Possum Magic by Mem Fox
Ill. by Julie Vivas. Scholastic, 2013. 30th anniversary edition.
Highly recommended. Winner of many awards since it was first published in 1983, this classic Australian picture book tells the story of little Hush. Because of the predators in the bush, Grandma Poss has used her best bush magic to make Hush invisible. When Hush decides that she wants to be able to see herself again, the pair have to make a trip around Australia to find the magic food that will stop the invisibility spell. After tasting some of Australia's iconic food like Vegemite and Pavlova, gradually Hush begins to reappear.
Mem Fox's story is compelling and memorable and it is not difficult to see why this book is reprinted on a regular basis. The story is a perfect read aloud, and extols the love between a grandparent and child as well as the virtues of persistence.
Julie Vivas' illustrations are a delight. Wrought in beautiful watercolours they are a perfect complement to the story. The picture of Grandma Poss on the front cover, in her pinny and glasses, surrounded by an array of floating stars, draws the reader in and each new illustration of Australian animals and food is beautiful.
This handsome anniversary edition of the wonderful Possum Magic will be a welcome book, especially those who are looking for a perfect gift for a new child or for friends overseas.