Recommended First Nations children's books

Main Abija My Grandad

Main Abija My Grandad

Karen Rogers

With luscious artwork and a lyrical text in Kriol and English, celebrated Ngukurr artist Karen Rogers evokes the world of her childhood in a remote part of the Northern Territory. Her story is a beautiful celebration of a special...

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The Emu Who Ran Through the Sky (Tales from the Bush Mob, Book 2)

The Emu Who Ran Through the Sky (Tales from the Bush Mob, Book 2)

Helen Milroy

The emus couldn't fly, but did they sit around looking sad? No! They made sure everyone knew just how fast they could run. Except for poor Lofty...

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Hello and Welcome

Hello and Welcome

Gregg Dreise

A wonderful companion to Gregg Dreise's highly acclaimed My Culture and Me, this joyful picture book celebrates Australia's Indigenous heritage and the diversity we enjoy today.

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Backyard Bugs

Backyard Bugs

Helen Milroy

From beautiful butterflies to kaleidoscopic Christmas beetles, First Nations author and illustrator Helen Milroy returns to the backyard with a picture book designed to teach kids (and their handlers) all about the scurrying,...

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Welcome, Child!

Welcome, Child!

Sally Morgan

Welcome, child! is Sally Morgan's beautiful and heartfelt celebration of the love we feel for a new child. Simple, elegant and adorable, this stunning board book is the perfect story to share as a family and the sweetest way to...

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Billie and the Blue Bike

Billie and the Blue Bike

Ambelin Kwaymullina

Billie wants the blue bike and she asks her Mum to buy it for her - but her Mum has no money to spend on a bike. She asks Uncle Jack and he won't give her the money either, but he will help her save up to buy the bike herself. She...

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Finding Our Heart

Finding Our Heart

Thomas Mayor, Blak Douglas

A young reader's edition that follows Thomas Mayor's bestselling book Finding the Heart of the Nation.

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Our Home, Our Heartbeat

Our Home, Our Heartbeat

Adam Briggs, Kate Moon, Rachael Sarra

Adapted from Briggs' celebrated song 'The Children Came Back', Our Home, Our Heartbeat is a celebration of past and present Indigenous legends, as well as emerging generations, and at its heart honours the oldest continuous...

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 Read reviewWelcome To Country (Board book)

Welcome To Country (Board book)

Lisa Kennedy, Aunty Joy Murphy

An Aboriginal ceremony of Welcome to Country is depicted for the first time in a stunning board book from two Indigenous Australians.

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Bindi

Bindi

Kirli Saunders, Dub Leffler

Meet 11-year-old Bindi. She's not really into maths but LOVES art class and playing hockey. Her absolute FAVOURITE thing is adventuring outside with friends or her horse, Nell.

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Respect

Respect

Aunty Fay Muir, Sue Lawson, Lisa Kennedy

A tender, thoughtful story reminding us to respect others and respect ourselves. Part of the Our Place series which welcomes children to culture. 

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 Read reviewYoung Dark Emu: A Truer History

Young Dark Emu: A Truer History

Bruce Pascoe

The highly-anticipated junior version of Bruce Pascoe's multi award-winning book.

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Day Break

Day Break

Amy McQuire, Matt Chun

Day Break is the story of a family making their way back to Country on January 26. We see the strength they draw from being together, and from sharing stories as they move through a shifting landscape.

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 Read reviewFound

Found

Bruce Pascoe, Charmaine Ledden-Lewis

This gentle story set in the rugged Australian bush is about a small calf who becomes separated from his family.

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The Art in Country: A Treasury for Children

The Art in Country: A Treasury for Children

Bronwyn Bancroft

In this magnificent celebration of country, Bronwyn Bancroft uses colours, shapes, patterns and words to explore the awe-inspiring beauty of the Australian continent, and to express the depth of her feelings for it.

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I Want To Be A Superhero

I Want To Be A Superhero

Breanna Humes, Ambelin Kwaymullina

Beautifully told and illustrated story of Breanna, who wants to be a superhero. She asks family and friends if she can become a superhero by wishing upon a shooting star. She tries but it doesn't work. Breanna is finally happy...

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Athakwere Akweke Angkethakwe (The Thirsty Little Mouse)

Athakwere Akweke Angkethakwe (The Thirsty Little Mouse)

Lorrayne Gorey, Amanda Turner

Athakwere Akweke Angkethakwe (The Thirsty Little Mouse) is an Arrernte children's book, written and illustrated by First Nations educators Lorrayne Gorey and Amanda Turner at Ampe-kenhe Ahelhe (Children's Ground Central...

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Father Sky and Mother Earth

Father Sky and Mother Earth

Oodgeroo

Written and illustrated by Oodgeroo of the tribe Noonuccal (formerly known as Kath Walker), this book tells how Father Sky and Mother Earth created the world and all the plants and animals that inhabit it. Enter Human Animal -...

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Took the Children Away

Took the Children Away

Archie Roach, Ruby Hunter

Took the Children Away is a moving indictment of the treatment of indigenous children from the Stolen Generation' and a song which struck a chord' not only among the wider Aboriginal community, but also nationally.

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Apmwe Iwenhe? (What Snake?)

Apmwe Iwenhe? (What Snake?)

Children's Ground

Apmwe Iwenhe (What Snake?) is an Arrernte children's book, written by First Nations educators at Ampe-kenhe Ahelhe (Children's Ground Central Australia). The vibrant illustrations were created by children from Uyenpere Atwatye...

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Shirley Purdie: My Story, Ngaginybe Jarragbe

Shirley Purdie: My Story, Ngaginybe Jarragbe

Shirley Purdie

World-renowned Gija artist Shirley Purdie shares her artwork and life story in a stunning new children's picture book.

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Aunty's Wedding

Aunty’s Wedding

Miranda Tapsell, Joshua Tyler, Samantha Fry

A Tiwi-Island girl prepares for Aunty's wedding with help from her maningawu in this vibrant picture book by the popular actor and writers of Top End Wedding and the highly acclaimed illustrator of Alfred's War.

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Welcome To Country (Gift edition)

Welcome To Country (Gift edition)

Lisa Kennedy, Aunty Joy Murphy

A beautiful slipcase edition including a hardback with a keepsake art print making this a perfect gift for young readers.

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What do you call a baby...?

What do you call a baby…?

Kamsani Bin Salleh

What do you call a baby...? is an entertaining way for all children to learn the nouns that describe some of our iconic Australian baby animals.

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Family

Family

Aunty Fay Muir, Sue Lawson, Jasmine Seymour

This is the second book from the Our Place series, that introduces young minds to First Nations' cultural philosophies that Aunty Fay Muir, a Boonwurrung Elder holds close to her heart.     

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Willy-willy Wagtail (Tales from the Bush Mob, Book 1)

Willy-willy Wagtail (Tales from the Bush Mob, Book 1)

Helen Milroy

Tales from the Bush Mob is a series of books about the Bush Mob, a group of animals that works together to solve problems.

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My Australian Story: Who Am I (New Edition)

My Australian Story: Who Am I (New Edition)

Anita Heiss

Mary lives with the Burkes, but they're not her real family. She hasn't seen her real mum and dad since she was taken away from them five years ago. Everyone tells her to forget about them, but she can't. She wants to find out why...

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Too Many Cheeky Dogs (Bigismob Jigiwan Dog)

Too Many Cheeky Dogs (Bigismob Jigiwan Dog)

Johanna Bell, Dion Beasley, Meigim Kriol Strongbala project of Yugul Mangi Development Aboriginal Corporation

Mandeitaim aibin wok la main anti kemp en yu sabi wanim aibin luk? So begins this Kriol edition of the bestselling cheeky book set in a remote Indigenous community, romping through numbers, colours and days of the week to the...

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Barraeemal

Barraeemal

Carolyn Briggs

Barraeemal is a Boon Wurrung story written by N'Arweet Carolyn Briggs. Barraemal is the Boon wurrung word for emu.

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Rocky and Louie

Rocky and Louie

Phillip Walleystack, Raewyn Caisley, Dub Leffler

Louie's big brother, Rocky, has big dreams and wants to chase them. But Louie doesn't want him to forget where he belongs...

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Mum's Elephant

Mum’s Elephant

Maureen Jipiyiliya Nampijinpa O'Keefe, Christina Booth

Maureen Jipiyiliya Nampijinpa O'Keefe grew up in the remote community of Ali Curung in the NT. Her family lived a bush life. They didn't own much but her mother had a very special 'elephant'. It was her mother's most prized...

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Counting Our Country

Counting Our Country

Jill Daniels

Counting Our Country is a bilingual counting book from Jill Daniels, an Indigenous artist who lives in SE Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

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Bubbay's Desert Adventure

Bubbay’s Desert Adventure

Josie Wowolla Boyle, Fern Martins

A story full of magic, combined with richly textured illustrations. Age range 5+

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Brother Moon

Brother Moon

Maree McCarthy Yoelu, Samantha Fry

Brother Moon is a powerful story lovingly told by a great-grandfather to his great-grandson. Beneath the dark sky of the Northern Territory, Hippy-Boy is captivated when Great-Grandpa Liman tells him the mysterious story of his...

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 Read reviewWombat, Mudlark & Other Stories

Wombat, Mudlark & Other Stories

Helen Milroy

From a falling star to a lonely whale, an entertaining lizard to an enterprising penguin, these Indigenous stories are full of wonder, adventure and enduring friendships.

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Cooee Mittigar: A Story on Darug Songlines

Cooee Mittigar: A Story on Darug Songlines

Jasmine Seymour, Leanne Mulgo Watson

'Warami mittigar. Hello friend.We welcome you to Darug Country.' Cooee Mittigar takes you on a walk through Darug Country.

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 Read reviewComing Home to Country

Coming Home to Country

Bronwyn Bancroft

Run to the creek, perch on a rock, slip into clear crystal water. An visual and lyrical depiction of coming home to country from acclaimed author and illustrator Bronwyn Bancroft. Shortlisted for the 2020 YABBA...

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Backyard Birds

Backyard Birds

Helen Milroy

What colourful birds are in our backyards? From laughing kookaburras and prancing mudlarks to dancing willy wagtails and hungry galahs, this picture book is a vibrant adventure discovering the native birds around us.

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Hello, Hello

Hello, Hello

Indigenous Literacy Foundation, Children from the Spinifex Writing Camp

A family is walking home on a very dark night. It's hard to see clearly - what is that shadow? And what is that noise???

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An A to Z Story of Australian Animals

An A to Z Story of Australian Animals

Sally Morgan, Bronwyn Bancroft

This remarkable book is more than an A to Z of Australian animals. It is a spectrum of every feeling under the sun - from wonder to vanity, from weariness to delight - and every one of these passions can be found between the...

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Going to the Footy

Going to the Footy

Debbie Coombes

In this quintessentially Australian title, Going to the Footy combines richly textured and striking illustrations of iconic Australian modes of transport, with some gentle humour.

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Japarrika Rises

Japarrika Rises

David Lawrence, Tiwi College Alalinguwi Jarrakarlinga, Shelley Ware

Kay-Bell is desperate to play in the AFLW, but there are many obstacles ahead for the footy star.

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Yinti, Desert Child

Yinti, Desert Child

Pat Lowe, Jimmy Pike

The first book in the Yinti series of three books. The stories are linked in a sequence that shows Yinti's development from a young bushie to a competent station worker and adult.

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Baby Business

Baby Business

Jasmine Seymour

Baby Business tells the story of the baby smoking ceremony that welcomes baby to country. The smoke is a blessing - it will protect the baby and remind them that they belong.

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Sorry Day

Sorry Day

Coral Vass, Dub Leffler

There was a hum of excitement. Flags flickered in the breeze as Maggie's heart danced with delight. 'This is a very special day!' her mother said.

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I Saw, We Saw

I Saw, We Saw

Yolnu Students from Nhulunbuy Primary School, Ann James, Ann Haddon

Following the theme of I Saw, We Saw, readers will find there's plenty more to see on each page!

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The Last Dance

The Last Dance

Sally Morgan

Everyone needs a home, but some Australian creatures are losing theirs. From sandstone ridges to tropical beaches, from coastal woodlands to alpine streams, habitats are shrinking and changing.

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Can You Dance?

Can You Dance?

Sally Morgan

A new board book that will get toddlers and preschoolers up off their feet following the actions of the animals featured in the book!

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Yakanarra Songbook: About Our Place in Walmajarri and English

Yakanarra Songbook: About Our Place in Walmajarri and English

Jessie Wamarla Moora, Mary Purnjurr Vanbee, Chris Aitken, Alison Lester, Jessie Wamarla Moora and Mary Purnjurr Vanbee

Songs about how the Walmajarri came to Yakanarra, and their special places.

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Shake A Leg

Shake A Leg

Jan Ormerod, Boori Monty Pryor

From pizza shop to bora ground, here is a joyous celebration of food, dance and cultural understanding. When three young boys go to a pizza parlour and meet an Aboriginal chef who can speak Italian and make a deadly pizza, they're...

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Sister Heart

Sister Heart

Sally Morgan

A young Aboriginal girl is taken from the north of Australia and sent to an institution in the distant south. There, she slowly makes a new life for herself and, in the face of tragedy, finds strength in new friendships.

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