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Possum Magic (Voyager Books) Paperback – September 15, 1991

4.8 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2 Grandma Poss uses bush magic to make Hush invisible, but when Hush wants to see herself again, Grandma can't remember which particular Australian food is needed to reverse the spell. Traveling around the continent in search of an antidote, Grandma and Hush sample Anzac biscuits, mornay, vegemite, and pavlova until the right delicacy is found. Although the characters, locales, and vocabulary are thoroughly Australian, Possum Magic has universal appeal. Fox chooses her words carefully, making readers believe that certain foods just might be magical. Vivas uses a variety of techniques, including splatter painting and washes to create full- and double-page watercolor illustrations which complement the text and will entrance readers. A perfect choice for storytimes, but also useful for curriculum enrichment, thanks to a simplified map and glossary. Jeanette Larson, Mesquite Public Library, Tex.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

MEM FOX is the author of many acclaimed books, including Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Possum Magic, Koala Lou, Time for Bed, and, for adults, Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. She lives in Adelaide, Australia.


JULIE VIVAS is illustrator of I Went Walking, Let's Go Visiting, the Mem Fox classics Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge and Possum Magic, and several other picture book titles. She lives in Australia.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 530L (What's this?)
  • Series: Voyager Books
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (September 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862910952
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862910959
  • ASIN: 0152632247
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I used this book in a high school English course on children's picture-book literature, and I must say it enchanted the older students (14-15 year olds!) Every high school library "deserves" some good quality picture books, and this would make it onto the list everywhere.
It was also used with ESL students in that school, and the quality of the story-telling, and the humour is such that those students never felt offended or that they were being given "baby books". It also helped introduce them to a little bit of Australian cultural icons (minties, lamingtons! )
In my own home it has been a firm favourite for some time and gets repeat requests for bedtime reading.
Is this book the Australian "Where The Wild Things Are"?
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Format: Paperback
I read this book to a class of second graders during our unit on Australia. It was a wonderful way to review the Australian animals as well an the cities and foods of the continent. The kids loved the pictures and we took a poll asking who would try all the different foods discussed in the book. Even if you only buy this book for your own kids, it will surely prompt a discussion about other cultures, foods, etc. Well worth the cost!
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Format: Paperback
Having read this beautifully illustrated and written story for over twelve years of teaching 2-5 year old children it has always been a favourite.Children sit in wonder to what might happen with Hush and Grandma poss in the story.They feel sad when at first nothing works then finally joyfull and happy with the outcome of Hush and Grandma poss adventure for a cure. Which often leads children asking me to re read it.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this while in Australia. I was looking for native stories to bring back for my daughter. This book helped me share my trip with her even though she didn't get to go with me.
This book is a wonderful example of a child's wonder at new experiences. The characters go on a journey to discover the lessons of life. This story shows how you should always work on a problem until you find a suitable solution.
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A Kid's Review on November 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
In" Abracadabra," Grandma Poss has changes her granddaughter, Hush, purely invisible with her Bush Magic. Hush and Grandma Poss are both cheerful and happy possums, but now Hush is totally invisible. The main reason Grandma Poss turns her invisible is now the dreaded snakes can't see her or the big koalas can't sit on her. For a long time Hush lives contented being invisible, but one day she decides she doesn't want to be invisible any longer. She wants to see what she looks like and play like a normal possum. So Hush goes to Grandma Poss and tells her she wants to be visible again. The only problem is Grandma Poss can't remember how to make Hush visible again. Will Grandma Poss remember how to make Hush visible again or will Hush have to live invisibly miserable for the rest of her life?

If you like fantasy genres and personification in your stories, you will enjoy this book. This is a cute well-written book. It has a hopeful ending to it and I really thought it had a flowing feel to it, going from one thing to another. To read this book, you have to have some sophistication and know what invisible and visible mean. Overall, this book was cute and enjoyable.
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Format: Paperback
I was extremely pleased to see that this book is still in print. By the looks on the dates of the reviews here, it would appear that people are aware of this book and it is still in use. This also pleases me.

Possum Magic was first published in 1983 and is one of the many things good that comes from the Land Down Under! It would be difficult to find a more charming, educational and simply fun children's book being published.

Briefly stated, this is the story of Grandma Poss creating and making some bush magic or her granddaughter Hush. She enables Hush to become invisible which is an absolute blast for the young possum; sliding down the tails of kangaroos, staying safe from snakes...all kinds of kid possum stuff. Ah, but when the fun time is over and it is time to become visible again, it seems that Grandma Poss has completely forgotten how to reverser her bush magic! She reads and rereads her books to no avail before she finally remembers that "people food" has something to do with it.

And the journey begins....

In searching for the right kind of "people food," the young and elderly possum journey around Australia sampling bits of this and tasting bites of that. Vegemite sandwiches (A food paste made from yeast extract..used normally as a condiment), Pavlova (A meringue desert), Lamington (Sponge cake) and ANZAC Biscuits (A Sweet biscuit of rolled oats), are among the unique Australian foods the two partake of. There is a tremendous amount of information concerning Australia here and it most certainly will expose the child to some very interesting words and ideas.

Will Huss regain her visibility? And if she does...how long will it last?
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The illustrations are so wonderful and the story is cute. I love Grandma Poss and Hush and their adventures to find the magic to make Hush visible again. My son really likes the story and pictures too. We liked it so much, we got Koala Lou and will be getting other books by the same author :)
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