“One of the best parts of running the Children’s Book Academy is seeing the beautiful books that our students make. This one is from June Perkins who took our Self-Publishing with Crowdfunding course, co-taught by Jed Alexander and myself. Magic Fish Dreaming is truly gorgeous, getting rave reviews, and most importantly getting into children’s hands in June’s native Australia.
June did not want to wait for an editor or agent and the incredibly slow process of getting contracted and published. Because it’s a book of poems, which also makes it harder to be picked up by a traditional publisher, June was wise to follow her heart and take her destiny into her own hands to create the book that she wanted. With the help of her illustrator Helene Magisson, and a small village of both professional and non-professional help, June has created something very beautiful and meaningful.
We are so grateful that June was sympathetic with our instructions by getting her poems professionally edited and hiring a really high-quality professional illustrator and designer from the money she raised in her successful Kickstarter campaign. We are also grateful that this beautiful book exists because of its beauty, it’s diversity, and the environmental caring it subtly weaves through inspiration.
After the book came out, I was delighted to interview June for this blog in hopes that others will purchase it and learn from June’s innovative poem structures, the exquisite art, and about this magic place in far North Queensland where Magic Fish Dreaming takes place. Here’s the interview where June shares about her experiences of self-publishing and about her process in making the book.”
When our family first moved to Far North Queensland I had only ever really thought about one kind of palm tree, the coconut palm, so often portrayed in movies of desert islands.
But I was soon to become familiar with the Licuala Fan Palm. This palm is an integral part of the environment that inspired much of the poetry of Magic Fish Dreaming. It is distinctive and common in the Cassowary Coastal area.
There is a licuala Fan Palm walk between Tully and Mission Beach. On it you may come across the Ulysses Butterfly, Green Tree Frog, Scrub Turkeys or Wallabies and sometimes if you are lucky a Cassowary (we have done this.)
Mission Beach has over 50% of the remaining fan palm forests left in the world. These palms are incredibly resilient to cyclones.