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For Jacaranda Magic

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Jacaranda Magic

By Dannika Patterson & Megan Forward

(4 customer reviews)


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 . . .

Jacaranda Magic is a unique rhyming picture book that celebrates imaginative play and highlights the value of boredom and nature in inspiring creativity.

Jacaranda Magic addresses a trend emerging from research in early education that points to today’s Australian children struggling to develop creative, imaginative and gross motor skills due to diminishing access or encouragement to play outdoors

It is stunningly illustrated by twice CBCA Shortlisted illustrator Megan Forward and features a diverse set of characters playing in a relatable and inclusive outdoor environment.

It’s a rhyming picture book that demonstrates a range of literary devices that can be tied to curriculum including: alliteration, assonance, meter and rhyme.

It explores the value and importance of boredom. It shows children examples of the wonderful inventiveness that can grow out of being bored. They need not rely on being entertained by other people, toys or technology when they tap into the unlimited potential of their imaginations.

About Jacaranda Magic

Key Themes:

  • The power of imagination
  • The value of boredom
  • Outdoor play and links to health
  • Movement and coordination
  • Environmental Awareness and Urban Sustainability
  • the importance of preserving yards and green areas in the suburbs – Change (emotional and physical awareness)
  • Cultural Diversity

4 reviews for Jacaranda Magic

  1. Margaret

    Very well written and beautifully illustrated


    Jacaranda Magic is an enchanting picture that book young readers will enjoy through sight and sound – as a picture book should.
    The story follows five friends on a warm summer’s day as they move from boredom to delightful imaginings. The use of simple alliteration and assonance gives the book a rhyme and rhythm which invokes that warm summer’s day feeling when it’s just a bit too warm to do much other than sit under a tree and wait for the winds of change to blow.
    The illustrations beautifully reflect the story of the five friends. The glum faces of boredom children, sitting on the yellowing grass, are soon replaced with images of intense colour and vibrancy as the five children’s imaginations come to life.
    While the images are beautifully drawn, they are abstract enough for the reader to engage their own imagination and put a different interpretation on the falling flowers from the Jacaranda tree.
    This is a lovely book with a charming feel and one that adults and children can enjoy together as they explore the theme of the book; the power of imagination.

  3. Erin Coonan- Speech Pathologist, Darwin

    Jacaranda Magic is a beautifully illustrated rhyming book that explores imaginative play in wonderful and interesting ways. On a hot, sticky day five bored buddies (without their toys or scooters) are at a loss for what to do with themselves. They are lounging near a Jacaranda tree when a gust of wind inspires their imaginations and they take turns creating new worlds using just the Jacaranda flowers. This book gently highlights the reliance on external items to bring joy and reminds children that they do not need an iPad to have fun; they can use imaginative play to go on grand adventures (even better than they could in an app). It creatively explores a range of options available when engaged in outside and unstructured play. Imagination and curiosity are developed by creating a sense of wonder, mystery and excitement; the flowers could be aliens… or fairies… or anything!

    The charming characters represent the diverse Australian cultural and social context and will be easy relatable for students. Megan Forward’s delightful illustrations pair perfectly with the text to create meaning. They support the learning of concepts that may be difficult to explain through language alone – “they lead to a marshmallow cave set for tea!”. The book is engaging and lends itself to oral language extension activities with questions such as, what do we really know about genies? It has a universal appeal to adults and children, written in a style that engages young readers through rhythm, rhyme, and alliteration. While easy to read, the text contains some complex adjectives and would encourage teaching and discussion regarding higher level vocabulary. Overall, a developmentally appropriate and timely reminder to encourage children to use their imaginations and get outside to play!

  4. Alex

    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…
    Jacaranda Magic is the stunning debut picture book from Brisbane-based copywriter and children’s author, Dannika Paterson. Drawing on a background in Child Psychology and a passion for early education, literacy and nature play, Paterson uses her talents to write quality literature for children that fosters and encourages creativity, imagination and exploration.
    Superbly illustrated by twice CBCA Shortlisted illustrator Megan Forward, Jacaranda Magic spins the story of a dull summer’s day transformed into one filled with adventure and discovery through the power of imagination. Five bored children, unable to decide what to do with themselves, are lounging beneath a Jacaranda tree to escape the hot summer sun when a gust of wind sends a flurry of purple blossoms into the air, igniting their imaginations. The children take turns to conjure new worlds—suddenly, the jacaranda blossoms are not so much flowers as mermaids, dragon scales, asteroids or fairies; the tree now a boat, castle or space ship. This book gently highlights the power of imaginative play, storytelling and movement to remedy boredom, without the need for material stimuli like scooters, sandpits and iPads—reminding children and parents alike that imagination alone can entertain you.
    In Jacaranda Magic, imagination springs to life. Perfectly accompanied by double spreads of Forward’s gorgeously soft pencil and watercolour illustrations, Jacaranda Magic is breathtaking to read. The symphony of purple is sure to capture the attention of any young reader—reminding them of the beauty of their natural world and gently encouraging them to look a little closer at their own surroundings to find wonder and excitement. Jacaranda Magic features a diverse cast of characters in a realistic setting that rings true of Australia’s multi-cultural landscape—readers will delight in watching their glum faces change amid full-colour spreads, packed full of action and adventure. However, the images are abstract and free-flowing enough to allow space for the reader’s own imagination and creative input—asking what do you think these flowers could be?
    Jacaranda Magic celebrates unstructured, imaginative outdoor play and the beauty of nature. It offers a refreshing perspective of boredom as a valuable opportunity for creativity rather than a burden—encouraging young readers to escape to nature if they’re feeling bored of their toys or trapped inside the house. Here, Patterson reminds us that a child’s imagination has endless potential for inventive storytelling—especially with nature and friendship as inspiration. Told in rhyming couples and a large typeface, Jacaranda Magic showcases a range of literary devices that translate well to curriculum learning—teaching children about simple alliteration, assonance, meter and rhyme. As children increasingly turn to screen-based learning and struggle to develop and hone their creative, imaginative and motor skills, Jacaranda Magic is both a bedtime tale and a valuable educational tool in the classroom.
    Jacaranda Magic is magic by name, magic by nature. It’s a lovely tale that will charm any reader, inviting both children and adults alike to go outside and play.
    Recommended for pre- and early-schoolers, from ages 4–7.

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