Australian Children's Books

Hello Everyone!  It's Stephanie from Fishing for Education here and in case you didn't know, I'm originally from Florida, U.S.A.  I moved to Australia in June 2014 and started teaching in Australia that November.

I was doing relief for a few months and was exposed to a variety of "new to me" books.  When I was hired full-time I was exposed to more and found joy in creating lesson plans around some awesome books.

Here are a few books I've really enjoyed along the way!  Hopefully this will help new to the country or new to teaching be exposed to some amazing books.

My Favourite Books

This was the first true Australian book I was exposed to.  I was in a Year 3/4 split class and our History curriculum had us explore early settlers and the impact they had on Australia.  It also focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history.  This is such an AMAZING story. This was great for my Year 3s as it exposed the story and helped explain both sides of the story.  My Year 4s were able to extend their thinking and analyse the story and imagery.  The IMAGERY!  So much detail.  We spent a few days analysing each spread and discussed what they were implying.  

I'm in a Year 4 class this year and my team teacher and I wanted to expose the students to chapter books.  This book has a good 6 chapters, so it wasn't too long for the students.  There are TONS of great vocabulary words related to the time period and boating.  My students were amazed to learn this to be a true story and living in WA they enjoyed the fact they knew what Fremantle was and instantly shouted out "I've been there!"  It has a great theme of courage and determination, not to mention anyone can make a difference.  

We were talking about characters and understanding characters based on actions, thoughts and what they say.  My students were good and understanding fictitious characters.  This book was a great transition into biographies, which we've noticed non-fiction was challenging for our Year 4s.  This book doesn't come off as your typical biography.  The images really seem to come alive as you read and my students thoroughly enjoyed the story.  We then took some time to research more about Banjo Paterson and they were amazed to see him on a $10 note.  (I'm finding myself learning more Australian history than some of my Aussie friends!)  She also has a whole series of famous Australians.  I definitely plan to get some more books in this series.

Here in WA we're now on your School Holidays and ANZAC Day right after our last day of term.  Since the students wouldn't be in school for this day we decided to have our ANZAC service this past Thursday.  We've read a variety of books, but most of my students felt the books to be too sad or overwhelming for them to follow along.  When I read this story I grabbed everyone's attention, even my special needs students who don't like stories about ANZAC as they found it too violent.  The students told me they really enjoyed hearing about the stories just like how the boy in the story did.  We used the books we had read to write about "What is ANZAC Day and why is it important?"  Majority of the writing in my class had information from this book specifically.

I'm still getting exposed to more and more, especially the books on The Children's Book Council of Australia.

What are YOUR favourite Australian Children's Books and why?

I'm sure we ALL would like to learn more about them and be exposed to some amazing books!


  1. I love too many Australian books to count - anything by Mem Fox and Jackie French and Margaret Wild and Shaun Tan. Special mentions to The Red Tree by Shaun Tan, Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox, Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French. But really, that's not even a fraction of my favourites (just he ones I can think of off the top of my head)!

    Miss Galvin Learns

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