My Mum is a Magician

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Damon Young (text), Peter Carnavas (illus.),  My Mum is a Magician,  University of Queensland Press, 2 April 2018,  32pp.,  $24.95 (hbk),  ISBN: 9780702259944

All mums are different. But what if your mum was really different? What if your mum was a magician?

Damon Young and Peter Carnavas team up again for the fifth instalment in the Ninja Nanna picture book series. Colourful and clever, My Mum is Magician is a delightful story about the magic of mothers.

While every child thinks their mother magical, My Mum really is magical.

“Some mums gulp green tea, with bitter barley blends. But my mum is a magician . . . her cup of coffee never ends.”

Young’s choice of wording is deliberate. A carefully selected combination of interesting words takes this story to the next level. It is perfect for children who are ready to move on from typical and simple rhyming stories.

“Some mums fashion fins for super-fast rockets.

Some mums carry cues, cracking eight-balls into pockets.”

The use of alliteration, rhyme and rhythmical pacing makes this a captivating book to read aloud. The images work to add layered meaning to the story. Carnavas’s ink and watercolour illustrations use colour to add to the pacing. The panels prior to a magical event are distinctly lacking in colour, adding anticipation for the big reveal.

This book was enjoyed by all my family. While Mr 2 delighted in the mums’ playful animal companions, Miss 7 appreciated the diversity of mothers represented. The four women represented in the story differ in regards to jobs, hobbies, culture and appearance, yet celebrate the special magic that all mums seem to have.

My Mum is a Magician is recommended for ages 2 and up and for anyone who is, or has, a special mum.

Bookclub Notes are available on the UQP website.

Reviewed by Fiona Miller-Stevens

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