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Australia is still quite a young country in the big scheme of things, and so part of passing on the history of our culture and our land is through stories. Discover 10 of the best Australian children’s books about the Aussie bush to get your kids excited to see more of Australia.
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Australian Kid’s Books About The Bush
There is no better way to inspire wanderlust in children than through stories and picture books. These Australian children’s books are sure to excite curious minds. With native animals who will soon become your child’s new favourite book character to adventures that only the imagination can create.
These classic Australian kids books will have your children excited to visit Australia or simply see more of this beautiful country together.
Here are 10 children’s books about the Australian Bush that are a must-read, not just for a bit of magic, but for education, too.
Tiddalick: The Frog Who Caused A Flood by Robert Roennfeldt
You might remember reading this one when you were a child, published in 1980, Tiddalick is a legend from Aboriginal Mythology about a rather thirsty frog. Tiddalick woke up so thirsty one morning that he drank all the water from all of the billabongs, lakes and rivers leaving everything dry. There was no water left for the other animals and so they had to come up with a plan to make him laugh and spit the water out.
The Rainbow Serpent by Dick Roughsey
Another Australian Classic, The Rainbow Serpent tells the story of the creation of massive ridges, mountains and gorges by The Rainbow Serpent as it pushed up from underground. The story also represents the way water meanders across the landscape like a snake and captures the sun reflecting light and colours. The Rainbow Serpent is well known for representing fertility and abundance.
Tales from the Bush by May Gibbs
The adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie are something children need to experience; it’s pure magic and as real as the Easter Bunny is to young children. Tales from the Bush is yet another adventure in the Australian Bush where Snugglepot and Cuddlepie go on the search for gold. They also go camping, make new friends and explore the wonders of the Australian Bush.
Somewhere in Australia by Marcello Pennacchio
Rhyming books are always a winner with kids; they’ll enjoy the book right to the end. Somewhere in Australia is a rhyming book based on the rhyme, “Over the meadow.” Not only is it a rhyming book, but it’s also a counting book too, lead by little Joey and his Australian animal friends.
Drought by Jackie French
We may have recently had a lot of rain, but the drought is always a reality for many parts of Australia. This book by Jackie French provides an excellent opportunity to explain to children the effects that drought has on the land and farmers.
Fire by Jackie French
On the other end of the spectrum in our wild country, Fire is also a reality. Like Drought, Fire explains the ferocity of bush fires through the eyes of a beautiful Cockatoo. This book deals with complex emotions, particularly after the recent fires in Australia, but it is an essential read given the Australian way of life.
Through the Smoke by Phil Cummings
Through the Smoke tells the story of a fire roaring through the Australian Bush from the perspective of three children. The fire is frightening, but the children’s’ imaginations tell the story of cruel beasts and brave knights.
All I Want For Christmas Is Rain by Cori Brooke
There are likely to have been many children who wished for rain last Christmas. This book shares the story of a little girl who wished for rain, worried that Christmas would not come without it.
Flood by Jackie French
If you lived in Queensland back in 2011 you would likely remember the floods; perhaps your children hadn’t been born yet. This book, inspired by the 2011 floods, tells the story of how floods can have such a significant impact on homes and livelihoods. Flood is a book that helps children understand the impact floods can have, without being too confronting. It also reminds children that amongst chaos and disaster, there are heroes and helpers, too.
Possum Magic by Mem Fox
Did your parents read this to you when you were young? Published in 1983, this is still a favourite on the family bookshelf, particularly because Grandma Poss makes the bush magic and the little possum Hush, invisible! But Grandma Poss gets stuck, she can’t remember how to make Hush visible again. The best part of this book is their journey across Australia to find the food that will make Hush visible again. Can you guess what VERY Australian food it is?
Here are a few more of our favourite classic Australian childrens books:
- The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay
- Wombat Stew by Marcia Vaughan
- Edward The Emu by Sheena Knowles
- Are We There Yet? A Journey Around Australia by Alison Lester
- Miss Lily’s Fabulous Pink Feather Boa by Margaret Wild
- Don’t Call Me Bear by Aaron Blabey
- Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French
- The Complete Adventures of Blinky Bill by Dorothy Wall
- If You’re Happy & You Know It – Aussie Edition by P Crumble
- Meet Snugglepot & Cuddlepie by May Gibbs
Each of these children’s picture books about the Australian Bush are classics. You will find that if you buy these books for your children, they’ll likely pass them down to their children because they will still be relevant in 30 years and beyond.
Nothing beats the magic of the bush at storytime, nor a good, honest lesson about the realities of living in our beautiful yet often relentless country.
Do you already have any favourite Australian childrens books?