One of the great things about children’s literature is that it allows authors from all around the world to bring their stories to children that they may never have had the opportunity to hear otherwise. Author of well-known children’s books, Mem Fox, has been bringing a little bit of the country of Australia to children around the world for a number of years. Her words, combined with the beautiful artwork created throughout her work that details the Australian lifestyle, has brought delight to millions of children throughout the years.
The tale of Possum Magic is one of her first stories, and is why she has become a household name. This story is all about a little possum named Hush. Her grandmother uses some bush magic that she knows in order to make Hush invisible! Hush loves it – for a time. Then she decides that she wants to be visible again. Unfortunately grandmother can’t remember which Australian food she needs to use in order to make Hush visible again! So the two travel around the entire continent of Australia looking for the food that will make her visible once again. They sample Australian delicacies like Anzac biscuits, vegemite, pavlova, and even mornay on their search for the right food that will turn Hush visible again. Finally they come across the specific food that will help Hush to be seen again by the end of the story.
Possum Magic is not just a great tale to read to help children to experience their imagination, but it is also a wonderful tale to read in order to learn a bit more about the world that Australians see! It shows children all about the different types of foods available “down under”, and this can even extend into a shopping spree at the local grocery store, allowing children to try some of these amazing treats just as Hush did!
What makes Possum Magic extra special is the beautiful artwork done by illustrator Julie Vivas, which brings the Australian Bush to life in a way that has never been done in children’s literature before.