Whether you found this searching for the top Australian children’s books to prep for a geography lesson, or you’re joining us as part of the Read Around the World Children’s summer reading challenge for 2021, we hope you’ll find the perfect book suggestions for your needs.
While Australia is a very long flight from the United States, we can visit the beautiful continent through Australian kid’s books. There’s so much to learn! Did you know Australia is a very similar size to the continental US? The terrain is varied, from the rugged and rural outback to renowned crowded beaches. We also included books set in neighboring New Zealand.
Whether your child is drawn to Oceania and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, animals in the outback, or city life in Sydney, this book list will have something to capture their interest!
The list includes 40+ books for various ages. It is divided into sections of the best Children’s books about Australia, including Australian children’s picture books, early chapter books for new readers, and middle-grade Australian books for more advanced readers. You’ll also find a recommended age ranges for every book at the end of each book description.
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This vibrantly illustrated, 96-page picture book celebrates the flora, fauna, landmarks, and people of Australia. This book includes information specific to Australian states and territories, along with some that applies Australia-wide. This book is a gorgeous tribute to this multicultural country from koalas and kookaburras to skyscrapers and beaches, and football and sunshine.
This gorgeously illustrated, rhyming picture book provides an introduction to the things that make Sydney great. The author and illustrator, both Sydney locals, introduce kids to the harbor city - from the bats and cicadas to the lawn bowls at the zoo.
Recommended for ages 3 and up
This book is pricey, but you and your kids can also enjoy watching the author and illustrator read it on YouTube!
This picture book brings children to the dry and dusty reaches of the outback. On Sunday, Old Stephen, a white-bearded Aborigine, predicts rain, but it takes all week to arrive. With each day that passes, anticipation builds like the dark clouds on the horizon and everyone struggles to keep cool.
An Aboriginal ceremony of Welcome to Country is depicted for the first time in a stunning picture book from two Indigenous Australians. Welcome to the lands of the Wurundjeri people.
Aboriginal communities across Australia have boundaries that are defined by mountain ranges and waterways. Traditionally, to cross these boundaries, permission is required. Each community has its own way of greeting, but the practice shares a common name: a Welcome to Country.
Meet Ned, Lily, Zoe, Kirra, and Matilda - five Australian children representing the multicultural blend of cultures in this beautiful country. This picture book is bursting with national pride and provides a snapshot of daily life for these children - at play, at school, at home, and enjoying Australia from the tropical north to the rugged west.
Charlie, Ruby, Oliver, Mason, and Kaia are five Kiwi children representing the multicultural blend of cultures in this beautiful country. This picture book is bursting with national pride and provides a snapshot of daily life - from celebrations to traditions and events - all the things that make childhood memorable.
Grandma Poss uses her best bush magic to make Hush invisible. But when Hush longs to be able to see herself again, the two possums must make their way across Australia to find the magic food that will make Hush visible once more.
This illustrated alphabet picture book captures the spirit of this proud country and its many treasures, natural and man-made. Visit spectacular Sydney Harbor, try your hand as a jackaroo working a sheep station, or just sit back and enjoy a Vegemite sandwich. Australia's " down under " wonders shine brightly below the starry night glitter of the Southern Cross constellation
When Ernie moves with his family to Arnhem Land in the Australian outback, where his parents will work in a hospital for a year, he promises to write to his friends back home.
He writes to each friend about a different season — Kudjewk, Bangekerreng, Yekke, Wurrkeng, Kurrung, or Kurnumeleng — explaining what that time of year brings and revealing the exciting things that he and his new friends are doing. Back home, his six old friends share what they have learned and try some of the activities of the Australian outback.
Join Grace and her family as they hitch up their pop-up camper and head out on a three month road trip around Australia, inspired by an actual journey undertaken by the author. This book features a cartoon-style layout that holds young readers' attention and includes lots of non-fiction information.
Recommended for ages 5-8
Early Readers and Beginner Chapter Books Set in Australia
Meet Ruby, a kid living in Australia - a country filled with awesome beaches, unique animals, and exciting cities!
Each book in the The Living In... series is filled with fresh, modern illustrations and loads of history, geography, and cultural details. Join kids from all over the world on a globe-trotting adventure.
First published in 1970, this classic children's book is filled with charming illustrations, but it also contains loads of information, making it great for children in early elementary school. Readers will visit Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, and Alice Springs in the outback through its pages.
While remaining true to the author's original vision, the facts on the "This is Australia Today" page have been updated for the 21st century.
Riley and his family visit the Australian outback, where they research the local koala population, which has scattered and declined due to increased drought, brush fires, and farming in the outback. While staying at a working sheep station, they see kangaroos, a platypus, Ayers Rock, and much more. Riley helps save the sheep from a wild dingo, but can he find a way to save the koalas and the outback?
Journey to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef with Riley and his family as they see what’s up down under! Large areas of the coral reef are dying, and they need to find out why. Joined by world-renowned marine artist and conservationist, Wyland, the crew faces giant starfish, great white sharks, and even poachers in their search for answers.
These titles can be purchased used through Amazon for a better price. They also appear to be available through many libraries.
This is an illustrated guide through the unique environment of Kakadu in Australia's northern bush, encouraging children to observe the landscape, birds, plants, and animals as well as the six Aboriginal seasons and their characteristics.
This Australian wildlife book series is co-authored by Bindi Irwin, an international award-winning wildlife conservationist and the daughter of iconic wildlife expert Steve Irwin. Bindi's family owns the Australia Zoo in Queensland, one of the biggest wildlife conservation facilities in the world.
Stanley and his brother, Arthur, have just won a trip to Australia! They fly down under on a private jet and go diving in the Great Barrier Reef. But when Arthur launches him into the air for a game of boomerang, Stanley is accidentally sent spinning into an unforgettable adventure deep in the heart of the Australian outback!
Easy-to-read language and illustrations on most pages make this early chapter book series perfect for beginning readers.
Ethan and Ella are on the trail of an Australian coral thief in the eighth book of the Greetings from Somewhere series.
Ethan and Ella are in Australia, home to beautiful beaches and some of the most famous coral reefs in the world—plus tons of cool fish and other underwater creatures! And not only that, Australia is home to Ethan and Ella’s aunt, uncle, and cousin. The twins dive right into the water for some snorkeling at their cousin’s beach house, and while they’re exploring, they come across a watch that’s still ticking. Whose is it? Then they hear reports of fishermen illegally taking coral from the reefs nearby. Could Ethan and Ella be on the trail of a coral thief?
Grade Level: 1-4
Easy-to-read language and illustrations on most pages make this book series perfect for beginning readers.
It's an all-star race through the Australian outback. But each team is a champion. So Sage knows the red team will have to be smarter and tougher than the competition if they want to win. If not, they'll be going down on their trip down under!
This title is out of print, but the Kindle version is a great deal!
Sage is used to being the fastest runner, the quickest climber, and the strongest swimmer around. And she's also used to taking charge. But when the second racecourse has the red team diving underwater to explore the Great Barrier Reef, it's trusting her teammates that matters most.
The Magic Tree House and Merlin Missions book series follow a young brother and sister, Jack and Annie, on their adventures around the world and throughout history. And the Magic Tree House Fact Tracker books provide additional factual information to help kids learn more about the topics they discovered in the Magic Tree House adventure books.
Magic Tree House books are recommended for readers in grades 1-4, and the Merlin Mission books and Fact Trackers are recommended for grades 2-5.
It's sink or swim for Jack and Annie when the Magic Tree House whisks them off to the middle of the ocean. Luckily, they find a mini-submarine on a coral reef. But, they are also about to meet a giant octopus and one very hungry shark!
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.
Simon is in Darwin, Australia, preparing to travel through the unique mix of tropical forest, savannah and desert that make up the Australian Outback. But he's already worrying if his 4x4 is up to the job, and about the dangers posedby crocodiles, spiders and snakes - and road trains!
Grade Level: 2-4
Publication date late July 2021; available for pre-order
Part of Scholastic's The Seven Continents series, this book will help readers get to know all about the geography, history, wildlife of Australia and the surrounding oceans, as well as learning about the people that live there today.
This book is filled with curriculum-relevant subjects and includes resource sections that encourage kids to learn more.
This book covers 200 years of history told through the experiences of Australian children all living on the same quarter acre of land. Traveling backward through time, we visit the same spot every ten years to see how it has changed and learn about the lives of the children living there at that time.
The Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Australia, is the world's largest coral reef system. Stretching more than 1,400 miles, it provides a home to a wide diversity of creatures. Designated a World Heritage Site, the reef is suffering from the effects of climate change. This fascinating book shows a spectacular part of our planet.
Steve Irwin was born in Melbourne, Australia, and was raised on the wildlife park his parents owned. He cared for the animals and especially loved reptiles. He became a crocodile trapper after graduating high school, catching the creatures before dangerous poachers could. Steve became the star of a well-known series, The Crocodile Hunter.
Lonely Planet's "Not For Parents" series is packed with fascinating facts that will help tweens get to know the real inside story. This is not a travel guidebook - instead, it's filled with tales of toothy sharks, giant rocks and snappy crocs, bushranger baddies, and explorers galore. Check out cool stories about a famous coat-hanger, underground hotels, a super-fast horse, and a very rough race. You'll even find flying doctors and flying fruit flies, flesh-eating spiders and thieving convicts.
Grade Level: 4-7
This book series is out of print, but you'll find lots of used copies on Amazon.
In this 9th book in the bestselling "Middle School" series Rafe won a school-wide art contest and the prize is a trip to Australia! But, Rafe finds that living in the Land Down Under is harder than he could have imagined. His host-siblings are not very welcoming, the temperatures are unbearable, and there are poisonous critters at every step.
Twelve-year-old Patrick McWaid’s world is turned upside down when his father is framed for a crime and sent on the last prison ship to Australia in 1867. Desperate to keep his family together, the McWaids decide to find passage on another ship headed “down under.”
Then Patrick learns his grandfather was sent to Australia thirty years earlier. No one has heard from him in years, but perhaps the senior McWaid might help them—if only they can find him.
To thirteen-year-old Lola, the world is not a very magical place. As a result, she often gets in trouble, whether it's with her parents, who find her rich imagination a bit tiresome, or at school, where the teachers see her as being far too dramatic. But when Lola and her friends realize that something disastrous is about to strike their town, they gather their strengths and are determined to solve the mystery.
A year after finding out she has magical powers beyond her imagination, Lola finds herself on the beautiful East Coast of Australia in Byron Bay, where she has been accepted into Protector Fairy Training Camp. She and her best friends Allie and Jet enjoy learning to surf and working closely with the Queen of the Water Fairies.
However, her new home is threatened when a dark force wreaks havoc in the ocean, striking numerous sea animals with a mysterious illness. Lola is determined to uncover the truth.
Set along the rugged beauty of the South Australian coast, Storm Boy cares for an injured pelican and finds a friend that shows him the power of loyalty and love.
This book also contains five other short stories by the same author, each capturing the unique landscape of Australia: The Water Trolley; The Lock-Out; Dad Ran a Fowl Run; The Shell; and The Fish Scales.
Inspired by a true story, Anzac Boys follows the Barker brothers as they are shipped off from a London orphanage - with one brother sent to Australia and the other to New Zealand. They are promised a better life, but that's not what they find - especially when WWI breaks out.
Grade Level: 4-7
This book is published by Barrington Stokes, who specializes in books for dyslexic children and reluctant readers.
Twelve-year-old Frankie lives in New Zealand with his mom. Aside from being a nervous hypochondriac, he considers his life is pretty normal. He and his friends spend their days playing cricket, swimming, and making up their own language. But when a new girl - Sydney - moves to town, she shakes up his world. Sydney has moved around a lot, she asks a lot of questions, and she doesn't care what anyone thinks of her. As he gets to know her, Frankie learns that Sydney's home life is very complicated, which leads him to examine the oddities of his own home life - like the fact that his mom hasn't left the house in nine years.
Reviewers say this book is a bit slow in the beginning, so it may not be ideal for reluctant readers. But it's an interesting and thoughtful coming-of-age story.
This is a classic of Australian children's literature that has never been out of print since it was first published in 1894. Despite being written 130 years ago, this book is surprisingly modern in many ways.
A captain who has lost his wife remarries a much younger woman to provide his six children with a new mother. Together, the couple had another child, making seven. The captain tries to run the family with stern discipline, but he is no match for the fun-loving children who are a bit naughty but will bring lots of laughter.
Grade Level: 5 and up
The old fashioned language may make this book difficult for younger readers to read this book on their own, but it makes a great family read-aloud as well.
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