Jacaranda Magic, a book review

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Title: Jacaranda Magic
Author: Dannika Patterson
Illustrator: Megan Forward
Publisher: Ford St Publishing

Five friends are feeling bored on a hot sticky day.
Just when they think they’ll never find anything fun to play,
A simple gust of wind changes everything …

Things I love: reading, picture books, children engaging in imaginative play, and the magnificent blooms of Jacaranda trees.

Ford St Publishing’s author, Dannika Patterson, has captured my heart’s delight. Jacaranda Magic is magic by title, and magic by words, with Dannika’s wordsmithing weaving a tale of rhyme and rhythm that will have you diving into the pages of imagination, making you long for the days of fresh purple snow.

Illustrator, Megan Forward, has gifted the words with illustrations that bring the children’s imaginations to life, filling the pages with potions of purple, with action bouncing off each of the pages, except when the children are bored—and everyone knows what bored looks like.
9781925804003-3I highly recommend Jacaranda Magic. It is filled with rhyme that is blissfully satisfying to read aloud, with a rhythm and meter that allows the reader to fall into a dream state as the story weaves and uplifts, painting happy, sunshiny days of adventure under magical Jacaranda trees. This story is certain to delight girls and boys as it is read again and again, inspiring them to appreciate nature, live in the moment, and imagine their own adventures, as well as acting out the ones in the book. And when you thought you couldn’t love the book anymore, there is the theme of friendship – children enjoying life together, creating precious childhood memories to be cherished forever.

I know what I’m reading under the Jacaranda tree when it blooms every year, with a  wishy-wishy-wish. Do you?

Purchase a copy: buy Jacaranda Magic

Title: Jacaranda Magic
Written by: Dannika Patterson
Illustrated by: Megan Forward
Publisher: http://www.fordstreetpublishing.com/ford/
ISBN: 9781925804003
Target Audience: 5 – 9 year-olds
Pages: 32 pages

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallace.author/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a published author and illustrator who is continually inspired by the gift of imagination and the power of words. When she is not disappearing into her imaginary worlds as Julieann Wallace – children’s author, or as Amelia Grace – fiction novelist, she is working as a book designer, editor and book magician for other authors. Julieann is a self-confessed tea ninja and Cadbury Chocoholic, has a passion for music and art, and tries not to scare off her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing.

Julieann is a member of:

 

Imagine, book review

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Title: Imagine
by: Emma Mactaggart
illustrated by: Ester De Boer
Publisher: Boogie Books

The gloriously creative indulgence of simply sitting and day-dreaming has given rise to the greatest creations in human history! We have to give ourselves permission to do so, and to Imagine what will be. Of course, sometimes, ‘what will be’ may be very silly indeed!

Imagination. Where would the world be if we couldn’t imagine?

Author, Emma Mactaggart, has written a wonderfully inspiring picture book encouraging children to use their imagination.

The rhyming tale will have children in laughter as the story topsy-turvies common household objects with animals.

Imagine is filled will brilliant illustrations by Ester De Boer. Her use of colour and action propels the story along with energy.

I love the words at the ending of the story –

Now promise me, open you mind and let your thoughts soar.
It’s your imagination, let it rip, let it roar!

What a wonderful challenge for children, and a perfect book for use in the school setting to introduce a creative writing lesson.

Purchase a copy: http://www.childwrites.com.au/Store/imagine

Title: Imagine
by: Emma Mactaggart
illustrated by: Ester De Boer
Publisher: Boogie Books
ISBN: 9781922224040
Category: childrens
Pages: 32

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a member of:

 

The Magic in Dress-Ups, book review

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Title: The Magic in Dress-Ups
written & illustrated by: Chrissy Byers
Publisher: Books by Chrissy Byers

Written to inspire imaginative play, this rhyming recount depicts the adventures of two small girls who create costumes from household junk and craft supplies.

Ending in a challenge, it is the perfect resource for Early Childhood Educators.

Scissors, card and some glue. What can we do?
From the very beginning of Chrissy Byers picture book, The Magic in Dress-Ups, children will be inspired to create. As you read the rhythmic, rhyming text, you will be carried away with imagination, feeling the excitement with each construction from bits and pieces from around the house.

Chrissy’s illustrations are colourful and multi-levelled, inviting a closer inspection about what materials are being used and predicting what they will become with the dress-up. On further analysis, pages in juxtaposition will reveal what the characters are doing in real life of the left, and what they are imagining in their make-believe world on the right. Clever!

I can see this book for young children being read over and over again. It would make a wonderful introduction to an art lesson to inspire children to create their own dress-ups and designs from craft supplies and recyclable materials.

The Magic in Dress-Ups will make children feel upbeat, and it will have you following the flow of colourful magic stars as they weave their way over the pages leaving you with a lovely touch of happiness.

The story ends with ‘Scissors, card and some glue. What can you do?’  There’s a challenge for kids, right there!

Purchase a copy: The Magic in Dress-Ups hardcover

Connect with Chrissy at: https://www.facebook.com/booksbychrissybyers

Title: The Magic in Dress-Ups
written & illustrated by: Chrissy Byers
Publisher: Books by Chrissy Byers
ISBN: 978-0-9943648-2-1
Category: pre-school age
Pages: 32 pages

julieann

Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a member of:
Queensland Writers Centre
Write Links
Share Your Story Australia

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Ella Saw the Tree, book review

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Title: Ella Saw the Tree
by: Robert Vescio
illustrated by: Cheri Hughes
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

“One windy day, as Ella plays in her backyard, she is showered by leaves.
When she looks up, Ella sees a tree in her backyard … has it always been there?
And why is the tree crying?”

mindfulness
noun
1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Author, Robert Vescio, has explored the concept of mindfulness and nailed it in his flowing, charming story, Ella Saw the Tree. All too often parents and children are caught up in the busy-ness of life while the simplest, yet most inspiring moments zoom past, unnoticed.

Ella is no different. She is  always busy in her backyard. She has an amazing imagination. It takes her to the ocean, then guides her to soar above, before she visits the distant lands to explore with her wonderful four legged friend. But one day it started to rain. Not ordinary rain that comes from the clouds. It was an extraordinary rain that came from above. That’s when Ella looked up and saw the tree. Ella was sure the tree was crying. So she tried her best to cheer it up. But the leaves still fell like tears. Ella was terribly worried. It was then that her mum told her to notice the special things around her. So she watched and listened all around, and felt and smelled the air. Using her senses to be mindful of everything around her filled her head with the ‘right now’. Ella smiled. Her heart was full.

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 Of course no picture book is complete without illustrations. Illustrator, Cheri Hughes, has given us a visual feast with her inspiring illustrations. The detail in each double page spread carries the reader deep into Ella’s world where you feel what Ella feels.

I highly recommend Ella Saw the Tree, not only for young children, but for middle and upper primary children as well. The story is a gift sent to remind us to pause and take a moment to notice the here and now. It’s a stop, look, listen and feel book that will connect children to themselves and nature, and any environment they find themselves in. This is the type of book that will open your senses to appreciate nature with a thankful heart.

Have you noticed the beautiful trees?

Purchase a copy: www.bigskypublishing.com.au/Books/Children/Ella-Saw-the-Tree-PB/1194/

Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
ISBN: 9781925520361
Format: Hardback
Category: General fiction (Children’s / Teenage)
Pages: 32

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a member of:
Queensland Writers Centre
Write Links
Share Your Story Australia