Looking for fun new books to share with your child? Look no further!
Cover of a book showing a collage of a mopoke owl
Ages 3 to 5 , Ages 6 to 8 , Award Winners , Featured / February 1, 2017

Mopoke. By Philip Bunting, Scholastic, 2017. ‘This is a Mopoke. Mopoke loves peace and quiet. He is about to find out that you can’t always get what you want.’ Mopokes love the peace and quiet, but this little mopoke doesn’t really get much of that! Mopoke. is such a funny little story that even adults will enjoy it. Philip Bunting tells a tale with pictures and minimal text, but this book is definitely visually quirky with a hysterical tale to tell. Using as few words as possible, this author-illustrator has enjoyed a play on the word mopoke, and poked all manner of things! This book should become a classic. NB: A mopoke is a southern Australian boobook owl. It is Australia’s smallest and most common owl species. Awards Honours for The Picture Book of the Year 2018 by Children’s Book Council of Australia. Shortlisted for: Crichton Award for New Illustrators 2018 by Children’s Book Council of Australia. Longlisted for: Kate Greenaway Medal 2018. Indie Book Awards. Best Designed Children’s Illustrated Book 2018 by Australian Book Design Awards. Picture Book of the Year 2018 by Australian Book Industry Awards. Finalist for: Best Children’s Books 2017 by The Guardian. 

Cover of a book showing a little girl watching a rabbit
The Great Rabbit Chase
Ages 6 to 8 / January 9, 2017

The Great Rabbit Chase By Freya Blackwood, Scholastic Australia, 2017. ‘A story that celebrates what it means to live in a community and a reminder that life is full of surprises.’ Are you looking for a rabbit book for your kids? The Great Rabbit Chase tells the story of Gumboots, a much-loved rabbit who is an escape artist. An adventure ensues one day when Gumboots escapes from the yard. The whole neighbourhood becomes involved in the search for Gumboots. The story is told from the little girl’s perspective, and we never do find out what her name is. The Great Rabbit Chase is beautifully illustrated in soft watercolour and pencil. The endpapers include an innovative board game that will add to the experience your child will have with this lovely book. Awards Honours for The Picture Book of the Year 2018 by Children’s Book Council of Australia.

Cover of a book showing a drawing of a rabbit wearing glasses and losing his mind
Rodney Loses It!
Ages 6 to 8 , Award Winners , Featured / January 9, 2017

Rodney Loses It! By Michael Gerard Bauer and Chrissie Krebs, Scholastic Australia, 2017. ‘Rodney was a rabbit who loved nothing more than drawing. He never found it tiresome, tedious or boring. But then one day, disaster struck! The one thing Rodney feared, while working at his drawing desk his pen just… DISAPPEARED! ‘ Rodney Loses It! is by far and away one of my favourite reads in a long time. I LOVE THIS BOOK! Rodney loves to draw. He draws all day and all night. However, Rodney finds himself in all sorts of trouble when his favorite pen, Penny, goes missing. Follow Rodney’s journey as he searches high and low for Penny. I also love it when the illustrations show the reader something that the character in the story doesn’t know. Your child will know more than Rodney during this story, which is something that will delight children. A very clever read with a funny surprise ending! Download some teacher’s notes. View some literacy activities. Awards The Book of the Year: Early Childhood 2018 by Children’s Book Council of Australia.

Cover of a book with a little girl climbing up a windmill, a dog at her feet, and the dry earth all around
All I Want for Christmas is Rain
Ages 6 to 8 , Australiana / November 1, 2016

All I Want for Christmas is Rain By Cori Brooke and Megan Forward, New Frontier Publishing, 2016. ‘For our Drought-affected Australian farmers, their children and families. Thank you for feeding Australia.’ – CB ‘For our farmers: we need you.’ – MF Jane lives on a farm, and her parent’s farm hasn’t seen rain for a long time. She wishes and hopes for rain and hatches a plan to ask ‘the great bearded man’ for help. Will her wish be granted? All I Want for Christmas is Rain portrays a real issue facing many Australian farmers and all Australians from time to time. Follow Jane on her quest to as Santa for help. If you’re looking for Australian kids books, then look no further than this little gem! It teaches our children about real issues that are being experienced by Australian farmers in different parts of the country at different times. Awards Shortlisted for The Book of the Year: Early Childhood 2017 by Children’s Book Council of Australia.

Cover of a book with a watercolour painted wombat walking in snow
The Snow Wombat
Ages 6 to 8 , Australiana / October 1, 2016

The Snow Wombat By Susannah Chambers and Mark Jackson, Allen & Unwin, 2016. ‘Snow on the stockman’s hut. Snow on the crows. Snow on the woollybutt. Snow on my…NOSE!’ Everywhere The Snow Wombat travels there is snow Snow SNOW! Wamble with the snow wombat as he discovers many things as he journeys towards his home. He passes the robin, the gums, the riverbank. He passes skiers and the possum’s tail until he reaches his burrow. You can also trace the wombat’s journey by following his path on the endpapers at the front and end of the book. I love how some books are now utilising the endpapers for added interest. Another book that has done this really well is The Great Rabbit Chase. The endpapers in that book form an actual board game! This is a really beautiful bedtime story, and at the end of the book, the wombat goes to… Awards Shortlisted for The Book of the Year: Early Childhood 2017 by Children’s Book Council of Australia.

Cover of a book with a drawing of an old fashioned camera with random bits and pieces around it
One Photo
Ages 6 to 8 / August 29, 2016

One Photo By Ross Watkins and Liz Anelli, Penguin Books Australia, 2016. “A poignant story about love, loss and legacy; one son, one family, one photo.” This is not your usual glossy covered picture book. It has a matte-finish cover and has a retro storybook feel. In the story we see Dad taking photos of the strangest things, using a newly purchased old-fashioned camera with old-fashioned film that he has to take to the old store in the city to be developed. But Dad doesn’t photograph his family, rather he photographs the everyday items that form his world. He photographs the things he didn’t want to forget. The son and the mother are upset that he doesn’t photograph them. They don’t understand. One Photo follows the journey of one family who is struggling to come to terms with the father’s Alzheimer’s disease. This is such a beautiful story. It is helpful for dealing with loss, and shows a loving, hopeful side. The illustrations are textured, colourful, and plentiful, and offer a visual feast for the inquisitive mind. Awards Shortlisted for The Picture Book of the Year 2017 by Children’s Book Council of Australia. One Photo Book Trailer 

Cover of a book with a furry horned creature stands holding his arm around his invisible brother
My Brother
Ages 6 to 8 / July 18, 2016

My Brother By Dee Huxley, Oliver Huxley and Tiffany Huxley, Working Title Press, 2016. ‘When a gentle creature sets out to search for a lost brother, we are taken on an ethereal journey across land and sea to strange, beautiful and faraway places.’ The black and white illustrations are reminiscent of the artist, Escher. They are soft and sensitive, and on the last page, we end with a full-colour illustration of the gentle creature and his brother in a boat together. My Brother is a sad story, but the subject is handled with such care and attempts to present a positive side to a devastating reality. Teacher notes are available. Awards Shortlisted for The Picture Book of the Year 2017 by Children’s Book Council of Australia.

Cover of a book with an illustration showing a birdseye view of a boat with people on it and a mother and child holding a yellow ribbon over the ocean. The ribbon spells the word OUT
Ages 6 to 8 / June 1, 2016

Out By Angela May George and Owen Swan, Scholastic Press, 2016. I’m called an asylum seeker, but that’s not my name. Out is the moving story of a little girl and her mother who have fled from danger in their homeland. They travel by boat on a long and perilous journey to seek asylum in a new and safe land. This story is timely and celebrates how the human spirit can triumph even through the darkest times. The little girl and her mother build a new life and await the arrival of the little girl’s father at the end of the story. Awards Shortlisted: The Picture Book of the Year by Children’s Book Council of Australia, 2017.

Cover of a book with a painted and stylised magpie surrounded by indigenous dot paintings
Mad Magpie

Mad Magpie By Gregg Dreise, Magabala Books, 2016. ‘Stay calm like the surface of the water, yet strong like its current.’ This beautiful masterpiece is both written and illustrated by a descendant of the Kamilaroi and Yuwalayaay people of the north-west New South Wales and the south-west Queensland areas, and published by Magabala, the oldest independent Indigenous publishing house in Australia. Mad Magpie is a richly illustrated artistic masterpiece that integrates the author’s indigenous Gamilaraay language in the names of the animals that we meet throughout the book! Guluu is an angry magpie who has been teased by a group of butcher birds. In turn, Guluu has been swooping down and attacking other animals. We learn about why Guluu is so angry and what has been happening to him. The Elders teach Guluu how to deal with the mean butcher birds and not become angry when they tease him. Mad Magpie is a story about overcoming adversity and standing strong in the face of difficulty. I hope that if you are from a country other than Australia, that you would still consider buying this book. You and your child will learn a little about Australia’s ancient past, as well as…

Cover of a book showing a drawn magpie flying out of soup
There’s a Magpie in my Soup
Ages 6 to 8 , Australiana / April 5, 2016

There’s a Magpie in my Soup By Sean Farrar and Pat Kan, Big Spy Publishing, 2016. There’s a Magpie in my Soup takes a very different look at Australian animals. Some little creatures great and small, all over your house they will crawl! Into your soup, into your cake, even into your loo! There are animals everywhere, what do we do? I loved the cover and title of this book, but I felt that the text and subsequent illustrations left me wanting. My 12-year-old niece really enjoyed this book and gave it 10/10 for text, later changing her opinion to 7.5/10. She thinks it is a very smart story, but said, ‘it is smart while not very smart’. Some parts are good but some are boring. She didn’t like it as much as Rodney Loses It! But then again, I think she changed her mind after I shared what I thought of the book. Her first impression was that she loved it. So, there you go…maybe this is a book only the young mind appreciates! Download colouring in sheets for this title. Other titles by this author: There’s a Koala in my Kitchen