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 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.
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)
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.
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.
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 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.
Tiger Tale is a story about how the Tasmanian Tiger got his stripes and how some Australian animals became extinct. This story has many facets including; riddles, picture searches and nature study. This book is worthy of repeated readings.
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
To the Goldfields! by Rachel Tonkin © 1997
Life in the Goldfields of Victoria of the 1850’s during the gold rush in Australia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The National Anthem of Australia coupled with famous Australian art works such as; Drysdale, Roberts, McCubbin, Preston and Namatjira.
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
Moondyne Joe was a bushranger in the 1850’s in Western Australia.
Eureka Stockade by Alan Bordman © 1981 (OOP)
Set in Australia, in the state of Victoria during the Eureka Stockade.
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.
I Wish I’d Sailed with Captain Cook by Leonie Young ©1993 (OOP)
Tells the life of Captain Cook as a boy and how he ended up being chosen to sail the Endeavour.
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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.