Hairy Maclary author Dame Lynley Dodd arrives

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Bundaberg is hosting the world premiere of illustrations from Hairy Maclary author Dame Lynley Dodd's children's book The Smallest Turtle.

The famous author and illustrator of Hairy Maclary books is in the region for four days to promote her latest exhibition, The Lynley Dodd Story.

Dame Lynley said her exhibition featured a number of items including several stories, many popular characters and artwork of a tiny turtle looking to find his way.

“The Smallest Turtle actually arrived in my head as a result of watching a television program with my children,” Dame Lynley said.

“The little turtles were all coming out of the nest at night and one little one came out in daytime.

“It got a bit too hot in the sun and the turtle started going the other way.”

EXHIBITION: Curator Penelope Jackson with Dame Lynley Dodd at BRAG.
EXHIBITION: Curator Penelope Jackson with Dame Lynley Dodd at BRAG.

Inside story of The Smallest Turtle

Dame Lynley Dodd said the sad story made her want to create a happier tale about turtles and their journey to the sea.

When Dame Lynley heard about the region's coastal turtle visitors, she made room in her luggage for some special, never before seen, drawings from her book The Smallest Turtle.

“The reason why they are in this exhibition is because apparently you have turtles nesting here which I am really interested to hear about,” Dame Dodd said.

Among the other items featured, Dame Dodd said fans would be able to spot popular characters including Hairy Maclary, Slinky Malinki and Schnoitzel Von Krumm with a very low tum.

The creation of Hairy Maclary

Dame Dodd said she wrote the first Hairy Maclary book in 1983 with the idea stemming from the many naught canines she had met before.

“I have just known a lot of silly little dogs like that, the smaller they are the cheekier they are,” she said.

Curator of the exhibition, Penelope Jackson, said The Lynely Dodd Story was for children and adults alike and focused on the many fantastic works of the author/illustrator.

“We have generations who have grown up with Hairy Maclary so this is also a showcase to adults on the process of writing children's books and her story as an artist,” she said.

EXHIBITION: Curator Penelope Jackson with Dame Lynley Dodd at BRAG.
EXHIBITION: Curator Penelope Jackson with Dame Lynley Dodd at BRAG.

Dame Lynley Dodd and Ms Jackson will be in the Bundaberg Region for four days, participating in many events and workshops centred around the exhibition.

On Saturday, 11 May a free community event called The Storytime Festival will be held for all ages at Bundaberg Regional Galleries from 10am to 1pm.

Create art and hear a reading of Hairy Maclary.

Don't forget to dress as your favourite character from the Lynley Dodd books and join everyone in the gallery park to meet this much-loved author and illustrator.

A book signing will take place from 12 noon on Saturday (strictly one book per person).

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