top of page
  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Imagine by Alison Lester


If we were

deep in the jungle

where butterflies drift

and jaguars prowl

where parakeets squawk

and wild monkeys howl….”

I loved this book when I first read it when it was originally published in 1989. I found it wonderfully whimsical and it was my regular gift to new parents, hoping children would enjoy the imaginative playfulness of its introduction to the natural world as much as I did. Either enough of them, or their parents, did because Allen & Unwin is now publishing a special 30th Anniversary Edition. It is very special for a book to still be in print after 30 years and congratulations to Allen and Unwin for celebrating this.

When this new book arrived, I opened the package carefully, apprehensive that my special book might have been changed or tarnished. I was relieved and excited to find the book still delightful and its intricate illustrations full of places to explore and creatures to enjoy.

There are some changes in this new edition. There’s green foil lettering and glitter on the cover and it shimmers and shines. The final pages and endpapers have a key to all the animals in their various locations from ice cap to farm via dinosaur swamp, jungle, ocean and African Plain. Apart from these, the book is the same and I still love it.

When the children in your life need another book to read, offer them Alison’s “Magic Beach”. You’ll both want to read it again and again.

Alison Lester grew up on a farm by the sea and her father took her riding when she was a baby. She still lives on a farm and likes to ride her horse as often as she can. Alison has written and illustrated more than 25 picture books. In 2012 she became Australia’s first Children’s Book Laureate and in 2019 she was awarded an Australia Post Legends Award and became a Member of the Order of Australia. She writes as often as she can. There’s more about Alison and her books at .

Reviewer: Margaret Samuels

Published by Allen & Unwin


bottom of page