Alison Lester was born in Foster, Australia, and grew up on a farm. She first rode a horse when she was just a a baby in her father's arms, and still rides whenever she can. Alison writes and illustrates her own stories, and her picture books are loved by families across Australia and around the world. She lives on a farm in Victoria, Australia with her husband and three children.
K-Gr 2-- The pleasures of ordinary events turn into extraordinary adventures in this rhyming tale of a child's imaginative view of a beach vacation. With just the flip of a page, splashing waves tranform into wild, white horses to ride; a sandcastle becomes the scene of a princess's daring rescue of her brother from the clutches of a flame-spitting dragon; searching for driftwood : and shells leads to the discovery of a chest of glistening treasure. This Australian import features pastel watercolor illustrations of beachcombers with highly stylized faces. Each page is bordered by appropriate sea motifs taken from a detail within the main illustration. The real-life activities are depicted on page-and-a-half spreads while their imaginary counterparts are presented as rounded mind's-eye views. The illustrations both suit the mood and reinforce the verse. As with Peter Spier's Dreams (Doubleday, 1986), Magic Beach could serve well as an inspiration for creative writing and classroom drama, encouraging students to create fanciful stories from everyday ideas. A delightful addition to picture book collections. --Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, Wheeler School, Providence, RI
A clever blend of magic and reality that will encourage sea-dreams. Guardian