Book Review: Mulga’s Magical Musical Creatures by Mulga is a charming and delightful visual feast

Mulga’s Magical Musical Creatures is the latest release from the Sydney-based artist, illustrator and poet Mulga (Joel Moore). Formerly a financial advisor, Mulga’s artwork can be found all over Australia, from cafes to shop fronts, from t-shirts to drink bottles and now once again on your bookshelves – or in this case your children’s bookshelves – but if we’re honest this book is a bit like Lego, good for all ages!

The book takes you into Mulga’s dream world, a rich vibrant colourful world with the most musical of animals, from badass jazz trumpeting elephants to lounge singer lions and drumming gorillas! (In my head they’re playing “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins in ode to that ad – you know the one!). There are even a few unusual or trippy choices like poncho wearing fish playing the guitar.

Each new page is a visual feast with bright bold colouring that will capture the attention of readers both young and old. The detail in each page is impressive, and the drawing and colouring of each page was no doubt a painstaking process, especially with the some of the more intricate patterns that appear throughout.

In our recent interview, Mulga highlighted three features to a great children’s book – rhymes, brevity and great artwork. With Mulga’s Magical Musical Creatures he’s managed to hit the mark on all three. The rhyming scheme throughout is simple, but that’s what you want from a picture book, it’s a lovely lilting read that’s fun to read aloud. It’s doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, and should be good for some bedtime reading (repeats reads included). And the artwork, as already mentioned, is bright colourful and attention grabbing.

Mulga’s Magical Musical Creatures is a wonderfully charming and delightful book. It’s fun; it’s colourful and should bring a smile or two. It’s the perfect gift for the young ones in your life, or even just the young at heart – and apparently Christmas is coming.

Mulga’s Magical Musical Creatures is out now through Lothian’s Children’s Books / Hachette Australia 


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Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.