It’s Book Week – a chance for schools, libraries and parents to get kids excited about reading. Many school libraries across the country host book fairs, classes and special activities to bring books to life and reiterate the importance of reading from a young age.
If you want to start reading more with your children and are not quite sure where to begin, take a hint from our top 8 children’s books by Aussie authors … they’re sure to rekindle a few fond memories from your own childhood.
1. Possum Magic – Mem Fox
Grandma Pos uses bush magic to turn young one, Hush, invisible. After realising that being invisible isn’t everything she’d hoped for, Hush and Grandma Pos set out on a journey across Australia to find magic food that can make Hush visible again.
2. Where the Forest Meets the Sea – Jeannie Baker
This story tells of the harrowing destruction of a Northern Queensland rainforest due to a growing civilisation. Where the Forest Meets the Sea is a beautiful and educational visual journey that uses vibrant collage to illustrate the changing landscape of Australia.
3. Are We There Yet? A Journey Around Australia – Alison Lester
Award winning children’s author and illustrator, Alison Lester, tells the true and funny story about the time her family went on a road trip around Australia.
4. Snugglepot and Cuddlepie – May Gibbs
Perhaps one of the most iconic Australian children’s novels of all time, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie was first published in 1918 and chronicles the gumnut babies’ journey to escape the evil Banksia Men.
5. The Eleventh Hour – Graeme Base
The Eleventh Hour is a mystery story that invites readers to solve the case of who ate the birthday cake? The rhyming text and intricate illustrations provide clues that must be cracked in order to solve the mystery.
6. Wombat Stew – Marcia Vaughan and Pamela Lofts
Wombat Stew, probably best known among primary school theatre circles, is a story about a dingo who catches a wombat and intends to turn him into a stew. The dingo receives cooking advice from his fellow native bush friends who, unbeknownst to the dingo, are actually trying to save the wombat.
7. The Watertower – Gary Crew
The Watertower is a picture book suitable for older kids. The book explores a fantasy set around a dilapidated watertower. The supporting illustrations are a little darker than most children’s books, made from chalk and paint on black paper and textured board.
8. Blinky Bill: The Quaint Little Australian – Dorothy Wall
Although Dorothy Wall was born in New Zealand, she lived in Australia for most of her adult life and used the landscape and native animals as inspiration to create Blinky Bill, a mischievous koala who continuously gets in trouble with teachers and friends. This much-loved classic was turned into a cartoon series in the 90s and is set to become a feature film in the coming years.