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Australia: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about Australia?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to Australia. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about Australia.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about Australia, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Wombat Divine to popular sellers like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

We hope this list of kids books about Australia can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Top 10 Books About Australia

#1
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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Written by Judith Viorst & illustrated by Ray Cruz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

The perennially popular tale of Alexander’s worst day is a storybook that belongs on every child’s bookshelf. Alexander knew it was going to be a terrible day when he woke up with gum in this hair. And it got worse… His best friend deserted him. There was no dessert in his lunch bag. And, on top of all that, there were lima beans for dinner and kissing on TV! This handsome new edition of Judith Viorst’s classic picture book is sure to charm readers of all ages.

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#2
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Wombat Divine
Written by Mem Fox & illustrated by Kerry Argent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Wombat loves everything about Christmas–especially the Nativity play. He’s wanted to be in it for as long as he can remember. At last he’s old enough to try out. But at the auditions, the first part goes to someone else. So does the next. And the next . . . Will there be a part left for Wombat?

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#3
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Who Saw Turtle?
Written by Ros Moriarty & illustrated by Balarinji Studio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

“Did the whale with the slapping, splashing tail see Turtle? Maybe it was the fish with the glittery, shimmering scales? Follow the amazing migration of Turtle through the seas and oceans as she returns home to lay her eggs”–Cover.

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#4
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Bush Tracks
Written by Ros Moriarty & illustrated by Balarinji Studio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

What can you see? Follow the clues that landscape, seasons, weather, the stars, the moon and the sun give to navigate bush tracks and find the Australian animal. A lyrical, fun story about tracking animals in the bush featuring vibrant illustrations by Balarinji, Australia’s leading Indigenous design studio.

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#5
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Noni the Pony Rescues a Joey
Written & illustrated by Alison Lester
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-8

Noni the Pony and her friends help a lost wallaby joey find his family in this jaunty follow-up to Noni the Pony and Noni the Pony Goes to the Beach. Noni the Pony and her friends Dave Dog and Coco the Cat are headed out to spend the day roaming the hills near Waratah Bay. But then they meet a lost wallaby joey who needs help finding his family. So Noni, Dave, and Coco ask all of their animal friends, from koala to wombat to possum, if anyone has seen the wallaby family. Will they be able to help their new friend find his way home?

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#6
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The Great Kiwi 123 Book
Written & illustrated by Donovan Bixley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Here is a counting book like you’ve never seen: featuring Donovan Bixley’s most popular characters from his uniquely Kiwi Wheels on the Bus and Old MacDonald’s Farm. Look out for the milkshake-making cow, the All Black lambs, the cute pink ski-bunny, and the colossal squid and many more of Donovan’s vibrant, amusing illustrations. Fun for the kids–and fun for the adults!

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#7
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Great Kiwi 123 Book
Written & illustrated by Donovan Bixley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Here is a counting book like you’ve never seen, featuring Donovan Bixley’s most popular characters from his uniquely Kiwi Wheels on the Bus and Old MacDonald’s Farm. Look out for the milkshake-making cow, the All Black lambs, the cute pink ski-bunny, and the colossal squid and many more of Donovan’s vibrant, amusing illustrations. Fun for the kids—and fun for the adults!

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#8
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Christmas Wombat
Written by Jackie French & illustrated by Bruce Whatley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

“Slept. Scratched. Slept.” Indeed, it seems like Christmas will be just another day for the wombat . . . until she smells carrots! In this charming picture book, the star of Diary of a Wombat goes head to head with Santa’s reindeer in competition for carrots—and wins. Then, as an accidental stowaway on Santa’s sleigh, she learns that carrots are internationally available. No wonder she isn’t hungry for treats on Christmas morning! Engaging illustrations delightfully complement the spare text in this unique, wombat’s-eye view of a favorite holiday.

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#9
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Animals of Australia
Written by Jo Parker & illustrated by Saxton Moore
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Explore the Australian Outback to find koalas, kangaroos, crocodiles, and more!

Did you know kangaroos can jump 10 feet high? And they can travel up to speeds of 40 miles per hour!

Learn more fun facts about some of Australia’s favorite animals!

In connection with the publication of Animals of Australia, Penguin Random House will donate a portion of the proceeds to support efforts to provide Australian bushfire relief.

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#10
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The Great Kiwi ABC Book
Written & illustrated by Donovan Bixley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Here is the ABC like you ve never seen it: featuring Donovan Bixley s uniquely Kiwi characters. Look out for the milkshake-making cow, the All Black lambs, the cute pink ski-bunny, the colossal squid, and many more of Donovan s vibrant, amusing illustrations. Fun for the kids and fun for the adults!”

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Australia and...

Books About Australia and Culture

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Wombat Divine
Written by Mem Fox & illustrated by Kerry Argent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Wombat loves everything about Christmas–especially the Nativity play. He’s wanted to be in it for as long as he can remember. At last he’s old enough to try out. But at the auditions, the first part goes to someone else. So does the next. And the next . . . Will there be a part left for Wombat?

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Christmas Wombat
Written by Jackie French & illustrated by Bruce Whatley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

“Slept. Scratched. Slept.” Indeed, it seems like Christmas will be just another day for the wombat . . . until she smells carrots! In this charming picture book, the star of Diary of a Wombat goes head to head with Santa’s reindeer in competition for carrots—and wins. Then, as an accidental stowaway on Santa’s sleigh, she learns that carrots are internationally available. No wonder she isn’t hungry for treats on Christmas morning! Engaging illustrations delightfully complement the spare text in this unique, wombat’s-eye view of a favorite holiday.

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Evonne Goolagong
Written by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara & illustrated by Lisa Koesterke
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Evonne Goolagong, the inspiring indigenous Australian tennis player.

Evonne grew up on a hot, dusty farm in Australia. She was the third of eight children, and descendant of the Wirundjuri people, who have lived on the land for more than 60,000 years. Her talent for tennis was discovered at a local tennis club, and before she knew it, the girl dreaming about the place called “Wimbledon” was playing on center court. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the brilliant tennis player’s life.

Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children.

Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

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  1. Marsupial Sue Presents "The Runaway Pancake" - “I’m too fast, you’re too slow. Pan, pan, patty-cake pan, I can get away from you, I can!” <br> The much-loved story of the Runaway Pancake who pops out of the oven and is sure he can escape all who want to eat him, is given a new spin when Marsupial Sue and her friends put on a play version for their neighborhood. This has all of the wit and whimsy of <i>Marsupial Sue</i> and again features lively illustrations by Jack E. Davis. From the friends’ preparations behind the scenes to the actors’ final bows, readers will be inspired by the production. A CD recording of John Lithgow’s live performance of the song “The Runaway Pancake” is also included.

  2. The Snow Wombat - Snow on the stockman’s hut Snow on the crows Snow on the woollybutt Snow on my NOSE! It’s a big journey through the snow for a little wombat, meeting animals, birds and people along the way . . . but there’s no place like home! A heartwarming story set in the Australian High Country.

  3. The Pumpkin Runner - Nearly all the sheep ranchers in Blue Gum Valley rode horses or drove jeeps to check on their sheep. But Joshua Summerhayes liked to run…with Yellow Dog trailing behind him.” So it’s no surprise when Joshua decides to enter a race from Melbourne to Sydney. People laugh when old Joshua shows up in his overalls and gumboots, calmly nibbling a slice of pumpkin for energy. But then he pulls into the lead, and folks are forced to sit up and take notice. Inspired by a true event (and just in time for fall’s pumpkin harvest!) a talented team introduces a humble and generous hero who knows that winning isn’t always the reason to run a race.

  4. Dingoes at Dinnertime - Wildfire! That’s what Jack and Annie are up against when they are whisked away to the land of Australia. And they’re not alone! Jack and Annie must help a baby kangaroo and a koala escape from a fire-filled forest. Will they be able to rescue the animals in time?

Books About Australia and Social Themes

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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Written by Judith Viorst & illustrated by Ray Cruz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

The perennially popular tale of Alexander’s worst day is a storybook that belongs on every child’s bookshelf. Alexander knew it was going to be a terrible day when he woke up with gum in this hair. And it got worse… His best friend deserted him. There was no dessert in his lunch bag. And, on top of all that, there were lima beans for dinner and kissing on TV! This handsome new edition of Judith Viorst’s classic picture book is sure to charm readers of all ages.

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Arno and His Horse
Written by Jane Godwin & illustrated by Felicita Sala
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Arno and his Horse is a beautifully written rhyming text, matched with exquisite illustrations, that explores love, memory, loss and the power objects can hold.

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Pie in the Sky
Written by Remy Lai
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

A poignant, laugh-out-loud illustrated middle-grade novel about an eleven-year-old boy’s immigration experience, his annoying little brother, and their cake-baking hijinks! Sometimes life isn’t a piece of cake . . . When Jingwen moves to a new country, he feels like he’s landed on Mars. School is torture, making friends is impossible since he doesn’t speak English, and he’s often stuck looking after his (extremely irritating) little brother, Yanghao. To distract himself from the loneliness, Jingwen daydreams about making all the cakes on the menu of Pie in the Sky, the bakery his father had planned to open before he unexpectedly passed away. The only problem is his mother has laid down one major rule: the brothers are not to use the oven while she’s at work. As Jingwen and Yanghao bake elaborate cakes, they’ll have to cook up elaborate excuses to keep the cake making a secret from Mama. In her hilarious, emotional middle-grade debut, Remy Lai delivers a scrumptious combination of vibrant graphic art and pitch-perfect writing that will appeal to fans of Real Friends.

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  1. Fly on the Wall - In Fly on the Wall, a moving and hilarious diary-style illustrated novel from the award-winning author of Pie in the Sky, a twelve-year-old boy goes on a (forbidden) solo adventure halfway around the world to prove his independence to his overprotective family.

    A Best Book of the Year for Kirkus, Booklist, Chicago Public Library, and School Library Journal! Henry Khoo's family treats him like a baby. He's not allowed to go anywhere without his sister/chaperone/bodyguard. And he definitely CAN'T take a journey halfway around the world all by himself! But that's exactly his plan. After his family's annual trip to visit his father in Singapore is cancelled, Henry decides he doesn't want to be cooped up at home with his overprotective family and BFF turned NRFF (Not Really Friend Forever). Plus, he's hiding a your-life-is-over-if-you're-caught secret: he's the creator of an anonymous gossip cartoon, and he's on the verge of getting caught. Determined to prove his independence and avoid punishment for his crimes, Henry embarks on the greatest adventure everrr. . . hoping it won't turn into the greatest disaster ever. Remy Lai takes readers on an adventure filled with humor, heart, and hijinks that's a sure bet for fans of Jerry Craft, Terri Libenson, and Shannon Hale! "Funny, enthralling, and a great reminder that being a little odd isn't a bad thing." --Kayla Miller, author of Click and Camp * Near-misses and laugh-out-loud moments abound, which will endear it to readers who like 'Big Nate' and 'Wimpy Kid.' --School Library Journal, starred review

  2. A Song Only I Can Hear - When Rob starts getting mysterious texts from an unknown number, he has to make a decision--stay under the radar, or risk being exposed in a way he's not prepared for--in this "stirring" (Booklist) middle grade novel that's perfect for fans of Wonder.

  3. I'm an Immigrant Too! - From beloved Australian author Mem Fox comes a timely picture book about how all of our lives are enriched by the vibrant cultural diversity immigrants bring to their new communities. What journeys we have travelled, from countries near and far! Together now, we live in peace, beneath the Southern Star. Inspired by the plight of immigrants around the world, Mem Fox was moved to write this lyrical and rhyming exploration of the myriad ways immigrants have enriched her home country of Australia. Young readers everywhere will see themselves—and their friends and neighbors—in this powerful and moving picture book.

Books About Australia and Animals

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Bush Tracks
Written by Ros Moriarty & illustrated by Balarinji Studio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

What can you see? Follow the clues that landscape, seasons, weather, the stars, the moon and the sun give to navigate bush tracks and find the Australian animal. A lyrical, fun story about tracking animals in the bush featuring vibrant illustrations by Balarinji, Australia’s leading Indigenous design studio.

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The Great Kiwi 123 Book
Written & illustrated by Donovan Bixley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Here is a counting book like you’ve never seen: featuring Donovan Bixley’s most popular characters from his uniquely Kiwi Wheels on the Bus and Old MacDonald’s Farm. Look out for the milkshake-making cow, the All Black lambs, the cute pink ski-bunny, and the colossal squid and many more of Donovan’s vibrant, amusing illustrations. Fun for the kids–and fun for the adults!

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Add to list
Great Kiwi 123 Book
Written & illustrated by Donovan Bixley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Here is a counting book like you’ve never seen, featuring Donovan Bixley’s most popular characters from his uniquely Kiwi Wheels on the Bus and Old MacDonald’s Farm. Look out for the milkshake-making cow, the All Black lambs, the cute pink ski-bunny, and the colossal squid and many more of Donovan’s vibrant, amusing illustrations. Fun for the kids—and fun for the adults!

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$14.44
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$16.99
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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Animals of Australia - Explore the Australian Outback to find koalas, kangaroos, crocodiles, and more! Did you know kangaroos can jump 10 feet high? And they can travel up to speeds of 40 miles per hour! Learn more fun facts about some of Australia’s favorite animals! In connection with the publication of Animals of Australia, Penguin Random House will donate a portion of the proceeds to support efforts to provide Australian bushfire relief.

  2. The Great Kiwi ABC Book - Here is the ABC like you ve never seen it: featuring Donovan Bixley s uniquely Kiwi characters. Look out for the milkshake-making cow, the All Black lambs, the cute pink ski-bunny, the colossal squid, and many more of Donovan s vibrant, amusing illustrations. Fun for the kids and fun for the adults!”

  3. Dingo - Poetic language and glorious illustrations follow a dingo from the comfort of her pack into the darkening landscape in search of food for her family. Can you see her? There – deep in the stretching shadows – a dingo. Her pointed ears twitch. Her tawny eyes flash in the low-slung sun. Dingo leaves her sleeping pups with her mate and lifts her head to smell the air. Dusk is a busy time – the time for hunting. Softly and fleetly she runs through the forest, past a possum, a wombat, and kangaroos in the gully below. Now she climbs to the highest point and sniffs again, locating the scent of rabbits in the wind. Interspersed with text offering facts for curious readers, Dingo is a lyrical foray into the life of these fascinating wild dogs.

  4. A Is for Australian Animals - There are so many amazing animals to be found in Australia – and many of them are found nowhere else in the world. Discover thirty-eight of the weird and wonderful creatures of Down Under – from the iconic kangaroo to the puzzling echidna; from the tiny crusader bug to the enormous saltwater crocodile; from the adorable quokka to the terrifying Tasmanian devil. Did you know that lyrebirds can mimic almost any sound? Or that an oblong turtle has the longest neck of any turtle in the world? Vibrant paintings and fascinating facts introduce readers to a wide array of incredible animals in this vivid celebration of the fauna that makes Australia unique.

Books About Australia and Friendship

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Noni the Pony Rescues a Joey
Written & illustrated by Alison Lester
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-8

Noni the Pony and her friends help a lost wallaby joey find his family in this jaunty follow-up to Noni the Pony and Noni the Pony Goes to the Beach. Noni the Pony and her friends Dave Dog and Coco the Cat are headed out to spend the day roaming the hills near Waratah Bay. But then they meet a lost wallaby joey who needs help finding his family. So Noni, Dave, and Coco ask all of their animal friends, from koala to wombat to possum, if anyone has seen the wallaby family. Will they be able to help their new friend find his way home?

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Small Walt and Mo the Tow
Written by Elizabeth Verdick & illustrated by Marc Rosenthal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Small Walt befriends a tow truck when he comes across a car in need of help in this irresistible companion to Small Walt, which Kirkus Reviews called “charming and endearing” in a starred review. We’re Gus and Walt We plow and we salt We clear the snow so the Cars can go! A bitter blizzard. A snowbound town. When a car skids off the road, Small Walt and Gus might not have what it takes to save the day on their own. But who does? Mo the Tow to the rescue! When we need a tow, We call on Mo… We can depend On our new friend! Text filled with onomatopoeia and Walt’s affirming chants make this story about friendship and accepting help from others a real winner.

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The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee
Written by Deborah Abela
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

India Wimple can spell. Brilliantly. Every Friday night, she and her family watch the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee on TV. When the Wimples suggest she enter the next bee, India finds the idea disconcerting. She’s sure she’s not good enough—but her family won’t accept that and encourages her to sign up. There are plenty of obstacles to reaching the finals, and the whole thing seems rather calamitous to India. But with hope, hard work, and a little bit of heart, something splendiferous might be on the horizon…

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  1. The Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee - “India Wimple can spell with the best of them. How else would she have won the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and garnered an invitation to the Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee? India couldn’t be more thrilled to travel to London along with the rest of the Wimples. And at first, it seems like a dream come true; she reunites with her spelling bee friends, and they even get to meet the Queen! But there is skulduggery afoot, with some rather mysterious goings-on going on and a series of accidents that seem to be not-so-accidental after all. India has her suspicions about who is behind the duplicitous demonstrations. But can she solve the mystery in time to save the competition?”

  2. Alien Scout - In the third book of the Alien Next Door series, Harris knows Zeke is an alien, and they go away for a weekend trip as Beaver Scouts. Will Harris be able to help Zeke keep his secret when another scout starts suspecting something? Zeke has revealed to Harris that he’s an alien and Harris is thrilled to have an alien best friend! This weekend, Harris has a Beaver Scout outing in the wilderness, so he invites Zeke to join in on the fun. Zeke doesn’t quite understand all the activities, like sleeping outside and telling ghost stories, and he is a little careless with using his powers, which leads one scout to become a little suspicious. Will Harris be able to help Zeke hide his identity from everyone?

  3. Bone Sparrow - "Indispensable." -- Booklist (starred review)

  4. Bob - Visiting her grandmother in Australia, Livy, ten, is reminded of the promise she made five years before to Bob, a strange, green creature who cannot recall who or what he is.

Want to see books about friendship?

Books About Australia and Family

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Bush and Beyond
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Grandparents are special, and the time you spend with them is special, too. This collection draws together four tales for younger readers from the Waarda series of Indigenous stories, first edited by acclaimed author Sally Morgan. These charming tales share some exciting, happy, and even scary times exploring Australia in bush and beyond.

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Hop Up Wriggle Over
Written & illustrated by Elizabeth Honey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

“Hop up! Wriggle over! Wakey-wakey: hungry!” Thus starts a full and busy day for an appealing animal family. Simple onomatopoeic words and irresistible illustrations capture familiar routines in a young read-aloud containing a warm and subtle reminder that families come in all shapes and sizes.

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Music for Tigers
Written by Michelle Kadarusman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

From Governor General's Literary Award finalist Michelle Kadarusman comes a novel about a young violinist who discovers her mother's family secretly harbor a sanctuary for extinct Tasmanian tigers in the remote Australian rainforest

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  1. The Shackleton Sabotage - In this all-new very special miniseries, the Aldens have been recruited by a secret society to return lost artifacts and treasures to their rightful locationsall around the world! The Aldens chart a course for Sydney, Australia, and as the children tour the famed Sydney Opera House, their next puzzleand its keyfalls right into their laps. They need to find the rightful owner of a rare Australian coin. Using their knowledge about Australia, the Aldens find the coin’s owner, but a saboteur is again hot on their heels and nearly spoils their hard work. Next up the Aldens travel to frigid Antarctica, where they need to return an artifact to the hut Shackleton used on his expeditions to the South Pole. The trip is a success, but when the Aldens return, they learn the identity of the person who has been trying to ruin their plans. Will the saboteur keep them from returning the seventh and final artifact?

  2. The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee - Candice Phee isn’t a typical twelve-year-old girl. She has more than her fair share of quirks, but she also has the very best of intentions and an unwavering determination to make sure everyone around her is happy—which is no easy feat when dealing with a pet fish with an identity crisis, a friend who believes he came from another dimension, an age-old family feud, and a sick mom. But she is on a mission. Her methods might be unique, but Candice will do whatever it takes to restore order to her world and make sure everyone is absolutely, categorically happy again.

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