Poetry of Water

So thrilled that Celia Berrell, author of Science Rhymes, will be including the Magic Fish Dreaming poem ‘River Song’ in her upcoming workshops for poetry clubs to Cairns schools.   She is covering the themes: science, nature and poetry of water.

I am honoured to be included alongside poets:  John Masefield,  Samuel Coleridge, Robert Louis Stevenson, Christina Rosetti, Lewis Caroll,  Edward Lear, Charles Kingsley, Ogden Nash, Dorothea MacKellar, Helen Ramoutsaki and Celia herself.

You can find out more about Celia’s wonderful work with science, poetry and schools  HERE

All the best for your workshops Celia.


A Quest of the Most Wondrous Kind


Magic Fish Dreaming is a quest of the most wondrous kind, entreating young readers and old alike to venture forth into nature and their imaginations. It is an invitation to spend time with the ancients and experience a taste of our country through poem and illustration.

As readers journey through the collection, they unearth secrets and encounter magic. The tropical heart of far north Queensland pulses resolutely throughout this medley of verse and art yet the stories it recites have far-reaching appeal. Odes to the wildlife whose habitats we explore; to those who attempt to make their livelihoods on the same lands and to Mother Nature herself, beat with sublime sincerity.

Look beneath the beautiful camouflage of words and watercolours and you will find an evocative sense of spirit and place, and a plea to respect that from where we came and those that we live amongst.

The lilting rhythms of June’s verse and the creatures and curiosities that swirl throughout each of Helene’s illustrations will entrance and delight children for generations.

Dimity Powell, Children’s Author & Book Reviewer


Magic Fish Dreaming

Magic Fish Dreaming from June Perkins on Vimeo.

Magic Fish Dreaming,  an illustrated in full colour poetry book, 36 pages,  written by June Perkins, is now set to ride a kickstarter wave, to take it from Australia across the ocean into the homes of people in many lands.

Brimming with the themes of nature, family, diversity, childhood and environment, Magic Fish Dreaming is inspired by the North Queensland community, environment, and creatures it shares.  It is beautifully illustrated by the award winning Artist Helene Magisson.

Check out the video for more information.

The Kickstarter has begun !



Working on Some Beautiful Rewards

Dear Supporters,

The team have been working hard on gathering together some rewards we hope all of you will love, hence the delay on launching the actual kickstarter page.

As June’s wonderful kickstarting mentors tell her though, ‘June just launch when it is completely ready and don’t rush.’ Some of our fans have even been lending a hand with feedback on some of the rewards you will see, and we are so grateful to them for their wonderful enthusiasm, and encouraging communications, for this project.

One reward will be some poetry activity sheets and booklets for you to go hunting for poems with. These are being designed with the educational supporters, like teachers, grandparents, and parents in mind and being beta tested for clarity with the major target audience (children!). They are fun and thoughtful extension activities to bring out the inner poet in our fans. Furthermore with the educational material, we are working on a fabulous reward to do a visit to your school or group, in person or by skype (if you are overseas or distant from our local area and can’t provide travel costs.)

These visits will have an imaginative and creative program of activities to foster the love of poetry and art in your students, and are based on June’s extensive workshop experience during the Ripple Project, as well as in community based projects and Helene’s teaching experience from her time in India. They don’t just suit children but can be taken up by other groups wanting to use poetry and art to bring awareness to their cause, such as caring for the environment.  June has experience working with writing groups, Multicultural groups, youth, children from grade one to grade seven, and  Indigenous women’s groups .

Making a poet’s tree – famous poets, local poets, including children

We thank all of our online and real space fans for their patience for the lift off of the campaign, and are so optimistic you will help us go ahead with this project based on your wonderful emails, and support of the facebook space; that space is just so much fun, with nature inspired art, creatures and plants from Australia all featuring in our regular postings.  We’ve had a few great organisations follow the space and are grateful for their support as well in liking our page.

There are some more surprises in store, so watch this space.

And when the kickstarter does launch we will be so rapt with you for sharing the information for this project with all you think will benefit from our product.

Thanks so much to those who are already planning to buy the book to donate to their local school, and to our dear beta testers who are giving super helpful feedback on our educational materials.

We would not have come this far without all of your support, enthusiasm, love, and most of all, belief in our product.

All the best and we’ll be seeing you at lift off time.

The Magic Fish Dreaming Team

See you at the kickstarter campaign page soon!




Sneak Peek of the Teacher Notes: Magic Fish Dreaming

Green Tree Frog – one of the many creatures mentioned in Magic Fish Dreaming


Suggested Activities

Magic Fish Dreaming enhances the study of the natural world, encourages the exploration of poetry techniques,  inspires movement and acting and interests its readers in specific animals and habitat including, the beach, lagoons, rainforests and farms of North Queensland and Australia.

Its poems encourage readers to, explore concepts of size and discuss ecology and the theme of belonging to and caring for the land, community and friends. Most of all it’s full of poetry to inspire the imagination, creative thinking and the building of a relationship with the natural world.

Hunting for a Poem

This poem is about looking for things to inspire poems.

Ask children:
1. Have you read or had poems read you?
2. What is a poem?
3. How could you hunt for one?

1.Natural Sciences and Language Activity
Go for a poetry collecting walk in nature
Take your children for a walk and go hunting for objects that they could put in a poem.

Read the poem before and after you go.
Have student/child write down what they see in a small pocket notebook, or collect things in a basket to take back to the classroom (taking care to make sure things they collect are safe, it’s alright with the national park if you are visiting one, and that they don’t eat anything.)
Students can work in small groups.

Back in the classroom or out in nature discuss the objects and compare them to other things
What does this look, smell, feel like?
For example: that shell looks like a cake you have with cream, that tree’s bark looks and feels like a wrinkled person’s face.

2. Drama Activity
Act out the poem, when you are studying a unit on the ocean, and beach environment or a unit on poetry.  Additional materials posters and books on the ocean and the beach.

Have the children move around the classroom as you read the poem out loud.

Ask them to:
Be like waves (move like them, sound like them)
Bend down to look in a pool of water (what do you see in your imaginary pool of water?)
Have them think about the idea of listening to the clouds. (You could ask them to close their eyes and listen to the space they are in.)
Imagine they are at the beach (Who has been to the beach? Do you remember what creatures you saw? Was it cold? Warm? What could you smell, touch, feel?)

After moving around you can discuss the poem:

Explain what a simile is? How can a cloud be a simile? Eg: Cloud pictures? Ever look at the sky and say it looks like … a dragon, a dinosaur, a kangaroo.
Can a cloud talk? What would it say if it could?
What makes you giggle?

How could you put it into a poem; a story; or a drawing?
Have the class make similes and illustrate them.

Some of the creatures featured in the book are: Cassowary, Geckos, Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo, Ulysses Butterfly, Crocodiles, and the Green Tree Frog. You could find out about these and use them to help make your similes.

(c) June Perkins

COMING SOON posts on the the illustrator, the editing process, progress with the kickstarter, and some of the amazing flora and fauna of Far North Queensland, Australia.