Kiwi Mummy Blog Book Review | Tale of a Tail by Margaret Mahy


When I was a little girl our local library had this amazing window set into a concrete pipe that you could curl up in with a book and wile away the time while Mum and Dad took forever picking out their books.  I would love to be able to still fit in that window, I would bring a quilt from home and read this book from front to back.  Margaret Mahy’s Tale of a Tail {supplied for review by Kiwi Mummy Blogs} is kid-perfection.  What else would you expect really from the undisputed Grandmother of children’s fiction?

Published posthumously, Tale of a Tail is a glorious wee novel.  One of those magical bedtime tales that you will LOVE reading to your kids, “one more page” requests are guaranteed.  Independent readers will also be easily entangled in the whimsy of this short novella, quite Roald Dahl-ish with it’s collection of neighbourhood characters, a splash of magic and wonder and undeniable humour.  Be prepared.

Mahy’s fabulous writing brings to life the special powers of a dog with a very strange name, awakening the imagination of Tom who begins to see that “ordinary, everyday things could be just so astonishing if you really thought about them for just a second or two”.

Ethan (9.5yrs, advanced reader) found this book a fun, funny read with very endearing, mysterious characters – especially Mr Mirabilis!  Kids 7+ will love listening to this beautiful tale, it rolls off the tongue and into their imaginations with ease.  Five stars.






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I live in rural Auckland, New Zealand. Two boys, one big, one not so big and 2 boy dogs belong to me and I them. I love Coca Cola in all of its sugar-less forms and I love you internet. I take way too many pictures of my kids and collect them all here. This is what I am doing when I should be cleaning or cooking or doing other 'useful' things.

4 thoughts on “Kiwi Mummy Blog Book Review | Tale of a Tail by Margaret Mahy”

  1. Was that East Coast Bays Library in Browns Bay? That's our local and the pipe in the window is still there. My girls love it. It's gorgeous to think how many kids have sat in there over the decades 🙂

    1. Hi Penny, yes it was Browns Bay! Good to hear that lovely reading nook is still there.

  2. He was actually DJing: pusnhig the different musical buttons on the bunny (yes, I do call him Jive Bunny ) for Ellie to dance to, then copying her moves! And I had to join in of course; it was way too much fun not too

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