Looking for fun new books to share with your child? Look no further!
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

Cover of a book showing a drawing of a magpie in a tree looking up with his beak open and blue sky in the background
Magpie Learns a Lesson
Ages 6 to 8 , Australiana / February 1, 2015

Magpie Learns a Lesson By Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina, and illustrated by Tania Erzinger, Omnibus Books, Scholastic, 2015. ‘Two friends, Magpie and Brown Falcon, have different talents. But magpie is cross that she can’t fly like Brown Falcon and plays tricks on her friend.’ What a naughty little magpie this one is! Magpie Learns a Lesson, a very big lesson indeed! Two birds; two sides of a story. Magpie and Brown Falcon share the same forest, and one might call them friends; however, magpie has a different view. If you’re familiar with the story of the boy who cried wolf, then you’ll understand this story. It has a hint of tall poppy syndrome too, because magpie tries to bring Brown Falcon down. Brown Falcon looks up to Magpie. He loves the warble of this songbird and enjoys listening to it through the forest. Brown Falcon admires Magpie and rejoices in his songs, while Magpie if filled with envy of the great heights Brown Falcon can soar to, and the distances he can see from up there. Magpie is so jealous of his friend the Brown Falcon, that he tricks him repeatedly to make him feel bad. He puts out traps…

Cover of a book showing a drawing of a dalmation dog and a magpie plaing in a garden
Dotty and the Magpie
Ages 6 to 8 , Australiana / February 1, 2015

Dotty and the Magpie By Jackie Wells and Dana Brown, Little Steps Publishing, 2015. Dotty the Dalmatian wishes she was brightly coloured! Dotty and the Magpie is a delightful little book about a dalmatian dog who wishes that her spots were many different brightly coloured spots. One day she meets a magpie who takes her out into the world to see all the different things around the town that are black and white. Together Dotty and the Magpie walk over a zebra crossing, visit a racetrack and attend an orchestral performance where the pianist plays on black and white keys. Finally, they visit the aquarium where Dotty meets a black and white killer whale. When they return home, Dotty is no longer full of sighs and is met by a huge surprise. This journey into the world helps Dotty appreciate the colours that she has, so that she is happy with who she is and what she has, and doesn’t want to be something else. I think this is a strong message to send to kids to help them accept themselves for who they are, because let’s face, you can’t be anyone you’re not!  

Marlo Can Fly
Ages 3 to 5 , Ages 6 to 8 , Australiana / June 1, 2013

Marlo Can Fly By Robert Vescio and Sandra Temple, Wombat Books, 2013. Everyone expects Marlo to fly, but she would rather slither like a snake, hop like a kangaroo and swim like a crocodile. But when someone needs her help, can she still rise to the challenge? I don’t know about you, but I love a magpie…and what a delightful little magpie story this is. Marlo Can Fly is about Marlo Magpie, a little bird who just wanted to be different. Marlo thinks she doesn’t need to fly like the other birds, so instead she sings through the forest. Marlo really wants to be different. Kandy the kookaburra tries to explain that Marlo is a bird, and birds fly…it’s just what they do. Marlo meets several Australian animals and reptiles in the bush and tries to mimic their movements, but fails each time. Then she meets Kev the baby koala who has lost his mother and really needs Marlo’s help. How does Marlo help little Kev? Read Marlo Can Fly and find out! This story encourages kids to explore and discover themselves to find out who they really are and where they fit in this world.

Cover of a book with a painted magpie with something in its beak, and grey dog and another character
Ages 3 to 5 , Ages 6 to 8 , Australiana / May 1, 2010

Magpie By Luke Davies and Inari Kiuru, ABC Books, 2010. A father and son embark on an epic journey, an intrepid adventure. Magpie attacks are a strong reality in Australia during the springtime. This story is based on a mostly true story of the author’s experience of being swooped by a magpie as a youth. Yes, another story about swooping magpies! In this adaptation, we follow the main character and his father (both dogs) down ‘Minnamurra Avenue. The bush. The creek. Looking for Magpie. It depicts a lovely relationship between a father and son, where the father will go to great lengths to show his son that he loves him and will protect him from bad things. Many pages occur without text, which allows your child to use their imagination to fill in the blanks.

Cover of a book with a photograph of a magpie on a branch
Magpie’s Gift
Ages 3 to 5 , Ages 6 to 8 , Australiana / October 1, 2005

Magpie’s Gift By Rebecca Johnson and Steve Parish, Pascal Press, 2006. Mr Magpie searches high and low for items that he can give to Mrs Magpie to help build a nest. Magpie’s Gift brings us a lovely magpie story. I really quite enjoyed this story, even though it is a bit twee, but it also quite sweet. Mr Magpie finds a piece of blue wool that he wants to give to Mrs Magpie as a gift for her nest, but a bowerbird gets to it first. A friendly numbat advises Mr Magpie that he should try asking the bowerbird for the wool, but says he should take something blue to exchange for the wool. Mr Magpie takes a blue clothes peg and manages to succeed in obtaining the blue wool for his wife. I think there is some gender confusion as sometimes on pages talking about Mrs Magpie, a male magpie is photographed. Overall a sweet story with great pictures of magpies.  

Cover of a book with an illustration of a magpie in a tree
Waddle Giggle Gargle!
Ages 3 to 5 , Australiana / November 1, 1996

Waddle Giggle Gargle! By Pamela Allen, Puffin Books, 1996. ‘Waddle giggle gargle paddle poodle’ shouts the magpie. Waddle Giggle Gargle! tells the story of how Grandma, Grandpa, and Jonathon struggle to get past the dive-bombing magpie to get to where they’re going until they have an idea! They live in a little blue house at the end of the street and have to pass a magpie on their way to work, the library and school. The magpie is protecting its next from any danger, and Grandma, Grandpa, and Jonathon seem to get into all sorts of swooping trouble. There is some rhythm to the text, and a little repetition. The words the magpie repeats, ‘waddle giggle gargle paddle poodle’ is quite cute. Grandma, Grandpa, and Jonathon come up with a wonderful solution to keep the swooping magpie away. An endearing Australian story.