So, drumroll please, for my list of Wonderful Australian Books, as nominated by blog readers.
Picture Books/Early childhood
Ca-a-r Ca-a-a-a-r, by Geoff Havel
Possum Magic, by Mem Fox and Julie Vivas
One Hungry Spider, by Jeannie Baker
The Magic Hat by Mem Fox
Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox.
Samantha Seagull’s Sandals by Gordon Winch
Shy the Platypus by Leslie Rees
Wombat Divine by Mem Fox and Kerry Argent
The Story of Rosy Dock by Jeannie Baker,
The Frog Who Wouldn’t Laugh, Celia Egan’s
Edward the Emu by Sheena Knowles
A Bush Christening by A.B. Patterson
The Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek, by Jenny Wagner
The Old Man Who Loved to Sing, by John Winch
The Bilby’s First Easter, by Irena Silby
The Galah, by Pauline Reilly
Bobbie Dazzler by Margaret Wild and Janine Dawson
You and Me Murrawee, by Kerri Hashimi
The Terrible Underpants, by Kaz Cooke
Wanda-Linda Goes Berserk, by Kaz Cooke.
The Tram to Bondi Beach by Libby Hathorn
Okra and Acacia by Libby Hathorn,
Harry and the Anzac Poppy by Lockyer
Illustrated Poems by C.J. Dennis
Magic Pudding, by Norman Lindsay
Seven Little Australians, by Ethel Turner
The Family at Misrule by Ethel Turner
Blinky Bill by Dorothy Wall,
A Little Bush Maid by Mary Grant Bruce
Stories of Henry Lawson
Quinkin Mountain, Percy Trezise
Australian Poems to Read to the Very Young edited by Yvonne Perrin
Dot and the Kangaroo, by Ethel Pedley
Tashi stories, by Anna Fienberg
Minton stories by Anna Fienberg,
Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park
Pigs Might Fly by Emily Rodda
Polymer, by Sally Rogers-Davidson
Witchbank, by Catherine Jinks
Chain of Charms series by Kate Forsyth
The Arrival by Shaun Tan.
Tomorrow series, by John Marsden
The Red Tree, by Shaun Tan
Abhorsen, by Garth Nix
Thanks to all who contributed to this list. There is still time. If YOU have a favourite Australian book to suggest, leave a comment and I’ll add it to the list in future.
And, to make this post book related, I’m asking a big Aussie question. What is your favourite Australian children’s book?
To me, this one of the hardest questions I’ve asked because there are so many wonderful Aussie children’s books. How to choose just one?
Still thinking about my list of twelve books every kid should read (see post below). All day there’s been a list of my favourite children’s books scrolling through my head. I haven’t narrowed it to a list of twelve yet, but I’m getting closer.
In the picture book category, I’d love to include Ca-a-r Ca-a-a-a-r by Geoff Havel, because it’s the book I most often recommend to people. It is simply hilarious – and hilariously simple. It always brings a smile. I’d also like to see some of Australia’s best picture book authors included – something by Margaret Wild, but which one? She’s written so many beautiful picture books. Perhaps Piglet and Mama, because it has such a lovely message and is one littlies just adore. But then again maybe Fox because it is so thought provoking and will appeal to kids all the way up to twelve (and beyond). On the picture book front I’d also like to include Jackie French (Diary of a Wombat, Too Many Pears…), Libby Gleeson (Amy and Louis and others), and a favourite in my house, Gordon’s Got a Snookie, by Lisa Shanahan. Oh and Pamela Allen (Mister Magee, Waddle Giggle Gargle, Who Sank the Boat and more).
From outside Australia, the Hairy Maclary books, Guess How Much I Love You, a delightful book called Giraffes Can’t Dance, and Owl Babies by Martin Waddell.
Am I past twelve yet?
Then into junior novels, I think every child should read I am Jack, by Susanne Gervay – every adult, too. It is the best book dealing with bullying that I’ve read – and is entertaining with it. Kids love it. The Selby books, by Duncan Ball are also excellent, although I secretly think that Ball’s best work are his lesser known Piggott books – Piggot Place and Piggots in Peril. Glenda Millard’s Naming Tishkin Silk is incredibly beautiful.
For the ten to twelves, Emily Rodda’s Rowan of Rin series is a wonderful introduction to the fantasy genre, whilst Elizabeth Honey’s Stella Street books (and all her other books, too) are accessible and fun and important all in one. Storm Boy and many other Colin Thiele books, for their beauty and because they are just so much part of Australia.
I haven’t mentioned any classics yet. Australian classics – Seven Little Australians, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, The Magic Pudding and The Muddle Headed Wombat. And from overseas: Alice in Wonderland, Charlotte’s Web, Roald Dahl books.
Gosh, I’ve got a way to go before I get down to just twelve books in my list. More thought is required. Stay tuned.