In Memory of Margaret Mallett FEA

Friends and colleagues of Margaret share their memories.

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Margaret MallettThe last time Margaret emailed us she wrote:
‘Just back from a lecture at my old college - HildBede in Durham - very flattered to be described as 'a distinguished alumnus'. My theme was ‘ Texts that teach and inspire: my life in Education'.
I think that sentence says an awful lot about Margaret; her quiet modesty… but also her determination and drive. On top of her tireless work for the EA, she gave lectures, inspired students and wrote reviews, papers and books such as A Guided Reader to Early Years Primary English : Creativity , Principles and Practice. In another email she wrote about updating her Primary English Encyclopedia into a 5th edition. Despite this busy schedule, she found the time to encourage and support the authors and illustrators she admired…and who admired her back. She was incredibly supportive to Brita and I over the twenty years we knew her. Her practical experience about the essential and multi-purpose values a non-fiction picture book should have in both classroom and home influenced the way we think about, and value, making books and will continue to do so. Dr Margaret Mallett was an old school academic and she was a dear friend and ally to many. We will miss her very much.

Mick Manning FEA. Children’s author and Illustrator

I will always think of Margaret with the greatest fondness.  She was always so positive, encouraging and gentle.  As a member of the English 4-11 editorial board, she would always make time to talk to me, ask me about my work and comment on my articles.  Margaret was so complimentary and I was always in awe of her because she was just so knowledgeable but humble too.  She will be greatly missed by all of us.

Rebecca Kennedy, English 4-11 Editorial Board

Margaret had encyclopaedic knowledge of children’s books and had published widely but regarded her achievements with modesty while being generous about other people’s work.  A rare spirit.

Eve Bearne FEA, English 4-11 Editorial Board

I was fortunate enough to work alongside Margaret as a member of the editorial board of English 4-11. I will remember her for her clarity of thought, the way she could always find just the right words, her friendliness and down-to-earth attitude.  Her contribution to the world of Children's Literature was hugely important; she was truly an inspirational person.

Pam Dowson, France

Margaret was a really lovely woman, and she knew more about literacy than anyone else I know. She will be sadly missed.

Sue Palmer, Literacy Specialist, Edinburgh

I first met Margaret when she gave the opening lecture at our Primary Conference - Non-Fiction: the Cinderella of Children's Literature? - in York in March 1998. Within two months she had written up her lecture as an article for the Spring 1999 issue; within six months we had co-opted her to the Editorial Board of English 4-11 - the best decision we ever made. She will be sorely missed.

Helen Lucas, English Association

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