I was fortunate enough to have the pleasure of attending a talk by none other than Mem Fox, the author of the bestselling children’s book in Australia for 29 years in a row, Possum Magic. Mem Fox is alive and fun to read through her work, but she is absolutely incredible when you meet her in person. In the brief hour that we had with her in an auditorium of the Nashville Public Library, Mem relayed her life story through her books, making them even more powerful. She was born in Australia, but grew up in Africa, as her parents were missionaries. Then, she had the chance to go to theater school in London, where she met her husband, and was able to make her way back to beloved Australia.
Interestingly enough, Mem noted that her bestselling book was also her very first, by the name of Possum Magic, and it was a mere homework assignment that she at first thought herself much too educated for. From that comes her advice:
Always do your homework, because it could turn out to be a bestselling book one day!
The most amazing part of the evening was hearing her own stories told with her warm, adorably English voice. She was eloquent and yet practical in her readings, but she had the voice and the command of the audience to entrance us and make each and every one of us purchase each and every one of the more than 40 children’s books she’s published. Every reading was powerful, but I couldn’t help but purchase Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, which shows how all little babies, from all corners of the world, are cut from the same cloth. It expresses in the most sweet manner that these babies all love and accept each other, and that a mother’s love is so powerful in a young child’s world. This book is loved by children, and portrays acceptance in a very relatable way. In reading it, though, I found it to be a great baby shower gift to a new mother. She would feel as much if not more love for this book and would be able to pass it on to her child or read it to him or her, with its sing-songy verse and warm tone, from the very first day.
I really only want to tease you about Mem Fox, as she has accomplished so much and is such an amazing person that I could speak of her for hours and hours and hours on end. I encourage everyone to make an effort to meet her when she makes her way back to the United States next (she has come to our country over 100 times at this point!) or, if nothing else, to discover any of her amazing children’s books and her website at:
Madison Glasgow =)