Luminous and jubilant, Magic Fish Dreaming explores an imaginative world of rainforest and cassowary, the flicker of geckos and the roll of quolls. Whimsical poems and exquisite images invite readers to venture into vibrant, magical places, rich with stories and legends. 

Like the work of Michael Rosen and Shirley Hughes, images and words combine to evoke the textures and spirit of landscapes. Here, though, it is a vibrant Australian world readers discover, one alive with the colour and energy of nature and many cultures. “

Felicity Plunkett, Poet and Poetry Editor for University of Queensland Press

“This is a mesmerising book to share with children of all ages, or to savour, alone, one quiet night. . .

Perkins weaves a rhythmical spell through her 17 poems, from the joyful to the reflective, her words dancing with the luminous illustrations to evoke the spirit of people and place.

Children are encouraged to explore and interact with the poetry, as with the wildlife, as Perkins pays homage to ancient traditions, to diverse cultures and the force of nature, which has the power to soothe or destroy. She captures the detrimental effects of environmental pests, and shares the pain of farmers and wildlife at the mercy of nature.

Magisson’s soft palette and fluid style accentuate the sense of magic. Wonder and imagination flow from each word and brushstroke, making this a book to be treasured and shared.”

Penny Harrison, Kids Book Review

“Helene Magisson’s gentle, whimsical water colour illustrations cleverly capture the essence and magic at the heart of this collection of poetry by June Perkins. Drawing from the natural world of northern Queensland, Perkins explores such topics as the spirit of the cassowary, the dance of the geckos, night hunting of the tawny owl, a child’s dislike of cane toads and the power of the elements using a variety of poetic styles.

Although Perkin’s language and analogies may be a little sophisticated for the younger reader her ability to bring to life the spirit of northern  Australia is compelling.”

Mem Capp, Reading Time, Children’s Book Council Australia

Magic Fish Dreaming is one of those books destined for parents who understand the importance of reading a book to their children, a book that discovers magic in the country and its creatures. The words are joyful and magical. The illustrations are lovable, alive with shape, imagery and spirit. . .

This is a book for everyone, to read quietly under a tree or to snuggle on the side of the bed and read aloud to the ones they love. It will certainly enrich the lives of those who read it.”

Vacen Taylor (Good Reads)

“The mix of musical lyrics, sensitive dialogue and thoughtful stories effortlessly blend with the mesmerisingly enchanting illustrations to allow us to venture into the cultures and wonderments of the people, creatures, and our own imaginations. Magic Fish Dreaming is a book that will engage the reflectors, the adventurers and the poets in all of us.”

Romi Sharp, Just Kids Lit Review



Full reviews here:

Kids Book Review by Penny Harrison

Reading Time, Children’s Book Council Australia

Just Kids Lit Review

Vacen Taylor (Good Reads)

Georgina Ballantine Review (Good Reads)

Dimity Powell’s Review (children’s book author and reviewer)

Helen Ramoutsaki, a poet’s review