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Possum Magic

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Once upon a time, but not very long ago, deep in the Australian bush, there lived two possums. Their names were Hush and Grandma Poss. Grandma Poss made bush magic…”

Perhaps you’re sufficiently familiar with a specific place/culture that you’re able to introduce a lesser-known animal or plant or custom or food to a young reader. Applying a post-colonial reading to this storybook, which was published in the early 1980s, it is pertinent to point out, however, that the national and cultural identity Fox writes about is limited: geographically to the coastal regions of Australia and gastronomically to exclude indigenous foods and flavours.

Beata Bowes (25 January 2018). "10 Classic Australian Children's Books". victorianopera.com.au . Retrieved 2 September 2021. Older editions of Possum Magic feature a map of Australia with place names. I wonder why publishers have decided to take this out of earlier versions (or perhaps it is simply an Australian/International publication difference, in which case Australians wouldn’t necessarily need a map). COMPARE POSSUM MAGIC WITH Perhaps one difference between writing for young children and writing for adults in general is that in picture books an author can present any number of strange and unlikely things, and the audience will accept it — not as fact, but as a part of the story. So it is with Possum Magic; of course you turn invisible with a potion, and of course the only way to make yourself visible again is to travel around the country eating typically Australian junk food. Anything is possible in a world where possums talk, and wear glasses and sneakers. Things do make sense within the world of the story (somewhat): ‘…which is why Grandma Poss had made her invisible in the first place’.

I chose possums as the main characters for this book because we had possums on our roof and the babies were adorable. I didn’t include Canberra, the national capital, because it wasn’t a state capital. I chose the casino in Hobart because it was famous at the time for being new and for being the first legal casino in Australia. I chose pumpkin scones in Brisbane (for those of you reading this outside Australia, Brisbane is the capital of the state of Queensland) because at that time the wife of the premier of Queensland was Flo Bjelke-Petersen, nationally famous for her pumpkin scones, which was an in-joke for the parents who read the book to their children. The other foods were chosen for their alliterative qualities and because they were typically Australian. Possum Magic has been set to orchestral music and performed three times by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, but not recorded. It has also been made into a highly successful musical which has been touring Australia every two years or so, but which is now in its final performances. (Sept. 2013)

The two main characters are Grandma Poss and Hush. Hush has been made invisible by Grandma to protect her from Australian bush dangers. The story details the duo's adventures as they tour Australia searching for the secret to Hush's visibility. It is a rhythmical story of Australia's varied landscapes and the animals in them. Birthday Festival Celebrate our 50th birthday with a festival of music, dance, theatre, art and free events. Judith Greenway, Arts Hub "I honestly thought it was one of the best performances I have ever seen. I took my daughter and her friend and they loved it - they laughed and laughed, and were completely blown away with the magic."

Using a clever, nuanced palette of live action, stage magic, an original soundscape, elements of puppetry and projected animation, Monkey Baa’s award-winning creative team have translated the whimsical world of the book to a live experience for audiences 3–8 years (and their families).

Children's awards: Theme of book 'transcends age' " (scan). The Canberra Times. 21 July 1984. p.8 . Retrieved 2 September 2021– via Trove.

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