Launch of Sarah’s Two Nativities – Brisbane

Images Courtesy of Maria Parenti-Baldey, Tina Maria Clarke and June Perkins

On the weekend BookLink member, and Magic Fish Dreaming Illustrator Helene Magisson and author Janine M Fraser launched a courageous book about peace and respect of others’ cultural and interfaith stories, Sarah’s Two Nativities at the Where the Wild Things  Are Bookshop.

There were visitors from Canberra and Victoria in attendance as well as many locals,  from many cultures and faiths.  At least 80 people gathered, with a quarter of them being children.

Sarah’s Two Nativities is a story of a young girl who loves listening to both her grandmothers’ nativity stories – one from the Koran and one from the Bible. Young Sarah is concerned at first about which story is true because they’re so similar.  She realises however, her family’s unity will never force her to choose between the two stories, but accept both.

Tina Marie Clark, CYA coordinator, launched the book as it was CYA which launched Helene’s illustrator career. She warmly endorsed the themes of the book and shared some of her experience as a South African familiar with the celebration of many religious festivals with friends and family.

Janine Fraser, the author,  told the story of the background to her motivation for writing the book. Sharing that she had a challenging upbringing in a restricted spiritual environment, which later led her to leave that environment and become an ardent student of comparative religions. During her lifelong journey she observed many instances of multifaith families. She explained how she sees all religions as sharing the message of love and the question of the ‘mystery.’

Janine gave thanks to her family, especially her grandchildren and to Maryanne Ballantyne who championed the book as well as to the wonderful Helene for her illustrations which exceeded all her expecatations.

Janine read from the book in a gentle and softly spoken voice, with small musical interludes throughout provided by Marie Baguelin from France who played the guitar and Azadeh Shamee from Iran who performed the Oud (Arabic for wood). They brought a sense of both cultures at the event through their inspiring performances.

Helene shared  journey to understand the background of the book more, and work on a sensitive way to illustrate it, respectful of both the Koran and the Bible. She did this through extensive research, with the goal of honouring both.

Helene thanked June Perkins, for being her creative sister and both June and Renee Hills who contacted other faith communities to invite them to the launch as well as the community, friends, neighbours and family present and the musicians at the event. She  warmly thanked Janine for her inspiring story and invited us all to an exhibition of the art works on October 9th, which will include her work alongside other talented illstrators. There were a few original art works from the book available for people to view.  Helene also gave a big thank you to  the Where The Wild Things Are event coordinator Genevieve Kruysse.

Everyone was invited to craft their angels, with the assistance of Helene’s lovely daughter, and partake of koftas and delicious cupcakes. Many people decided to buy additional copies for their schools, libraries and friends.

Greetings from Friends for Launch

You can still post your greetings by commenting on this blog.

Wishing I could be there! Looking forward to pictures of the event. With love from

Kim on Vancouver island, Canada

Wow June! So wish I could come and help celebrate the launch. Love and Hugs

Jane Nicholsen, Atherton

Looking forward so much to receiving Eva’s copy. I will gift it to her on her 7th birthday in December. It will be treasured!

Happy thoughts for the book launch. have a wonderful time. So looking forward to sharing “Magic Fish Dreaming.” with my granddaughter. Arohatinonui from New Zealand.

Lorraine Gray,  New Zealand

June I’ll be just thrilled from the tips of my fingers to the tips of my toes – whenever it arrives.

Diane Finlay, Cairns

June, Congratulations on your amazing creations! You are an inspiration to me for following your dream! I cannot wait to get your beautiful poems and the delightful illustration So! What a team! ✨🐟✨ Cheers to you, Helene, and Magic Fish Dreaming! Keep up the good works!

Lenora Riegel, United States

Wishing you much success with this big day and encourage all those who can take part a wonderful collection of special memories. Unfortunately I’m unable to join you but will be thinking of you all and watching for post event posts.

Joanna Grimmer, Victoria

Good luck. May it be as joyous and as fulfilling for all of you as it should be! I will be there in spirit.
Stephanie Hansen, Artist and Soul Food Blogger, Canada

Wish I could be there too, June. Have a wonderful launch. I’ll be in Venice.

Sheryl Gwyther, Queensland Author, Visiting Venice

I pray that everything runs smoothly on Sunday for you.

Anna Gerard (Mum), Tasmania


I know how hard the journey is so make sure you celebrate 🎉 I can’t make it to the launch but where can I buy a copy please?

Bernadette Lawson, editor True Spirit of Cyclone Yasi

Wishing my friend June Perkins all the best for the launch of her stunning book of poetry, Magic Fish Dreaming on 30 October in Brisbane. Also looking forward to receiving a few copies and some Australian native plush toys for the kids here in the Philippines.

June is such an inspiration to me as a writer and creative. All her works come from a place of truth: the truth of nature, of family and cultural identity. Her daily dedication to sharing her knowledge with the wider community is really inspiring.

One of my first memories of June was at a songwriting workshop in 2012. June performed a song about her brother and the tragedy of his life. I can still hear her soft voice and the guitar strumming to the words … “you climbed out the window last night”. Her work has always impacted me like that.

Even though I won’t be home in time for her launch in Brisbane, I hope to be in one of the queues to have my book signed on the Gold Coast in November.

Magic Fish Dreaming promises to be journey into the rainforests and dreaming places of Far-north Queensland. I really can’t wait.

We don’t even have to live in the same country to have a beautiful friendship June.

Melinda Irvine, Philippines 

From: Hazel Menehira < Date: Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 8:28 AM
Subject: RE: Launch of Magic Fish Dreaming – Children’s Poetry anthology
Good luck and many blessings  for the book launch…I will be thinking of you all on the 30th….ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hz/Hank

Congratulations on the book. It looks absolutely stunning, and I’m sure the words are beautiful too. Much Love,

Natalie, Canberra.

Congratulations on the book launch June Perkins its such a huge and magnificent achievement to accomplish. Where can I find a copy to buy online? I want to start reading it to my nephews.

Dan Sione Faavela, New Zealand


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The Licuala WINQ Writers Group


I so wish I could be there! Enjoy and celebrate you movement forward and fruition of your book!

Sally K, United States



Luminous and Jubliant


Magic Fish Dreaming – announcing the official poetry book launch, with JUNE PERKINS (poet), HELENE MAGISSON (illustrator) and supporters.

This will be held October 30th 2016, at Magda Community Artz, 80 Boundary Rd, Bardon, Brisbane,  3-5pm.

Join us in a delightful late afternoon of poetry, film, live music, dance and song, art, short inspiring talks, creativity, and photography – celebrating the setting, art and words of the Magic Fish Dreaming poetry book for children and families.

June and Helene will share the beautifully crafted outcome and process of their crowd funding journey, which led to 142 backers from ten countries believing and backing their vision for this book.

Bookings Essential

Link for Booking