The Ultimate Guide to the best Australian Picture Books

Toddler Looking at Books

This post is written in partnership with the State Library of Queensland

Has your child read these beautiful Australian children’s books? They include some classic books you may remember from your own childhood as well as some more recent ones.

Sharing stories together with your child gives their brain development a boost and helps to build their relationship with you. And remember – if they don’t feel like reading all the way to the end or just want to talk about the pictures, they still receive the wonderful benefits of reading.

First 5 Forever

Did you know that up to 90% of a child’s brain development happens in the first 5 years? Research shows the first five years last a lifetime and that young child learn best by interacting with the important adults in their lives during everyday activities. Talk, read, sing and play with your child from birth to build a strong foundation for your child’s future development.

First 5 Forever is an initiative of the Queensland Government, coordinated by State Library of Queensland and delivered in partnership with local government. Since launching in 2015 there have been more than 2.5 million attendances at First 5 Forever activities in public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres across Queensland.

Our Favourite Australian Picture Books

Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek. Whether its the repetitive nature of the book that keeps them entertained or the funny expressions of the sheep, Where is the Green Sheep is a childhood staple. 

where is the greens heep

Magic Beach by Alison Lester. Anything can happen at Magic Beach if it even existed in the first place. Fun and busy images make for a captivating book for pre-readers. 

magic beach alison lester

Grug by Ted Prior. Once the top of a Burrawang tree fell to the ground and became … Grug! Such a weird little creature, with simple but meaningful stories. 

grug by ted prior

There’s a sea in my bedroom by Margaret Wild. For the child who longs to be at the sea. A story about a child who is transported to the ocean via a conch shell in his room. 

there is a sea in my bedroom

Where the Forest Meets The Sea by Jeanie Baker. More than a story, this book is a masterpiece of mixed media in illustration. It is a story which highlights the incredible natural world around us, both present-day and historical, whilst also showing kids the importance of caring for the environment we have. 

where the firest meets the sea

John Brown Rose and the Midnight Cat by Jenny Wagner. An iconic tale with illustrations that colour the story which is complex and thought-provoking. A tale of an old lady who wants for some company of a midnight cat much to the dismay of her loyal sheepdog.

John Brown Rose and the midnight cat

Edward the Emu by Sheena Knowles and Rod Clement. Poor Edward is not a happy Emu but a journey of self-discovery helps him to overcome his sadness and become content with who he is. 

edward the emu

Possum Magic by Mem Fox. The heartwarming story of a possum made invisible by her grandmother. 

possum magic

Wombat Stew by Marcia Vaughan. The story of a naughty dingo who captures a wombat to make wombat stew.

wombat stew

The Rainbow Serpent by Dick Roughsey. when a rainbow is seen in the sky it is supposed to be the Rainbow Serpent travelling from one waterhole to another.

the rainbow serpent book

Our Land by National Gallery of Australia. Introduces pre-schoolers to the art of Indigenous Australias and the importance of caring for our land. 

our land childrens book

Greetings from Sandy Beach by Bob Graham A celebration of summer holidays at the beach

sandy beach childrens book

Gary by Leila Rudge. A story for birds who dare to dream. When Gary takes a holiday in his dreams. 

gary childrens book

Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley The adventures of Mothball the Wombat are as entertaining as the facial expressions the illustrator manages to convey. 

diary of a wombat

Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs. Childhoods have been made richer because of the delightful tales of Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie and the villainous Banksia Men.

snugglepot and cuddlepie

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox and Julie Vivas. The story of a young boy who helps an older friend to regain some of her memory. 

wildfrid gordon kids book

Koala Lou by Mem Fox. A tale of a koala who trains for Olympic stardom to try to get attention from her parents.

koala lou kids book

The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. 4 animals dare to disturb a cranky bear in his cave. 

The very cranky bear kids book

All through the year by Jane Godwin. A year in the life of an Australian family, month by month. 

all through the year

Macca the Alpaca by Matt Cosgrove. The tale of Macca the Alpaca and his encounter with a llama. 

macca the alpaca

First 5 Forever activities happen across Brisbane libraries every single week. To find an activity near you head to the First 5 Forever website

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