10 Children's Books for Australian Reading Hour

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Recommend for: Toddler, Preschooler,


Summary: In preparation for Australian Reading Hour on March 9, and to celebrate World Book Day, we've chosen our top 10 children's books for 2023, including some family favourites, as well as newer additions. Reading with your child has so many health and wellbeing benefits, including assisting cognitive development, developing empathy, enhancing their vocabulary and increasing their levels of imagination and creativity. Spark your child's love for reading and check out the full list to inspire the next generation of book lovers.

1. Starting School by Jane Godwin and illustrated by Anna Walker

Age: 0 – 5


The perfect book to read to your child in the lead up to their first day of school, Starting School provides children with the confidence and comfort they need, to take the first steps towards a life of education.


2. Come Together: Things Every Aussie Kid Should Know About the First Peoples by Isaiah Firebrace and illustrated by Jaelyn Biumaiwai

Age: 5+


This heart-warming, inspiring book establishes the foundations of First Nations knowledge, covering 20 key topics for young minds to learn from. This accessible, engaging and essential children’s book is the perfect introduction to learning about the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that will make every Australian child proud that we are home to the longest living culture on earth.


3. Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

Age: 0 – 4


Rainbow Fish has been a family favourite for generations, that tells the story of the most beautiful fish in the ocean on the outside, but not so much on the inside. This is a tale of what the true meaning of beauty is – and why it’s what’s on the inside that counts.


4. The Koala Who Could by Rachel Bright and Jim Field

Age: 0 – 4


This is an award-winning story that teaches children how to face change, and how change can be a good thing, told through rhyme.


5. The Family Book by Todd Parr

Age: 2 – 4


This book celebrates all of the different types of families – from messy families to clean families, families with two dads or two mums, to single parent families, and everyone else in between.


6. The Memory Tree by Britta Teckentrup

Age: 0 – 4


This is a gentle tale that addresses grief and loss in an accessible way for children, and teaches them about how to celebrate the life and memories of loved ones passed.


7. The Odd Fish by Naomi Jones and illustrated by James Jones

Age: 3+


This is one for the budding environmentalists – and those who are ready to learn more about looking after the world around us – specifically, our oceans! This book is a great introduction to sustainability and opens the conversation around how important it is to think about and take care of our environment.


8. Colours of Australia by Bronwyn Bancroft

Age: 2 – 4


A deep love of country inspired Bancroft’s beautiful story about the rich hues of Australia. This is an exploration of the world of colour that surrounds us, just outside our windows, and is a celebration of our country.


9. You’re Fabulous As You Are by Sophie Beer

Age: 1 – 99


This is a book that stretches beyond early childhood, teaching everyone that being unique, and expressing yourself in all forms, is something to be celebrated!


10. The Kindness Club by Kate Bullen-Casanova and illustrated by Dave Petzold

Age: 3+


The Kindness Club brings together a diverse range of characters who welcome a new student to their preschool, depicting familiar scenarios that all children experience in the early school years. This book also tackles age old gender stereotypes, with a focus on inclusion and celebrating diversity.


To learn more about Australian Reading Hour and find out how to get involved, go here.

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