Mulga's magical musical creatures by Mulga

cover image

Hachette Australia, 2016. ISBN 9780734416704
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Imagination. Humour. Intrigued by the author's name, Mulga, I went to his website and found that 'Mulga is Joel Moore, a Sydney based artist, freelance illustrator and poet who paints murals, designs t-shirts and runs the Mulga brand.' In this intriguing picture book Mulga has drawn some magical animals who play musical instruments and in a fun rhyming story tells how his dreams inspire the creation of music.
Readers will be fascinated by the beautifully coloured animals that dance across the pages. There are fishes in ponchos playing their guitars against a desert background, elephants tooting trumpets in vivid jungle, beautiful owls in boots playing the banjo, lions in pink and blue sunglasses singing in mics and gorillas playing on drums. All are coloured in gorgeous bright yellows, blues and pinks, with lots of intricate detail that begs for a second look. Young children will delight in the humour of the illustrations and spend time finding how many animals are hiding on each page.
The story is told in rhyming verse that would be a joy to read aloud. A discussion about musical instruments, the sounds they make could lead to lots of fun with children finding other instruments and drawing animals with them. The idea that dreams can be an important part of creativity and using the imagination is also a theme that could be pondered upon.
Pat Pledger