Looking for fun new books to share with your child? Look no further!
Cover of a book showing a sad girl in a paper boat looking at a single red floating leaf
The Red Tree
Ages 6 to 8 / October 1, 2001

The Red Tree By Shaun Tan, Hachette Australia, 2001. ‘sometimes the day begins with nothing to look forward to’ The Red Tree is a beautifully illustrated story about depression. The story opens with a little girl sitting up in bed. She is sad and brown leaves fall in her room, and then so many dead leaves fill her room so that you can’t see her bed anymore. There is one bright red leaf in each picture though. A leaf of hope. She just can’t see the red, living leaf, but this leaf offers a good look-and-find element to the book. She is overwhelmed by her feelings of sadness and depression. She walks the streets with her head hung low and the weight of the world on her shoulders. The world appears to reflect her sadness and hopelessness. She is engulfed in turmoil, and she watches all the wonderful things passing her by. She feels so lost until suddenly she sees the red leaf, that glimmer of hope, and it grows and grows and grows. Download the Teacher Resource.

Cover of a book showing a large ship and some British soldiers on the shore - stylised
The Rabbits
Ages 6 to 8 , Award Winners , Educational / December 31, 1998

The Rabbits By John Marsden and Shaun Tan, Lothian Children’s Books, 1998. ‘A rich and haunting allegory for all ages, all cultures.’ This book provides a very different perspective on the effect of humans on the environment through a clever metaphorical take on invasion. The Rabbits offers the true story of Australia’s dark history, and uses animals to describe the story. The analogy of rabbits invading the land and causing problems for the original inhabitants softens the reality of the way the situation really was. The Rabbits offers a visual feast of an intriguing, mystical and futuristic land. It is truly an illustrative masterpiece; you’ll feel like you’re in a Daliesque gallery. My 12-year-old niece wasn’t so keen on the illustrations, because she thought they weren’t easy to understand as they imitate life, but are not realistic, so to speak. She thinks it’s maybe more suitable for an older child. She wasn’t aware of the underlying message and needed it explained to her. The Rabbits could provide an opportunity for parents to explain Australia’s dark history to their children in a way that they can understand. Awards Picture Book of the Year, Children’s Book Council of Australia, 1999. Aurealis Conveners’…

Cover of a book showing a drawing of a possum surrounded by the mess he created in a house.
Possum in the House
Ages 3 to 5 , Ages 6 to 8 , Australiana / December 1, 1986

Possum in the House By Kiersten Jensen and Tony Oliver, Childerset, 1986. ‘There’s a possum in the house and he’s hiding in the pantry.’ Possum finds himself inside the house! Possum is making a terrible mess. No-one can catch possum! We follow Mum and Dad who are chasing a Possum in the House. The house is turned upside down as the possum wreaks havoc through every room of the house, and even finds himself inside the toilet bowl! While the house is destroyed, the possum, leaving behind a trail of destruction, finally comes to rest on the child’s bed. The whole family see him and think he’s cute and cuddly, and they leave him there to rest. This book has lyrical repetition with Mum’s ‘Shriek ‘Shriek’ and Dad’s ‘Oh Drat’. This is a Page-turner book right to the very end when we come to rest on the child’s bed.

Cover of a book showing a sail boat and a monster under some palm trees
Where The Wild Things Are
Ages 6 to 8 , Award Winners , Classics / April 9, 1963

Where The Wild Things Are By Maurice Sendak, first published by Harper and Row, 1963. But the wild things cried, “Oh please don’t go – we’ll eat you up – we love you so!” This is an all-time classic and special favourite of mine. Where The Wild Things Are, goes down in history as one of the greatest books written for children. I love this book! We follow Max on a journey of adventure and intrigue, where he learns to look his fears in eye, stand up for himself and conquer his fears. Your child’s imagination will expand with Max’s. The Where the Wild Things Are book is an absolute must for your bookshelf! Special note: My 12-year-old niece thinks this book would be more appealing to boys than girls. Awards Winner: Caldecott Medal, Most Distinguished Picture book of the Year, 1964. Where The Wild Things Are Toys Extend the hours of enjoyment you child will have with this book by supporting it with dress up costumes and toys. If your child loves Max, there are Max plush toys, or if your child prefers the monsters, there are many of those as well. Having a Where The Wild Things Are…