Magic Fish Dreaming by June Perkins, illustrated by Helene Magisson (Gumbootspearlz Press)
ISBN 9780980731187 PB RRP $17.99
Review: Teena Raffa-Mulligan
Words and pictures dance a joyful duet throughout the pages of this beautifully presented illustrated collection of poems.
Magic Fish Dreaming invites young readers to seek out and appreciate the wonders of this world we share and recognise the poetry in the natural and urban environment.
June Perkins’ poetry is evocative and whimsical and their spirit is reflected in Helene Magisson’s exquisite full colour illustrations.
The collection opens with the delightful Hunting for a Poem, my personal favourite.
We can hear the waves
Yes, we can be like waves
Find simile in sky
Clouds whispering ‘goodbye’.
Readers are then led on a journey of the imagination to explore secret places, chat with a cassowary, do a storm dance, sing a rain song and let their imaginations roam free in rainforest country.
Perkins has been writing, performing and publishing poetry in Australia and the Pacific. She won an Australia Day cultural award in 2011 for services to writing and mentoring youth. June has published two books, Under One Sky (2010) and After Yasi, Finding the Smile Within (2013). In 2008, after moving to Far North Queensland, she coordinated Ripple, a community project for multicultural groups and schools to celebrate poetry and photography and began writing some of the poetry that would become this book. In 2016 she won an Australian Society of Authors mentorship and has been working on picture books and a young adult novel ever since.
Magisson was trained in the art of medieval illumination in Paris, exhibiting her work in Europe and teaching the history and techniques of medieval miniature in primary and high schools, both in France and in India, where she lived for a few years. When she settled in Australia, Magisson decided to start a new career in children’s book illustration. She has illustrated, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Bianco and Night Before Christmas for New Frontier. Several other projects are due for release in 2017.
The book was created through crowd funding from 142 backers from 10 countries.
Magic Fish Dreaming is a book to share and to treasure in families and in classrooms.
It is currently available through Peter Pal library supplier, direct from author at https://magicfishdreaming.com/ and from selected Queensland book stores.