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The latest and greatest in Australian children’s books

Move over Possum Magic and Wombat Stew, a new wave of Australian children’s books has hit the shelves.

Mother reading with child |

Sept. 8 is International Literacy Day so it is time to make a renewed vow to be intentional when it comes to reading and our kids.

Did you know:

  • One in five people worldwide is illiterate.
  • There are over 60 million children worldwide who don’t get the opportunity to go to school.
  • Recent studies have found that over 40 per cent of Australian adults have the lowest level of literacy skills.
  • Girls continue to outperform boys in literacy tasks at school.
  • According to the Young Australian’s Reading Survey, an increasing number of children see reading as irrelevant.

Is your child a reluctant reader? Keep these tips in mind:

You can do your part to support International Literacy Day by starting a reading club or donating some of your old books to your local school or charity organisation. You can also support Australian authors by purchasing one of these new titles that have made the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Short List.
  • Lead by example. When you love reading, your kids will see reading as a valuable activity and be more likely to give it a chance.
  • Get involved. The benefit of parents reading to their children has been well noted and recent research found that when fathers in particular get involved, it can significantly improve children’s literacy skills.
  • Stay in the know. Find out what your child is interested in and suggest relevant titles. Research shows that boys like to read escapism, humour, science fiction, sports and books that are part of a series.
  • Is your child a visual learner? A kindle or ebook may be the best medium for them to read on.

More tips to encourage your kids to read >>

Try these new Aussie titles

Python by Christopher Cheng | by Christopher Cheng (author) and Mark Jackson (illustrator)

Non-fiction for early primary school

A captivating look at the daily adventures of a python through a mix of facts, narrative and illustrations. This book won’t overwhelm the reader with information, but it does go into some of the gory details — particularly about the python’s meal — that boys in particular will love.

Topsy-turvy World by Kirsty Murray | World: How Australian animals puzzled early explorers by Kirsty Murray

Non-fiction for middle to upper primary school

Take a closer look at Australian animals through the eyes of early explorers as they try to work out what kind of animals this strange new land has. The author dramatises these encounters in a fresh and exciting way and then contrasts it with more current and accurate facts about the animals and their habitats.

Classic books to read with your child >>

Pookie Aleera by Steven Herrick | Aleera is Not My Boyfriend by Steven Herrick

Fiction novel for middle to upper primary school

This book takes a humorous and realistic look at school life through the perspective of different students. Written in verse, this sweet and amusing book cries out to be read aloud with your kids. Despite the title, this is a great read for boys as it is written in small, manageable chunks and has a great rhythm.

The Coat by Julie Hunt | Coat by Julie Hunt (author) and Ron Brooks (illustrator)

Fiction picture book for early to middle primary school

An original and fantastical story about a magic coat wasting away as a scarecrow in a field until a man decides to put it on and its power springs to life. The beautiful illustrations complement the text and draw the reader in to an imaginative world they won’t want to leave.

The Terrible Suitcase by Emma Allen | Terrible Suitcase by Emma Allen (author) and Freya Blackwood (illustrator)

Picture book for pre-school to early primary school

This delightfully illustrated picture book tells the story of a little girl who isn’t looking forward to her first day of school. She hates that her suitcase makes her different from all the other students who are carrying backpacks and it is set to ruin her day until she realises that it helps her make friends and have fun.

Tell us

Have you read any Australian children’s books lately? What titles or authors would you recommend?

More ways to invest in your children

Children’s book activity ideas
Best books to help you through the toddler years
Carving out time with your kids

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