Did you know that the author Mem Fox wrote the first draft of 'Possum Magic' titled 'Hush the Invisible Mouse' in 1978 and had it rejected by nine publishers over a five year period before it was accepted by Omnibus Books in Adelaide. Interesting huh!
But not to my 3 year old who just wants me to read her the story. She loves the storyline about the two possum's journey around Australia eating as they go in search of what will make Hush seen again. There are many questions for me to answer when we read it, such as "what does invisible mean?" and 'what is pavlova?" and "do we have glitter and stars in the cupboard like Grandma Poss?". But when I told my daughter that we were going to make human food and have a party for Hush, there were no questions, her eyes just grew large and she exclaimed "Maybe we can make lamingtons!".
It's amazing how the suggestion of a little bit of fun can make a child's imagination go into fast forward. Suddenly the beautiful gum tree outside my daughter's bedroom was occupied by Hush. But we couldn't see her, as she was invisible of course (which made playing along so much easier!). There were kisses, high fives and waves being sent from the window to that gum tree each night before bed for the next week.
I created an invitation and then my daughter placed it in an envelope, decorated it and put it in the gum tree for Hush to find and read. I took it down that night, took out the invitation and made the back of the envelope look like it had been nibbled by a possum. Believable right?.... well to a 3 year old .... um ...... just! She has been conditioned into believing in Santa and the Easter Bunny no worries, but an invisible possum .... not so much. I got given a sideways glance when I told her the nibble was from Hush. But she didn't say anything and smiled, cause I think that she knew that if she questioned, I might tell her it wasn't really true and she has always been a child who wants to dream big and have fun!
For the party we had Anzac biscuits from Adelaide, minties from Melbourne, salad from Sydney, pumpkin scones from Brisbane, vegemite sandwiches from Darwin, mini fruit pavlovas from Perth and lamingtons from Tasmania.
The day we held the bush party in honour of little Hush it was very rainy, so it was perfect for staying inside and digging in!
Happy reading and cooking with your little ones!!