Jacaranda Magic, a book review


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

IMG_0902.jpgcropped.jpgmoidtone.jpg midtones

Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)

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:


The Mozzie with a Sharp Snozzie, book review


Title: The Mozzie with a Sharp Snozzie
Written & illustrated by: Irina Goundortseva
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

The story of a mosquito who wants to be a butterfly.

 Watch the fabulous Book trailer: https://youtu.be/BAlmjjzggig​​

From one of the not so visually appealing minibeasts to one of the most beautiful…
From one of the most annoying minibeasts to one of the most welcome…
From one of the itchiest of minibeasts to one of the most ticklish…
This is the story of a mozzie with a sharp snozzie who dreams of being a butterfly.

Author & illustrator, Irina Goundortseva, has imposed the human trait of comparing ourselves to those around us, and then trying to fit in with those who we may aspire to be, onto a little blood sucking, annoying creature, Mozzie, who learns that sometimes we get it wrong.

If you ever wanted to feel compassion for a mosquito, I suggest that this is the picture book where that may happen.

There’s a cute little Mozzie. She adores the butterflies, the most beautiful of creatures who flutter all day long down near the pond we she lives. And although Mozzie loves being a mosquito, she doesn’t always feel that way. She would love to be like the butterflies who are adored because of their beauty…

Finding her courage, Mozzie approaches the butterflies and asks if she can join them. She is met with a laugh and rejection. Not being a quitter, Mozzie asks them why she can’t fly with them … and then comes the soul destroying, heart scarring words that too many children and adults hear: “You are ugly and boring.”

Crushed by the devastating words and hating on herself, Mozzie stops under some plants. When she looks up she discovers a flower as beautiful as a butterfly. Not being a quitter, Mozzie disguises herself as a butterfly and with renewed energy, she flies towards the butterflies and flutters around them. And lo and behold! Mozzie is totally accepted because of her beauty.

But disaster strikes. They are captured in a net only to become a decoration on the wall with a grand collection of colourful butterflies that have pins piercing their delicate bodies. Mozzie gets real then and sheds her disguise to show her true self like a superhero. She zooms to the finger of the human and inserts her sharp snozzie into the skin and BAM! The minibeasts are released.

It just so happens then, that the beautiful butterflies have decided they like Mozzie, and want to talk about how pretty they all are (no surprises there!). But Mozzie feels awkward mixing with the butterflies. It is not who she really is, deep down inside. She’s a mosquito, and that’s what she loves the most!

The Mozzie with the Sharp Snozzie is a book about looking inside of yourself to discover your true identity. It’s about accepting yourself, and being okay with it.

It may be easy to overlook the significance of the species of minibeasts chosen to star in this picture book that Irina Goundortseva has illustrated with flair. But the author has chosen the characters with precision. The contrast between the two species with their colour and demeanour are at opposite ends of the spectrum, emphasizing the desperate need Mozzie has to feel acceptance …  maximum impact is felt.

The powerful message of The Mozzie with the Sharp Snozzie is a reminder that children (& adults) need to hear more often than not – This is me and I am okay! I like me and I don’t have to change to fit in. 

Acceptance of oneself is a powerful, and empowering place to arrive at…


Purchase a copy: http://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/Books/Children/The-Mozzie-with-a-Sharp-Snozzie-HB/1150/productview.aspx

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
Country: Australia
Published: 5 July 2016
Pages: 32
ISBN: 9781925275964
Category: children’s


Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)

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