Ten Things Tuesday: Ten Australian Children’s books your kid’s library needs

Written By Rebecca

(Keep reading for your chance to enter another OCRO contest!)  This is what I get for having a Godmother who was a librarian.  At least one book every birthday and every Christmas, which wasn’t “too cool” back then, but an absolute delight now, looking back on all the books I received from “The Crowe family” and having an age appropriate library at the ready during my formidable years.  My Godmother (we lost touch after we made the big move across Oceans from Australia to America, as we have with most people since Skype wasn’t yet invented) was the kind of perfect librarian you would imagine.  She was thin, with brown hair (yes, tied back in an efficient bun or dressed up neatly), beautifully kept hair and clothes and very, very well spoken, her husband and my Godfather, Andrew, was/is a solicitor (what we call them in Australia, here, an Attorney).  Cathy was the kind of people my mother surrounded herself with and subsequently, her children, because my mother, is also well educated and likes to talk “correctly” and as first, an educator, my mother encouraged this kind of gift giving, books, not toys.

In reference to my top ten favorite children’s books, I thought I would delve a little deeper and offer you ten really awesome AUSTRALIAN Children’s books, not including the ones on my top ten list, those are a given.  So here are more books, to stock your personal library with, that will offer you a little more even of an Australian influence in your child’s reading habits and a little more culture, some of the best (in my most unprofessional opinion) Australian kid books (or Australian in subject matter) I’ve owned, that habitat in my office at home and I read to my kids in my best, most authentic, Australian accent.

And, as an added bonus, I’ll let you pick a book from below, your favorite, and enter a comment in the comment section below this post for your chance to win a copy of the book you selected.  I’ll pick a winner at random, contact the winner, we’ll chat, I’ll mail you a copy of the book, and everyone is as happy as a lark.  Enjoy.  And congrats to our previous winner who so wisely chose “Tikki Tikki Tembo” as her book prize.  My Favorite.  Clever girl. :)


1. The Eleventh Hour, By Graeme Base

Amazon.com Review:  When Horace the Elephant decides to throw himself a party for his 11th birthday, he never suspects a crime will be committed by lunchtime. Who has stolen the birthday feast? As with any good mystery, everyone is guilty until proven innocent. The proof lies in the myriad clues embedded in each glorious illustration.

2. Diary of a Wombat, By Jackie French

I don’t think this book could be any more adorable.  You’ll notice from my previous post of my top ten favorite Children’s books, that Australian animals, as weird as they are have a strong presence in my choices.  The animals are all so peculiar, as their behaviors, so from here on out you’re going to get a few wombats, possums, koalas and yes of course, kangaroos.  This book is so gorgeous, the Wombat demands to be fed by a family he happens to live near, carrots, scraps, and if demands aren’t met, he gets mad and lets them know.  What a Wombat diary would look like if one actually kept a diary.  He sleeps.  A LOT.

3. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, By Mem Fox


Courtesy Wylietexas.gov

Ahh Mem Fox, my most favoritiest Australian kids author, I’m pretty sure.  Author of Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge, a beautiful book, as are all of hers and this one is PERFECT to read to your newborn, over and over.  It should become a favorite much like American’s have with “Goodnight Moon”.  Google anything by Mem Fox, PLEASE.  Buy all her books and you won’t regret it.

4. The Twelve Days of Christmas (Aussie Style), By June Williams

The 12 days of Christmas, but you aren’t going to find a partridge in a pear tree, more like kangaroos and gallahs and emus.  Forget five maids a milking, try this classic AUSSIE STYLE.

5. Does a Kangaroo have a Mother Too?  By Eric Carle

Well of course a Kangaroo has a mother too.  And Bears and more!  Just like you, Kangaroos have mothers too!  But, they are called “Mummies” and NO they are NOT wrapped in toilet paper.  It’s just how we say it and spell it.

6. One Wooly Wombat, By Rod Trinca

Yes, yes, more wombats!  It’s all about counting and meeting fantastic Aussie animals along the way.  Six Cheeky Possums Looking For A Treat, or Nine Hungry Goannas Wondering What To Cook.  What’s a Goanna you say?   I’m not gonna tell you what a Goanna is, so you need to google it. :)


7. Mr. Archimedes’ bath, By Pamela Allen

Archimedes was a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer, and here, in this delightful children’s book it tells a story of math using a bathtub and too many guests in it.  With all the guests the tub is overflowing, but when they get out – where did all the water go?  This is about as much math/science as I can handle so I quite enjoy this book, it’s on my “level”.  There are also wombats and kangaroos in this bath too…  FYI.

8. Who Sank the Boat? By Pamela Allen

Beside the sea, there once lived a cow, a donkey, a sheep, a pig, and a tiny little mouse. One warm, sunny morning–for no particular reason–they decided to go for a row in the bay.  One by one they all pile in the boat, but who ACTUALLY sank the boat?  Again, Pamela, with the math/science?  Definitely for young readers.

9. Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, By May Gibbs

So this is actually a series of different books.  IT’s about two Gum Nut “Babies” Snugglepot and Cuddlepie that live in the Bush in Outback Australia.  They have many adventures together and all based around the flora and fauna of the Land Down Under.  Gum nuts are from Gum trees back home, we also have other exciting trees such as Bottle trees, wattle trees and big fat Eucalyptus trees.  See, not just the animals are exciting!

10. Koala Lou, By Mem Fox.

Ok, Ok, so I should really just do a post about all Mem Foxs’ books.  Shes fabulous, and here’s another fabulous book. I just HAD to include a book about the most popular animal from Australia I was CONSTANTLY asked if I kept for a pet.  I would get two questions from Americans when I first moved here.  1)  Does the toilet really flush the other way?  and 2) Did you have a pet Koala.  I’d say yes to both, just to mess with people.  It was fun, I am evil.


I’m really not a book nerd, but if it makes you think I’m smarter, I’ll go with the assumed stereotype, I probably would look really sexy in glasses too, thick black rimmed ones, only I have perfect eyesight…    There’s just a few things that I like and lately it happens to revolve around books, reading my kids books, reading books in the Summer, so I’ve been inspired.  Thanks for reading this blog post, and don’t forget to comment below with the book in this top ten that you’d most like to win.  The winner will be drawn at random 48 hours after this initial blog post.  Good luck!

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