26 of the Best Australian Picture Books

January 30, 2017

Books / Picture Books

26 of the Best Australian Picture Books We’ve been celebrating the best Australian picture books over on Instagram over the last 26 days. Check out #26daysofaussiepicturebooks for a selection of fabulous literature.

It was a tough job but we’ve whittled down our Top 10 from the Instagram 26 and here they are….

Best Australian picture books AMAZING BABES BY ELIZA SARLOS AND GRACE LEE
This amazing tome features portraits by Grace Lee and quotes from 21 fierce females, spanning different generations and cultures. Malala. Aung Sang Suu Kyi. Frida. Shami.
I find myself flipping through my own copy regularly just to remind myself of all the strong women who have gone before me and who walk alongside me.
The author first penned this book as a gift to her newborn son to introduce him to some of the females she most admired.

SUNDAY CHUTNEY BY AARON BLABEY
Sunday Chutney is one of my all-time favourite female picture book characters.
Self-proclaimed as unusual, her dad’s job sees her move frequently so she is always the New Girl. She owns and flaunts her quirkiness like nobody’s business.
She enjoys crumpets, drum solos and marine biology.
She doesn’t like creamed corn or sand in her swimmers (who does?!)
But doesn’t she get lonely? She responds to this question in the most Sunday Chutney of ways.

GARY BY LEILA RUDGE
I never thought I’d feel affection for a pigeon but @leilarudge has created an inspirational little feathered dude in her latest book, “Gary.”
Gary is a racing pigeon who can’t fly.
On race day when the other pigeons set out in the travel basket, he spends his time sticking mementos into his travel scrapbook, despite never having left the safe surrounds of home. Until one day, he finds himself far from home and creates his own adventure.
Such a heartwarming tale about embracing your differences and not being held back by your limitations.

ORIGAMI HEART BY BINNY
It can be scary and painful when we put our heart out there.
This book makes my heart beat a little faster. The illustrations, the word choice, this character. @kabukirabbit is a rabbit, alone in a bustling city, who likes things to be just so.
He chops his carrots and radishes into exact ❤️ shapes.
He looks for symmetry in flowers and excellence in snow pea tea.
We join him as he prepares for a visit from his friend Yoko and witness his heartbreak when she is forced to cancel.
“Origami Heart” by @binnyillustration shows us that sometimes we need to literally send our heart out into the busy world in order to find friendship.

I DON’T WANT TO GO TO BED BY DAVID CORNISH
The words that make parents worldwide shudder involuntarily.
Or is that just me?!
Rollo is back in this sequel to “I Don’t Want To Eat My Dinner.”
He uses every stalling technique known to parentkind- hungry, thirsty, needs the bathroom, monsters, needs a story- before finally succumbing to sleep.
An entertaining bedtime story for young readers. This book is currently the most requested book in Miss 3’s bedtime selection.

THE TALES OF MRS MANCINI BY NATALIE JANE PRIOR AND CHERYL ORSINI
Friands, meringues and muffins- oh my!
These are the gorgeous endpapers from “The Tales of Mrs Mancini” by Natalie Jane Prior and Cheryl Orsini, a collection of three fully illustrated stories highlighting the power of cake and friendship to solve most woes.
Mrs Mancini operates a patisserie with her human friend, Filippina. Through a bit of Tail Magic and sweet treats, Mrs Mancini helps right the wrongs faced by some of her young patrons.
My 3-year-old sat transfixed throughout the 48 pages of this book.
It would be a perfect text for young readers making the transition from picture books to longer texts. A very special book.

RUBY RED SHOES GOES TO LONDON BY KATE KNAPP
This is a spread from “Ruby Red Shoes Goes to London” by Kate Knapp.
Ruby is a white hare who loves to travel with her grandmother, Babushka Galina Galushka.
Like all the books in the Ruby series, this one captures a beautiful whimsy and heartfelt charm that leaves you holding onto the book long after you’ve read the last word.
I actually sighed upon reading the last word and a little shiver ran up my back.

RETURN OF THE DINOSAURS BY BRONWYN HOUSTON
This is currently Mr-almost-2’s favourite book.
It asks what it might be like if dinosaurs came back to hang out in Broome.
Would they hang out with the camels on Cable Beach?
Catch a movie at Sun Movies?
Hang with the crocs in the mangroves?
Vibrant illustrations and an imaginative concept. Perfect for any little dinosaur-lovers.

THE FAMILY HOUR BY TAI SNAITH
This is an informational text about the diets, lifestyles and habits of 15 native Aussie animals and their families and it is executed in the coolest of ways.
So many fun facts and quirky, personality-filled illustrations from @taisnaith_for_kids.
One of the coolest informational texts I’ve come across in a long time.

DESERT LAKE BY PAMELA FREEMAN AND LIZ ANELLI
Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre is a lake that disappears and reappears.
It is usually dry but every 10 years or so, rains from the north flood into the lake.
This amazing lake is the central character of this fascinating text and we follow the cycle between dry and wet.
It is both an informative and narrative text and we learn about the landscape, weather and migratory wildlife that inhabit the lake.
Liz Anelli’s mixed media artworks are something to behold.
Teacher friends, this would be an amazing text for classroom cross-curricula use.

When I purchase my books, I use Booktopia. Their prices are competitive and their delivery is prompt. The titles and images of each book will take you to the Australian based online bookstore Booktopia. As a Booktopia Affiliate, purchases clicked through from my blog result in a small commission. You do not pay any extra for your books! Commission is used to maintain Oh Creative Day and a portion of commissions made is donated to the Touched By Olivia Foundation. Happy Reading!