A Journey Through Timeless Magic Of The 25 Best Australian Kids’ Books


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A Journey Through Timeless Magic Of The 25 Best Australian Kids’ Books

Australian Kids books have a long history of captivating young minds through generations with remarkable themes and distinct narratives.

In this blog, embark on a journey through decades to highlight 25 best-selling Australian kids books, leaving a mark on the readers. From adventure and fantasy to real-life challenges and cultural tales, these books offer a plethora of experiences that remain with children across Australia and beyond.

1970s Highlights - Australian Kids Books

The 1970s saw the emergence of iconic stories that explored identity, belief, and acceptance. 

  1. The Bunyip at Berkeley’s Creek by Jenny Wagner: An unusual tale of a bunyip’s journey of self-discovery, set against the backdrop of Berkeley’s Creek. This book explores themes of identity and acceptance.

  2. The Nargun and the Stars by Patricia Wrightson: The fantasy novel perfectly blends First Nations beliefs and folklore. A mythical creature, Nargun, guards the land, whose encounter with a young boy leads to a memorable adventure. 

  3. John Brown, Rose, and the Midnight Cat by Jenny Wagner: A heartwarming story of change and acceptance where a cat, John Brown, befriends Rose, a lonely girl, and together they navigate life’s transitions.

1980s Classics - Australian Kids Books

While 1970s classics were all about meaningful storytelling, the 1980s brought forth literary gems that continue to be cherished by new generations. 

  1. Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park: An exciting time-travel adventure set in Sydney where Abigail Kirk is transported to the past. She gets entangled in a mysterious game with historical consequences.

  2. Possum Magic by Mem Fox: Mem Fox’s delightful tale follows Hush, a possum, and her magical adventures as she tries to regain her visible form. A celebration of Australian wildlife and bush magic.

  3. Hating Alison Ashley by Robin Klein: A peep into the lives of Australian girls focusing on the quirks and intricacies of the characters of Alison Ashley. It is a story of unexpected friendships and self-discovery.

  4. The Rainbow Serpent by Kabul Oodgeroo Noonuccal: Noonuccal retells the Dreamtime story of the Rainbow Serpent in this powerful exploration of Aboriginal culture and spirituality.

1990s Gems - Australian Kids Books

The 1990s brought in the themes of resilience, environmental conservation, and the nuances of friendship. 

  1. Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden: A gripping tale of teen resilience in the face of invasion. Ellie and her friends fight for survival when their country is attacked, testing their courage and loyalty.

  2. The Bamboo Flute by Garry Disher: Set during the Great Depression, this book follows a young boy’s connection with music through a bamboo flute, showcasing a moving journey of exploring hope and creativity.

  3. Blueback by Tim Winton: This short novel emphasizes environmental conservation with Abel Jackson and Blueback, a dolphin’s bond who teaches him valuable lessons about nature and responsibility.

  4. Henry and Amy by S. M. King: A heartwarming celebration of quirky friendship in which Henry, a young inventor, and Amy, a girl with a vivid imagination, embark on delightful adventures together.

2000s Innovations - Australian Kids Books

The 2000s were marked by innovative storytelling and diverse themes like love, betrayal, and community support. 

  1. Deltora Quest by Jennifer Rowe: An epic gem recovery quest where three companions navigate through a treacherous land to restore the magical Belt of Deltora.

  2. Fox by Margaret Wild: Wild explores the themes of love, community, and betrayal in Dog and Magpie’s friendship, which is tested when Fox challenges their understanding of loyalty. 

  3. I am Jack by Susanne Gervay: A powerful narrative addressing bullying through community support where Jack faces adversity but finds strength in unexpected places.

  4. Dragonkeeper by Carole Wilkinson: Ancient China comes alive in this extraordinary adventure when Ping, a slave girl, protects a dragon on a dangerous journey.

  5. The Peasant Prince by Li Cunxin: Adapted from Li Cunxin’s life, the biography tells the inspiring story of a young dancer’s journey from rural China to becoming a world-renowned ballet artist.

2010s Discoveries - Australian Kids Books

As time moved forward, the themes in the 2010s reflected war, freedom, and cultural identity. 

  1. The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett: A philosophical fable set during wartime, tells the tale of two Romani children who discover a magical zoo where the animals hold secrets and freedom is both elusive and precious.

  2. Mirror by Jeannie Baker: A dual storyline intertwining the lives of two boys across different countries, exploring different cultures and dealing with the themes of identity, family, and destiny that are beautifully explored.

  3. The Grace Stories by Sofie Laguna: The historical adventure of a convict girl, Grace, whose life changes when life gives her a second chance. The captivating stories paint a picture of dreamy girlhood and explore Grace’s journey in colonial Australia.

  4. The Rainbow Hijab by Amran Abdi: A warm and affirming tale of a young girl who loses her favorite hijab, celebrates the Muslim culture in Australia from the first-hand perspective of a Muslim woman. 

  5. Mr. Huff by Anna Walker: A gentle and heart-wrenching tale collated in a picture book that follows Bill and Mr. Huff. The book, speaking about dealing with difficult emotions, is a delightful read for adults and children alike. 

The 2020s and Today - Australian Kids Books

The 2020s have continued the tradition of captivating storytelling with a focus on diverse perspectives and cultural representation. 

  1. Your Birthday Was the Best by Maggie Hutchings: The comic tale from a cockroach’s perspective who gate-crashes a birthday party results in an ideal blend of silly and delightful entertainment. 

  2. Aunty's Wedding by Joshua Tyler and Miranda Tapsell: A warm tale of a family that celebrates love and the culture of Tiwi Island. 

  3. Common Wealth by Gregg Dreise: A heartfelt exploration of Australian history through the lens of slam poetry speaks of a future of togetherness. 

  4. The Katha Chest by Radhiah Chowdhury: Inspired by Bangladeshi katha quilts and Pattachitra (traditional West Bengali panel illustrations), the picture book tells the stories of women in Asiya’s family lineage. 


Australian children's literature continues to captivate and spark the imaginations of young readers. These enduring stories are a valuable source of wonder and wisdom, showcasing a diverse array of literary treasures.

Introducing your children to the world of reading from an early age can enhance their literacy skills and contribute to their overall development by exposing them to various cultures and perspectives.Each tale holds the potential to unlock creativity and encourage personal growth.

With FunFox's Reader's Club, give your child the opportunity to explore the magical realm of Australian children's books and embrace a dynamic learning strategy designed to nurture a lifelong passion for reading and writing.

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