's books in earnest at the age of 18, while training to be a children's librarian.