Australian Picture Book List For Kids
Australian Picture Books List – Where To Find Them
We as a family have loved these books and still have most of them in our personal collection. Look for them in your library, or purchase some of these gems while they are still in print.
If you’re like me treasure hunting in secondhand books stores will also become an obsession.
Trove is an excellent source for finding out of print (OOP) books in the Australian library system.
Australian Book Traveller Book 1 uses many of these Australian Picture Books to teach Australian history, geography, art, science and literature appreciation using good Australian picture books. It’s similar to Five In A Row but it’s Australian. Plus it’s free to download.
Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs ©1940
Two cute little gumnut babies go on some adventures. The illustrations are too cute!
Blinky Bill is naughty, very naughty but his adventures are exciting and the pictures gorgeous. He lives in the bush of Australia and gets up to all sorts of mischief.
Wombat Stew by Marcia Vaughan & Pamela Lofts © 1984
One day a dingo catches a wombat by the billabong. The wombat’s friends want to save him so they help the dingo make the stew with some very yucky ingredients. The dingo’s soup is not quite how he intended. The text is relatively short and uncomplicated, written with a certain rhythm.
This book ells the story of Australia’s heritage, from Aboriginal settlement until the present. Each chapter reads like a story. This book is not a boring fact dissection that has attempted to cover everything. Instead it offers the reader a smooth flowing piece of good literature that captures the historical events that have shaped a nation and culture.
This excellent book gives a quick overview of Australian history beginning with the Aborigines before white settlement and continues chronologically up to 1952. It is written as a story with no chapters.
The National Anthem of Australia coupled with famous Australian art works such as; Drysdale, Roberts, McCubbin, Preston and Namatjira.
This is based in the Northern Territory of Australia. Follow the seasonal calendar of the Gundjeihmi speaking people of Kakadu. Look at the changes each season brings to the plants, animals, insects and birds of this rich inspiring land.
Big Rain Coming by Katrina Germein. Illustrated by Bronwyn Bancroft © 2002
‘Everyone and everything is waiting for the rain.’ Old Stephen watches the clouds and predicts when the rain will arrive. It doesn’t arrive and the days and nights become hotter and hotter. The dogs dig themselves into dusty holes, Rosie’s kids sleep under the stars, the children swim in the billabong and the frogs huddle around a leaky tap. Finally the rain arrives!
A fable set in the mangrove swamps of Queensland. The local birds argue over who has the best beak in Boonaroo Bay. A competition is declared to find out which beak is really the best. In the end they realise that there is no “best beak” but that all of the beaks serve a very special individual purpose.
Jane Jolly and Robert Ingpen
- Tea and Sugar Christmas © 2014
For 81 years, from 1915 to 1996, the Tea and Sugar Train travelled from Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie once a week. It serviced the settlements along the Nullarbor Plain, a 1050-long rail link. It was a lifeline. There were no shops or services in these settlements. The train carried everything they needed-household goods, groceries, fruit and vegetables, a butcher’s van, banking facilities and at one time even a theatrette car for showing films. The biggest excitement for the children was the first Thursday of December every year, when Father Christmas travelled the line. He distributed gifts to all the children on the way, including those of railway workers, those in isolated communities, and station kids.
- Radio Rescue! © 2016
A story about a boy who uses their new pedal radio service to get word out that his family needs help. Includes a historical look at the Flying Doctor Srvice and School of the air. Illustrated by Robert Ingpen.
Jackie French and Robert Ingpen
A cattle dog is looking out from his front porch and can smell the rain in the air. At first the rain seems good but then it increases and flooding begins. Everyone is scared and they escape to their roof or boats. The whole town floods. The flood destroys homes and buildings and many people need rescuing. When the water recedes, the community helps clean-up.
Written in rhyming verse this picture book tells the story of an imminent catastrophe as one sparks lights up the bush and people have to evacuate their homes as the monstrous fire devours all that is in its path. A family is trapped and uncertain of escape but they get saved by firefighters who hold the flames back. Whilst their home is destroyed there is a wealth of support and friendship to help them get back on their feet.
Alexander lives with his mother and siblings in the Royal Botanical Gardens on Sydney Harbour’s shoreline. Mother duck decides to take the ducklings for a walk and she tells them to stay close. Alexander does not listen to mother duck and falls down a hole. Many people try to help him out of the hole. Eventually a little boy finds a solution and Alexander is rescued.
This is a simple story, seen through the eyes of a young child, who lives with his family on an Australian farm in the southern states. It has descriptions of their lifestyle and work throughout the months of the year.
A little girl discusses the events that occur on her Australian calendar.
Alison Lester grew up on a farm by the sea in eastern Victoria. My Farm is her story of a memorable year, the year she received a Palomino pony for Christmas. Trick-riding horses, mustering cattle, training the dog, competing at the local show, feeding calves, picking mushrooms, raising a baby wombat, building cubbies, cutting hay, swimming ponies in the dam, hypnotizing chook …all the activities through the seasons are depicted with child-like mischief and humour.
This is such a delightful book. We must have borrowed it from the library 20 times. Two children discover a chest in their grandmother’s attic that helps them discover the mystery of their grandmother’s migrant past.
A child looks back 200 years ago in Australia. Each illustration depicts the little Aboriginal girl and the girl telling the story in the same place but at a different time in history. Set in South Australia along the Murray River. The book is filled with beautiful nature illustrations.
A little girl gets up for the dawn service on Anzac Day and then goes to see her grandfather, a returned soldier, march in the parade. She talks about the events of the day as she sees them. She explains why her grandad marches—and what Anzac Day means—in very simple terms.
Using rhyme, this book visits nine spots in Australia’s outback and wilderness areas.
Moondyne Joe was a bushranger in the 1850’s in Western Australia.
A family sets off on a three month trip around Australia. They see all the sites you would expect them to see. The story is told by Grace, one of the children on the trip.
A home in Sydney, Australia and its inhabitants is traced back 200 years.
Written for the school as a record of history, when white settlers came into central Australia and how that affected the Aboriginal people who lived around the region. *Highly recommended
Grandpa is 84 years old and he tells stories to the children about what it was like when he was a little boy. It’s about the general store, games he played and life on the home front during war times in Australia.
Children’s Book Council of Australia winner.
Set in World War II. Two soldiers, an Australian, and a Japanese, are wounded in combat. Both men think of their families as they lie next to each other wounded. One soldier survives.
Sand Swimmers. The Secret Dead Heart of Australia by Narelle Oliver © 1999
This book traces the journey of Charles Sturt in the outback of Australia. It shows how the explorers struggled with the harsh climate and how the animals who live there cope.
Bilby Moon by Margaret Spurling
A little bilby thinks that half the moon is missing so he enlists his friends to help him find the other half. The book is filled with Australian wildlife.
Out of Print Books – But try your library
To the Goldfields! by Rachel Tonkin © 1997
Life in the Goldfields of Victoria of the 1850’s during the gold rush in Australia.
Nardika Learns to Make a Spear by Chris Fry © 2001 (OOP)
A young Aboriginal boy in Arnhem land makes a spear with his father. Age 4 and up.Northern Territory
(Just out of print but available in the library)
When I was Little, Like You by Mary Malbunka © 2003 (OOP)
Set in central Australia. Mary, an Aboriginal woman, tells about her early life on the Papunya mission station, in the 1959.
I Said Nothing; The Extinction of the Paradise Parrot by Gary Crew ©2003 (OOP)
Harry lives on a sheep station west of Maryborough in Queensland. With the visit of Alex Chisholm, Harry learns that it is not only the action of the trappers who trespass on his lands to catch the wild parrots that endanger the beautiful animals, but that Harry too might be responsible.
Farmer Schulz’s Ducks by Colin Thiele © 1986 (OOP)
Farmer Shultz wants to make a way for his ducks to get across the road to the river. He makes a few attempts. Eventually his daughter comes up with a solution.
This book has gorgeous illustrations and poetic words. If you can get hold of it you will be glad. See here for a unit study based on Farmer Shultz.
When I Was a Kid by Rachel Tonkin © 1997 (OOP)
This book is hysterical! A man looks back on his childhood growing up in the 1950’s.
Puggle by Catriona Hoy © 2001
The story centres on a baby echidna that is taken to a wildlife carer. As Puggle is cared for and grows we also see sick animals nursed back to health. Over time each of the animals are well enough to leave. Some go back into the wild, others are found new homes.
The Pipeline CY O’Conner Built by J Lefroy & D Frylinch © 2003 (OOP)
In Western Australia in 1903 a water pipeline was constructed. This book tells the story.
Bright Star – Gary Crew © 1996 (OOP)
Set in 1881, Australia, NSW, Windsor. Alicia goes to school and meets John Tebbutt, the Australian astronomer, her potential is noticed and Tebbutt invites her to come to his observatory. Ages: 7 upwards
Eureka Stockade by Alan Bordman © 1981 (OOP)
Set in Australia, in the state of Victoria during the Eureka Stockade.
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Fishpond, being an Australian & New Zealand bookseller, tends to stock these books. I have linked the books to their site. I do receive a small commission from the link if you buy, but that has not influenced my choice. Money received goes towards providing more free information for this website.