'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Australia Day Book List Part 1 - Picture Books

As our national holiday, Australia Day is a day to reflect on our culture, landscape, identity and community.  Today I will share a long, but by no means comprehensive, list of books that, for me, reflect the diversity, challenges and strengths of our Australian culture. From places and people to events and activities, there is something in each of these books that is intrinsically Australian. These are all titles that I recommend frequently and enthusiastically.

Part 1 of my Australia Day book recommendations focuses on picture books, including some narrative non-fiction and junior non-fiction titles. KBR reviews are linked in the book titles where possible. I’d love for you to share your ‘must read’ Australian picture books in the comments.

A is for Australia by Frane Lessac (Walker Books)

Letters from Melbourne: Making Pictures with the A-B-C by Maree Coote (MelbourneStyle Books)

Why I Love Australia by Bronwyn Bancroft (Little Hare Books)

An Aussie Year: Twelve Months in the Life of Australian Kids by Tania McCartney and Tina Snerling (EK Books)

Mirror by Jeannie Baker (Walker Books)

Howzat! by Mike Lefroy and Liz Anelli (Walker Books)

Alphabetical Sydney by Antonia Pesenti and Hilary Bell (New South Books)

Bob the Railway Dog by Corinne Fenton and Andrew McLean (Black Dog Books)

Remembering Lionsville by Bronwyn Bancroft (Allen & Unwin)

All the Way to W.A. by Roland Harvey (Allen & Unwin)
In the Bush by Roland Harvey (Allen & Unwin)
To the Top End by Roland Harvey (Allen & Unwin)
In the City by Roland Harvey (Allen & Unwin)
At the Beach by Roland Harvey (Allen & Unwin)
On the Farm by Roland Harvey (Allen & Unwin)

Are We There Yet? A Journey Around Australia by Alison Lester (Penguin)

When We Go Walkabout / Yirruwa Yirrilikenuma-langwa by Rhoda Lalara and Alfred Lalara (Allen & Unwin)

Fair Skin Black Fella by Renee Fogorty (Magabala Books)

Lenny and the Big Red Kinan: An Awabakal Language Book by Faith Baisden (Binabar)

Ernie Dances to the Didgeridoo by Alison Lester (Lothian Children's Books)

My Place by Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins (Walker Books)

Australian Kids Through the Years by Tania McCartney and Andrew Joyner (NLA)

Australian Story: An Illustrated Timeline by Tania McCartney (NLA)

Meet Banjo Paterson by Kristin Weidenbach and James Gulliver Hancock (Random House)

Meet Captain Cook by Rae Murdie and Chris Nixon (Random House)

Meet Don Bradman by Coral Vass and Brad Howe (Random House - upcoming release April 2016)

Meet Douglas Mawson by Mike Dumbleton and Snip Green (Random House)

Meet Mary MacKillop by Sally Murphy and Sonia Martinez (Random House)

Meet Nancy Bird Walton by Grace Atwood and Harry Slaghekke (Random House)

Meet Ned Kelly by Janeen Brian and Matt Adams (Random House)

Meet Sidney Nolan by Yvonne Mes and Sandra Eterovic (Random House)

Meet the Anzacs by Claire Saxby and Max Berry (Random House)

Meet Weary Dunlop by Claire Saxby and Jeremy Lord (Random House)

Australia to Z by Armin Greder (Allen & Unwin)

Emu by Claire Saxby and Graham Byrne (Walker Books)
Big Red Kangaroo by Claire Saxby and Graham Byrne (Walker Books)
Platypus by Sue Whiting and Mark Jackson (Walker Books)


  1. Great selection. Add The hottest Dingo also by Coral Vass. Great for kids creative drama.


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