Cover image for Making friends
Making friends
Mahy, Margaret.
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New York : M.K. McElderry Books, 1990.
Small Mrs. de Vere's large dog Titania and large Mr. Derry's small dog Oberon serve as the instruments that bring their masters together in an unexpected but quite successful friendship.
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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Author Notes

Margaret Mahy was born on March 21, 1936 in Whakatane, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. She received a B.A. degree from the University of New Zealand. She worked as a nurse, an assistant librarian, and a children's librarian in England and New Zealand. Her first book, A Lion in the Meadow, was published in 1969. She became a full-time author in 1980. During her lifetime, she wrote more than 120 children's books including The Haunting, The Changeover, Memory, The Seven Chinese Brothers, The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate and A Summery Saturday Morning. She won the Esther Glen Award five times, the Carnegie Medal of the British Library Association three times, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Hans Christian Andersen Award, and in 1999, she won the New Zealand Post Children's Book Award in two categories, Picture Book and Supreme Award. She died after a brief illness on July 23, 2012 at the age of 76.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

As rendered in Smith's sparkling watercolors, Mrs. de Vere is a small woman who lives in a large house. Every day she crosses the park to the beach, where she confides to the waves that she wants company. Mr. Derry is a big man who lives in a little cottage. On his daily walks, he, too, crosses the park, traveling in the opposite direction; he tells the stone mermaid in the fountain in town that he would like someone to walk along the beach with. When both people go to the dog pound for a companion, Mrs. de Vere chooses a big, shaggy dog, while Mr. Derry selects a tiny dog that ``looked like a feather duster.'' The next day, the two dogs recognize each other as they are being walked in the park. In the ensuing excitement and commotion, Mr. Derry and Mrs. de Vere get tangled in the leashes: the clever pets have united their lonely owners. Adults and children alike will delight in this warm, comforting story, as they root for the inevitable pairing of a thoroughly engaging hero and heroine. Ages 5-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Making Friends is a book well worth meeting. What could have been a trite plot, the ``accidental meeting'' of two lonely people arranged by their clever dogs, is changed by Mahy's dancing prose and Smith's equally lively ink and watercolor drawings into a celebration of friendship. Mrs. de Vere is lonely in her big home by the opera house; Mr. Derry is lonely in his very small cottage by the sea. For company, they both acquire dogs from the local pound, Titania and Oberon who, as their names suggest, befriend befuddled mortals and arrange their affairs for them. When the dogs see each other while on a walk, they entangle their owners in their leashes and lives. Smith's illustrations are reminiscent of Ardizzone's, capturing aspects of the friendship as the characters walk through a bustling city, down a lonely beach, and ultimately tango across the dance floor together. One hopes Mahy and Smith will introduce readers to others of their acquaintance. --Kathleen Whalin, formerly at Public Library of Columbus and Franklin County, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.