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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. Despite the negative press, Pokemon Go should be approached with an open mind when it comes to student education. Pick the best book worm clip art and use it to design a poster that you can hang in the school library to encourage reading of books. Contact us with a description of the clipart you are searching for and we'll help you find it. We all remember Cady’s revelation at the end of the comedy Mean Girls when she realizes that criticizing Carolyn Craft for her bushy eyebrows and outfit that looks like it’s been picked out by “a blind Catholic school teacher” wasn’t going to help her solve the math problem in front of her for the North Shore Mathletes competition; that calling someone else ugly won’t make you any prettier, and calling someone else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Not a day goes by that we don’t hear each other, our roommates, our best friends, strangers talking a table over, criticizing and complaining about their own bodies and constantly making comparisons to others. In a country that has the highest rates of both obesity and eating disorders in the world, we need to look at the messages our society is sending its young people about what we value in ourselves and other people. Spewing hateful words and insults about other girls is not going to make anyone in the room better looking. When Stella Boonshoft, a full-figured student in New York, boldly posted a picture of herself in a bikini on Facebook in October of 2012, the post went viral, even receiving recognition from Brandon Stanton, creator of the Humans of New York project, who used the picture in a collection of street portraits across the city. My question is, why have we ingrained into our society that it’s worth our time to speak words of hate at other people because of their weight?  Why, with all of our jobs, and school work, and responsibilities, do we still make time in the afternoon to make a cruel comment to a teenage girl making a brave statement meant to empower women of all sizes? And how did we become a society that sparked Stella Boonshoft to write these words at the bottom of her caption: “MOST OF ALL, this picture is for me.
There are currently over 90,000 comments on this picture. If we have so much to say, it’s time that we use our words to empower each other and create an environment where the young girls after us won’t have to grow up making an enemy of their own bodies.
Your body is changing, your belly is growing and soon you will be ready to welcome your little one into the world.
Any questions I had were answered in this books and I loved following our baby’s progression.


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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.
When 42 percent of first to third grade girls want to lose weight, and 81 percent of 10-year-olds answer that their biggest fear is being fat, we have to question what we have been showing children and teens on television and in the media. It only adds to an atmosphere where girls are constantly reminded that they have to look perfect or they will be the topic of conversation next time.
There were several supportive comments towards Boonshaft’s obviously courageous choice to post the picture, but there was still hateful backlash. We have so much to offer as women today in this world, and it’s a shame if we waste any more energy on tearing ourselves down. But whether it’s your first pregnancy or your fourth, you are sure to have questions, doubts and even fears. Find out how you can make money shopping online or how to start a blog to start earning cash from home now! This probably tells us something about the sorts of stories we tell our children and how in turn we understand our country. If 50 to 70 percent of normal-weight girls have the perception that they are overweight, we have to ask where they are getting these ideas from.
Some of the books I came across were better than others, so I decided I would share with you my absolute favorites.



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