This week’s whopper book list features some of the most favoured and favourite Aussie characters of all time: our wildlife. Look them up in your bookshop or library for some full Australiana immersion.

Babies At The Billabong by Maura Finn and Cate James

Stunning textural illustrations illuminate one little girl’s late afternoon rambles around a billabong where she spies a bush load of Aussie animal babies. Nomenclature and rhyming singalong verse makes this a sweet read for 3 – 5 year-olds.

Affirm Press August 2021 9781922419408

By The Billabong by Maura Finn and Cate James

This is the precursor to ‘Babies…’ and sports just as many gumnuts and superb imagery. A fun and frolicsome exploration of collective nouns that makes a gorgeous bedtime read.

Affirm Press April 2020 9781925972474

Dry to Dry: The Seasons of Kakadu by Pamela Freeman and Liz Anelli

Anelli’s mixed media artwork and Freeman’s elegant yet fact-driven narrative informs and entices readers to look closer and search deeper in this exquisite picture book about the North End of Oz that is part of the Nature Storybooks series by Walker Books. I encourage you to explore them all.

Walker Books Australia August 2020 9781760650285

Great White Shark by Claire Saxby and Cindy Lane

The end papers of this stunning addition to the Nature Storybooks series leaves no doubt what this book is about: great white sharks – and there’s one coming straight at you! It’s true I harbour a lingering phobia for all things great and toothy and this picture book, eloquently honest, maintains that fear a little or perhaps I should word that fear as, fascination. The life cycle of this amazing creature is followed with great sensitivity and respect thanks to Saxby’s text and Lane’s formidable illustrations leaving us all a little better informed and less fearful.

Walker Books Australia August 2021 9781760651848

Kookaburra by Claire Saxby and Tannya Harricks

Possibly one of my favourite in the Nature Storybooks series, the life of one of our most well-known and best-loved Aussie icons is sensationally portrayed through colourful text and the most superb oil painted illustrations. I could sit by Kookaburra’s billabong home and watch her all day long. Highly recommended.

Walker Books Australia August 2020 9781760651060


Let’s Go, Little Roo! By Renee Treml

For the little human in your life who is a touch timid and a dab dubious of new things, this tender tale of new friendships and first steps is handsomely rendered and beautifully told with just the right sprinkle of humour to appeal to shy joeys.

Puffin Books January 2021 97817608967

Little Puggle’s Song by Vikki Connelly and Helene Magisson

This is a gorgeous tale of finding one’s inner voice and strength through a symphony of recognisable bush characters. Puggles may not be able to lift a note but they are an excellent example of patience, perseverance and perceptive observations, at least in this cute tale.

New Frontier Publishing September 2019 9781925594690

Mr Bat Wants A Hat by Kitty Black and Laura Wood

This bright and bubbly tale centres on Mr Bat’s funny fixation for hats. He wants one bad and goes to extreme lengths to acquire one of his own. But is stealing really the answer to his fashionista fetish? Upbeat and full of colour.

New Frontier Publishing May 2021 9781922326218

Nala the Koala by illustrator Penny Min Ferguson

Compiled to assist WIRES to help protect kolas and other animals in need, this picture book captures the needs of those displaced from their homes, in this case, Nala the Koala after bushfires decimate her habitat. Like most of us, Nala yearns for something just right to feel safe, happy and protected. Fortunately she finds friends who want the same for her.

Penguin Random House September 2020 9781760898830

Not Cute by Philip Bunting

Striking end papers belie an unfolding disaster as stubborn little, cuter than cute Quokka undertakes a deadly mission to prove once and for all to all and sundry that he is ‘not cute’. Bunting’s trademark humour and adroit use of dramatic irony deliver another winner, whether you think Quokkas are cute or not (which they definitely are!).

Omnibus Books July 2020 9781760972387

Wombat by Christopher Cheng and Liz Duthie

This title in the Nature Storybooks series features intricate artwork by Duthie that gives readers a front row view of Wombat’s ambling lifestyle both above and below ground. Cheng’s captivating text allows us to get up front and very personal with Wombat before revealing her special secret just before she beds down for another day deep in the Aussie bush. Utterly enchanting.

Walker Books Australia April 2021 9781760651374












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