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

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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 Harper Effect, a book review


Title: The Harper Effect
by: Taryn Bashford
Publisher: Pan MacMillan Australia

Harper Hunter doesn’t know how it came to this.
Her tennis dreams are collapsing: her coach says she doesn’t have what it takes to make it in the world of professional tennis.
Her new doubles partner is moody, mysterious and angry at the world. What is he hiding?
She is in love with Jacob, but he is her sister’s boyfriend. Or, he was. Harper could never betray Aria with Jacob … could she?
As Harper’s heart and dreams pull her in different directions, she has to figure out exactly what she wants. And just how hard she’s willing to fight to get it.

There are some books you need to read a second time, or a third, not because you didn’t understand it, but because you want to be immersed in that world again, and you want to bask in the emotions of how it made you feel. The Harper Effect is that book.

Author, Taryn Bashford’s evocative wordsmithing in The Harper Effect reads like she is conducting a word orchestra, who then play a magnificent symphony of sentences that flow with a mesmerising energy, making you believe in the magical powers of written text that takes you on an emotive, amazing journey, totally absorbing you into the pages until you exist inside them with the characters.

The Harper Effect rallies around Harper Hunter, an up and coming professional tennis player whose world is in perfect order and flowing, according to a plan that was carved when she was young, until, her coach utters the devastating words, “You’re not good enough” and ditches her. Her dreams are shattered, and she begrudgingly agrees to compete in double tournaments instead of the elite singles tournaments. As things go from bad to worse, Harper crosses paths the formidable Colt Quinn, where they instantly clash in a world of privileged girl vs unprivileged boy. And this is where the story becomes totally addictive as Harper’s world becomes shaken, stirred, upended, swallowed and spat out.

The Harper Effect is an absolute must read, and one I cannot recommend highly enough. It’s a story of childhood connections and memories, of emotional turmoil, of regret, of bad choices, of growing up and becoming your own person, to reconnecting and finding that place of healing. This book has it all. You may even find a piece of Harper Hunter in yourself.

Purchase a copy: https://www.panmacmillan.com.au/9781760552091/

Title: The Harper Effect
by: Taryn Bashford
Publisher: Pan MacMillan Australia

ISBN: 9781760552091
Format: Paperback
Pub Date: 27/12/2017
Category: Children’s, Teenage & educational / General fiction (Children’s / Teenage)
Teenage & Young Adult Fiction / Young Adult
Imprint: Pan Australia
Pages: 384

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

Julieann is a member of: