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

Saturday 25 July 2020

News: National Centre for Australian Children's Literature New Free Resource Announcement

The National Centre for Australian Children's Literature are truly champions of Australian children’s books. Founded in 1974 by the remarkable, Lu Rees, it houses a unique collection of books, artwork, ephemera and author and illustrator research files, with an aim to collect, document, preserve and share Australian children books and literature.

Now, The National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature has produced a new Resource that celebrates children’s books by and about Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Stage 1, funded and supported by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment, offers a range of books for children aged from birth to twelve years. These are offered for consideration and selection according to individual needs and interests. Each book is annotated and includes related resources to explore the book in many ways.

Publisher Magabala Books
This Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander Peoples Resource database is the freely available, due to launch at the end of this month. Here are some of the highlights and what to expect from the database. You can also access this superb resource via our KBR Resources page under, Friends of KBR and or via our Education and Literacy articles. 


The United Nations observed 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The aim of this year was to raise awareness of the consequences of the growing loss of Indigenous languages across the world and to establish a link between language, development, peace, and reconciliation. The National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature (NCACL) is contributing to this focus by celebrating and promoting children’s books by and about Australia’s Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander Peoples, including books in Indigenous languages.

As Dr Belle Alderman of the NCACL states, 'Our aim has been to discover these books, provide information about them and identify resources that explore and expand them.' 


This Resource has been created by a team of knowledgeable people chosen by NCACL including, Aboriginal People and culturally diverse individuals of various ages, sexes, backgrounds and wide-ranging expertise. Individuals included teachers, teacher librarians, public librarians, parents, professionals in early learning and childcare centres, principals, publishers, editors, reviewers, booksellers, authors, illustrators, researchers and academics with knowledge of Australian children’s literature and literacy.

Publisher Walker Books Australia
Searching Resources

This Resource includes books aimed at children from birth through  twelve years, while recognising that some of these books are also accessible to an older age range. Stage 2 of this resource hopes to expand the coverage of books to include those suitable for young people through to secondary school years.

The NCACL researched and identified over 350 children’s books by and about Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander Peoples, published between 1974 and 2020 for young people from birth through twelve years of age. Each book in this Resource can be researched using a range of search filters listed below. Free text searching is also available. Collections of related books can be retrieved then shared with colleagues by using a combination of search filters listed below.

· bibliographic details

· subjects for each book

· audience including age range

· annotation highlighting content

· creators’ cultural background

· story location and/or community information

· language(s), as appropriate to individual books

· identification of writing techniques and styles

· artistic media and technique

· curriculum links for the Early Years Learning Framework

· curriculum links for the Australian Curriculum

· teaching and other information resources related to the book

Publisher Fremantle Press

This Resource will be useful for Indigenous and non-Indigenous parents, caregivers, home schooling groups, teachers, librarians and others working with young people in childcare centres, early learning centres, health, social services and elsewhere. The Resource will be particularly useful to teachers addressing the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the Australian Curriculum as well as those adults exploring creative writing and art with young people. Researchers, academics, publishers, authors, illustrators, booksellers, and organisations bringing children and books together will find the Resource useful. Young people too may find this resource useful for locating books for particular interests and school assignments.

Content and Style

The NCACL Resource aims to be comprehensive, provide information about these books and identify resources that explore and expand them. The content of these books varies widely. Different cultural practices are presented, a variety of Aboriginal languages included, and different communities presented with daily lives unique to a particular area.

This collection includes many stories and tales that are representative of the richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s culture, and their Dreaming and teaching stories, which form an important part of the collection. Included are wide-ranging storytelling techniques and presentation styles to engage and inform the reader. There are picture books, verse, verse novels, short stories, graphic novels, historical works, fantasy, allegories, memoirs, biographies, autobiographies, readers and nonfiction. Sometimes a mixture of these is present within a single book. Settings, time periods and cultural practices also feature thus providing additional perspectives on characters’ lives and their culture.

In creating these books, authors and illustrators have used a wide variety of styles and media. These include photographs, postcards, relics, artefacts, artworks, manuscripts, historical records, interviews, posters, diagrams, maps, letters, glossaries of terms and language and other material related to the story. Wide-ranging artistic styles and media also feature.


The NCACL invites you to search their Resource and discover the wealth of material available.