“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
“Poetry is not something I read a lot of – but after reading Magic Fish Dreaming by June Perkins I believe it is something I should do more often.
Not only did I enjoy the diverse range of poems included in this book but the children I read it to lapped it up. . .
June Perkin’s poems are short yet effervescent. They are perfect for reading out loud and some of these poems can also be read as a group. Helen Magisson’s delicate pastel illustrations compliment each poem and add more mystery to those poems which make you sit and wonder; what if?”
“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.”
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.
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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“From dancing in the storm to finding ‘giggle poems,’ from discovering a secret fishing spot to glimpsing the flicker of a gecko, the ideas in this book encourage children to take time, to create space, to cultivate patience, to watch, to wait… to dance…
The text and illustrations intermingle, to weave their magic not just through the core ideas of the poetry, but in and around the very pages themselves. With gorgeous and sometimes surprising messages delivered in a unique and unselfconscious manner, this is a book that emanates joy in every reading.
Instant gratification, armchair travel and lightning-fast images and sounds are a way of life in 2017. Rich, nourishing books like this one that bring conversation and evoke spirit of place, country and critter not just one time but over and over again, are on a different space-time continuum.
This book is recommended for children of all ages (even really old ones!).”
Full reviews here: