This semester I am presenting a unit of work on the 'Magic Beach' by Alison Lester to students ranging in age from Prep to Year Eight. We will be working to present a variety of art and multi media responses to the text. To learn more about 'Magic Beach' read this review by Dan Hurburgh. Hurburgh is Australian writer with a passion for maritime history.
A rhyming story line in a child's picture book seldom works well. They often seem so contrived and sometimes downright corny.
Not so in Alison Lester's 'Magic Beach'. This book deserves the status of a classic in contemporary children's literature. In fact, the book is regularly listed in the Best Seller lists in Australia, where the author resides. ...
All children love the freedom and fun of a trip to the beach. Alison transports us to one of the childhood's favourite playground, that place where the land meets the sea. The real joys of beachside fun are joined with pleasurable and harmless seaside fantasies.
On alternate pages, we are taken from beautiful realities to even more captivating fantasies. We go from a scene with a sparkling sea to an exciting world where we can ride waves pretending they are "wild white horses". We go from sandcastle building to a land of fire breathing dragons. We explore rock-pools and their magic world of starfish and crabs, and then go to an evenmore magic Kingdom where we can ride seahorses.
The beach is still magic when it's a cloudy and gray day, our imaginations will help us discovered a treasure chest. We can go boating in the safety of bay, and then let the wind and our fantasies take us to the "edge of the world".
We fish and laze on the jetty, and in our daydreams, we catch a monstrous shark.
It is now evening-time, we are toasting marshmallows around the glowing fire, and in the shadows, there may be smugglers hauling in crate-loads of booty.
It's time for bed, and to the sounds of the ocean, we drift off to sleep on the evening tide.
This is a fabulous book which has universal and popular appeal.