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Nicholas Reece does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above. The academics and the “mummy bloggers” are in furious agreement – reading picture books to children is one of the best things you can do for a child’s development. It also happens to be, in the opinion of this humble author, one of the best things an adult can do for their own development. To fill a young mind with a lasting sense of wonder and teach a child the joy of reading makes a picture book among the most valuable gift you can give. Yet this year’s Christmas stockings seem more likely to be filled with electronic devices and other digital distractions.
Book sales have been in a state of decline in recent years and picture books have not been immune.
Call me nostalgic but I am not sure that the new competitors for children’s attention carry the riches of a book or are the sort of gift that can last a lifetime or change a life.
The fertile field of a child’s imagination makes a picture book a powerful medium - to transport them to an imaginary place, captivate them with magical themes or have them convulsing in stitches of laughter. A well written children’s story allows children to explore their own blossoming emotions and make connections between the book and their own experience in the real world.
In the shadow of that long tradition I have attempted the superficial task of selecting the ten all-time best Australian children’s picture books.
Great children’s books can be beautifully simple while also containing complex ideas and multiple layers. I should also mention that in my children’s affections, this list of Australian stories rank alongside the international classics. So at the risk of causing offence to many, here is a very subjective guide to ten Australian picture stories we don’t want our nation’s kids to leave childhood without having read. An emotional journey into the heart of darkness and hope – set in the searing Australian outback. A boy and a dog jump into a famous Vermeer painting and find themselves transported to seventeenth century Holland – danger, excitement and adventure follows. The exquisite detail of the illustrations will captivate children as they search for hidden objects and alphabetized things. This is a beautiful story about a deep friendship between two children and how they cope following separation. Based on an Aboriginal Dreamtime story, Tiddalick was so thirsty that he drank up all the rivers and billabongs in the land.
Written by one of the greats of Australian children’s literature I chose this book from the almost 40 she has written simply because it happens to be my daughter’s favourite.

The year in politics as seen by Australia’s funniest and most perceptive political cartoonists. The land down under is one of the most unique places you can visit and the fact that you were born and bred in Australia doesn’t necessarily mean that you have experienced everything it has to offer. Of course, every Australian knows that our country has one of the most unique faunas in the world.
Wombat Stew – A funny tale about a dingo who plans to make a meal out of a wombat and all the animals that conspire against him.
The Pumpkin Runner – This is the story of how an eccentric farmer from Blue Gum Creek in Australia who won a 542 mile race. Where the Forest Meets the Sea – This book is set in the rain forest in far North Queensland. The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie - A tale of two gumnut brothers who go on various adventures. You can find other Australian books at Good Reads – Best Australian Literature for Children. I also asked my friend if she had any suggestions of movies the kids and I might watch together. Disclosure:  Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Science Units and PacketsGet our free Science Unit Checklist, plus find dozens of links to our hands-on activities, packets and more! Learning the Multiplication TablesThis post has links to dozens of posts and resources both for new and veteran homeschoolers for everything from finding homeschool curriculum to general homeschool advice and encouragement. Our UnitsJust temporarily, I've made all of our categories available to look at in list form again (rather than using the drop down menu). Packets Available:Below is just a small sample of the packets and resources we have available on our blog. 50+ Page Earth Science Packet How to Make a Shake Table VideoDozens of posts about how to create a homeschool writing workshop. Montessori World Animal Cards3 Types of Rocks Worksheets (Free)A list of helpful homeschool resources. Disclosure NoticeDisclosure: Please note that some of the links in this blog are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
We use a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives licence, so you can republish our articles for free, online or in print. The Wiggles frequently top the annual list of our highest earning entertainers and other global success stories include Bananas in Pyjamas and Play School.

Since 1945 the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) has worked to promote Australian authors and illustrators and engage the community with children’s literature. The acid test is my three daughters – if they don’t love the book then all the critical acclaim in the world does not count a jot. Two of the most popular destinations these days are Bali and Thailand, since people are under the impression that they will get the most for their money’s worth. The great outdoors of Australia are filled with things that you can find only here and nowhere else in the world.
There is really something for everyone and, depending on your personal preferences, you can set up any kind of vacation you want. If you find this to be a bit too tiring, you can always go for a visit to the Zoo and every major city in Australia has a world-class Zoo they take pride in. While searching to make Possum visible again they travel around Australia and try Australian foods like lamingtons and Anzac biscuits.
After spending the day gathering oysters, a young aboriginal girl and her siblings venture into the dangerous Eastern Swamp. The author explores the consequences of introducing non-native plants (Rosy Dock) to the area. A Journey Around Australia – A friend gave us this book as we were leaving Australia. This probably tells us something about the sorts of stories we tell our children and how in turn we understand our country. He has edited collections from some of Australia’s finest political cartoonists, including Alan Moir, Bruce Petty, Bill Leak, Matt Golding, and Judy Horacek.
Sure, people say that there is no animal in Australia that cannot kill you but this is far from true. If your children have spent their whole lives living in a big city, it might be a good idea to visit a farm in order to introduce them to that kind of life. The rest of the world sees Australia as one of the more unique traveling and holiday destinations in the world but Australians are convinced that they need to go somewhere more exotic in order to have a fun, relaxing and unique vacation.

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