Recommended Indigenous Australian children's books

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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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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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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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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An A to Z Story of Australian Animals

An A to Z Story of Australian Animals

Bronwyn Bancroft, Sally Morgan

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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 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.

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Yinti, Desert Dog

Yinti, Desert Dog

Pat Lowe, Jimmy Pike

The second book in the Yinti series. Yinti and the hunting dingo, Spinifex, walk out of the desert together and Yinti sees a white man for the first time: 'Look at that kartiya,' whispered Yinti, giggling. 'You can see the blood...

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Cunning Crow

Cunning Crow

Gregg Dreise

Way back, before once-upon-a-time, there was the Dreamtime when all the birds were white. One of those white birds was a crow called Waan.

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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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Japarrika Rises

Japarrika Rises

Tiwi College Alalinguwi Jarrakarlinga, Shelley Ware, David Lawrence

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

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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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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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Artweyenhenge. Family

Artweyenhenge. Family

Children's Ground

Artwyenhenge is a cross-cultural educational resource developed and written by Arrernte Educators to combine Arrernte language learning around family and relationships with English numeracy.

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My Culture and Me

My Culture and Me

Gregg Dreise

Feel the rhythm of the music, from your heart down to your feet.Enjoy the movements of melodies, as clapsticks keep a strong beat. This is my culture. This is me. Beautifully written and illustrated, My Culture and Me is a...

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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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 Read reviewWilam: A Birrarung Story

Wilam: A Birrarung Story

Aunty Joy Murphy, Andrew Kelly, Lisa Kennedy

Yarra Riverkeeper Andrew Kelly joins award-winning picture book duo Aunty Joy Murphy and Lisa Kennedy to tell the Indigenous and geographical story of Melbourne's beautiful Yarra River, from its source to its mouth; from its...

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Yinti, Desert Cowboy

Yinti, Desert Cowboy

Pat Lowe, Jimmy Pike

Gradually, Yinti and Wara grew accustomed to station life. They no longer ran and hid when they saw a motorcar coming along the road towards them. The third book in the Yinti series of three books.

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Nintirringanyi Ngurra Ku. Learning On Country

Nintirringanyi Ngurra Ku. Learning On Country

Children's Ground

This book is a collaboration between mothers and grandmothers, representing Luritja, Warlpiri, and Eastern Arrernte language groups in Central Australia.

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 Read reviewUbby's Underdogs: Return of the Dragons

Ubby’s Underdogs: Return of the Dragons

Brenton E. McKenna

The long-awaited, final book in the Ubby's Underdogs trilogy.

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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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 Read reviewLittle Bird's Day

Little Bird’s Day

Sally Morgan, Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr

A simple, universal story of a day in the life of Little Bird as she sings the world alive, flies with Cloud, travels with Wind, nestles with Moon and dreams of flying among the stars.

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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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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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Dead Man's Gold

Dead Man’s Gold

Michael Torres, Sharyn Egan

Billy Stone rides out one morning, headed for the cattle muster at Black Hills Station, but a stop at the waterhole in No-Man's Gorge leads to some startling discoveries. Dead Man's Gold is the story of an Aboriginal drover whose...

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Alkere. Sky

Alkere. Sky

Children's Ground

In Mparntwe (Alice Springs) our Ampe-kenhe Ahelhe ampe mape (Children's Ground children) have been learning about the sky, the weather and the seasons in their first language (Arrernte) from the right cultural educators in their...

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In the Bush I See

In the Bush I See

Kiara Honeychurch

In the bush is a playful ensemble of Australian creatures, and an exciting illustrative debut from teenage artist, Kiara Honeychurch. Hailing from Tasmania, Kiara is inspired by the bush creatures she encounters in her rural home...

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Nganga: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Words and Phrases

Nganga: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Words and Phrases

Aunty Fay Muir, Sue Lawson

Aunty, Uncle, sorry business, deadly, women's business, marngrook, dreamtime, Elders, songlines. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander words have become part of our everyday vocabulary but we may not know their true meaning of the...

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Black Cockatoo

Black Cockatoo

Carl Merrison, Hakea Hustler

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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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 Read reviewWelcome To Country

Welcome To Country

Aunty Joy Murphy, Lisa Kennedy

This is an expansive and generous Welcome to Country from a most respected Elder, Aunty Joy Murphy, beautifully given form by Indigenous artist Lisa Kennedy.

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Ngana ngai? Who am I?

Ngana ngai? Who am I?

Susan Hall, Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi Committee

Based on a previously successful children's book, Who Am I? introduces young readers to both native animals and the concept of Indigenous language - in this case the Kaurna language, from South Australia.

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Lucky and Spike

Lucky and Spike

Norma MacDonald

Lucky and Spike is the thrilling tale of two spinifex hopping mice who leave their burrow each night to race across the plains in search of food. Avoiding predators is a risky business, especially when a feral cat and a ravenous...

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Iwenhe Arratintyeme Inglwele? What Comes Out At Night?

Iwenhe Arratintyeme Inglwele? What Comes Out At Night?

Children's Ground

This book is a collaboration between both Senior and emerging Arrernte Educators to teach our children about the rhythms and patterns of country. We know the land is alive and rich with knowledge. Country is our education system -...

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My Kind

My Kind

Eddie Betts

MY KIND is the first book by AFL star Eddie Betts, which celebrates the power and positivity we can create when we come together and spread kindness.

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Japarrika

Japarrika

Tiwi College Alalinguwi Jarrakarlinga, Shelley Ware, David Lawrence

A powerful story about finding the courage to believe in yourself, written by senior students of Tiwi College in collaboration with David Lawrence and Shelley Ware. Penguin Random House will donate all profits from the sale of...

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Our Birds: Nilimurrungu Wayin Malanynha

Our Birds: Nilimurrungu Wayin Malanynha

Siena Stubbs

A delightful gift book of birds from around Yirrkala, which is Siena's home in North-east Arnhem Land.

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Molly The Pig (Moli Det Bigibigi)

Molly The Pig (Moli Det Bigibigi)

Karen Manbullo

Written in Kriol and English, this is the story of Molly, a little pig who is rescued from the bush.

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We All Sleep

We All Sleep

Ezekiel Kwaymullina

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Monster Party

Monster Party

The children of Rawa Community School, Alison Lester, Jane Godwin

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 Read reviewMy Girragundji (20th Anniversary Edition)

My Girragundji (20th Anniversary Edition)

Meme McDonald, Boori Monty Pryor

The 20th anniversary edition of the award-winning, much loved story that tells how a little tree frog helps a boy find the courage to face his fears.

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 Read reviewSorry Day

Sorry Day

Coral Vass, Dub Leffler

Two stories entwine in this captivating retelling of the momentous day when the then Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, acknowledged the sorrows of past and said ‘Sorry' to the generation of children who were taken...

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Benny Bungarra's Big Bush Clean-Up

Benny Bungarra’s Big Bush Clean-Up

Sally Morgan, Ambelin Kwaymullina

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Kick with My Left Foot

Kick with My Left Foot

Paul Seden, Karen Briggs

A lively and endearing story about a child in an Indigenous community getting ready to play his favourite game - footy!

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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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Clever Crow

Clever Crow

Nina Lawrence, Bronwyn Bancroft

Clever Crow is an endearing and witty tale that follows the exploits of a hungry and very clever crow.  

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Alfred's War

Alfred’s War

Rachel Bin Salleh, Samantha Fry

Alfred's War is a powerful story that unmasks the lack of recognition given to Australian Indigenous servicemen who returned from the WWI battlelines.

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Free Diving

Free Diving

Lorrae Coffin, Bronwyn Houston

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At the Beach I See

At the Beach I See

Kamsani Bin Salleh

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Patty Takes Charge (Game Day! Book 3)

Patty Takes Charge (Game Day! Book 3)

Patty (Patrick) Mills, Jared Thomas

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Noorn: An old story retold

Noorn: An old story retold

Kim Scott, Ryan Brown, Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project, Alta Winmar

This story comes from the wise and ancient language of the First People of the Western Australian south coast. Noorn is a story of alliances between humans and other living creatures, in this case a snake. It tells of how...

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Ngaawily Nop: An old story retold

Ngaawily Nop: An old story retold

Kim Scott, Joyce Cockles, Roma Winmar, Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project, Alta Winmar

This story comes from the wise and ancient language of the First People of the Western Australian south coast. A boy goes looking for his uncle. He discovers family and home at the ocean's edge, and finds himself as well. Ngaawily...

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Patty and the Shadows: Game Day! 2

Patty and the Shadows: Game Day! 2

Patty (Patrick) Mills, Jared Thomas

A fantastic and fun basketball series by Australian Olympian and NBA star Patty Mills that will entertain young readers, inspire kids to achieve their goals through sport, and showcase Patty's pride in his Indigenous heritage.

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Loongie the Greedy Crocodile

Loongie the Greedy Crocodile

Lucy Dann, Kiefer Dann, Bronwyn Houston

Loongie is a greedy saltwater crocodile who lives among the mangroves at Walaman Creek in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia. He has no friends and no-one will come near the creek while he is around. Loongie soon...

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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

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

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Patty Hits the Court: Game Day! 1

Patty Hits the Court: Game Day! 1

Jared Thomas, Patty (Patrick) Mills

A fantastic and fun basketball series by Australian Olympian and NBA star Patty Mills that will entertain young readers, inspire kids to achieve their goals through sport, and showcase Patty's pride in his Indigenous heritage.

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Shallow in the Deep End

Shallow in the Deep End

Tiwi College Al Alalinguwi Jarrakarlinga

Erica wants a dog. So dad brings home a new pet... a baby water buffalo! Shallow the buffalo and her friend Bruno the dog have a lot of fun, get in a lot of trouble and create a lot of havoc.

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In the City I See

In the City I See

Tori-Jay Mordey

In this delightful Early Childhood board book, Tori-Jay Mordey's graphic illustrations bring the city to life in all its colourful glory.

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I Love Me

I Love Me

Sally Morgan, Ambelin Kwaymullina

I Love Me is a vibrant, multi-colored board book that teaches kids one of life's most important lessons: self acceptance.

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I Listened and I Looked

I Listened and I Looked

Sue Briggs, Donna Leslie

Dad and all the old people say there's a Bunyip in the river but I've never seen her. I've been looking for ages.

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My Australian Story: Our Race for Reconciliation

My Australian Story: Our Race for Reconciliation

Anita Heiss

Mel Gordon loves running, and watching Seinfeld, but mostly she loves Cathy Freeman. It's 2000 and the Olympics are going to be held in Australia. In a year of surprises, Mel finds out that ..

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At the Zoo I See

At the Zoo I See

Joshua Button, Robyn Wells

This delightful book for early childhood will enthrall young children and their older readers. The vibrant illustrations are accompanied by a soft lyrical text and together they introduce some of the diverse native and exotic...

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The Rainbow Serpent

The Rainbow Serpent

Dick Roughsey, Percy Trezise

The story of the Rainbow Serpent, who made people turn into birds, animals and plants.

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Why I Love Australia

Why I Love Australia

Bronwyn Bancroft

Gorges that plummet into serpentine shadows ... Cloaks of white that drape the rocky crags of snowy mountains ... In this magnificent celebration of country, Bronwyn Bancroft uses both images and words to explore the...

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Dream Little One, Dream

Dream Little One, Dream

Sally Morgan, Ambelin Kwaymullina

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Shake a Leg

Shake a Leg

Boori Monty Pryor, Jan Ormerod

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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Spinifex Mouse

Spinifex Mouse

Norma MacDonald

Spinifex Mouse is the heartwarming tale of Cheeky, a spinifex hopping mouse, who lives in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

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Aboriginal Story: How the Birds Got Their Colours

Aboriginal Story: How the Birds Got Their Colours

Pamela Lofts, Mary Albert

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A is for Aunty

A is for Aunty

Elaine Russell

More than just an alphabet book, this title uses the letters A-Z as a framework to tell us about growing up on a mission in northern New South Wales. It is a first alphabet book with an Aboriginal theme and describes daily...

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 Read reviewRemembering Lionsville

Remembering Lionsville

Bronwyn Bancroft

Renowned artist Bronwyn Bancroft's Remembering Lionsville brings to vivid life her family's oral history and her own childhood memories.

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Land of the Kangaroo People

Land of the Kangaroo People

Percy Trezise

The Kadmakara children are helping Wongabel to reach her home tribe, the Woomera people, but they have to pass through the Land of the Kangaroo people - and they are cannibals. Ages 8-14.

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Fair Skin Black Fella

Fair Skin Black Fella

Renee Fogorty

Mary, a young Aboriginal girl, lives on a red and dusty cattle station. Shunned by the other girls because of her fair skin, Old Ned, one of the community elders, finally speaks up. He teaches the girls that Aboriginal identity...

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In Your Dreams

In Your Dreams

Sally Morgan, Bronwyn Bancroft

Susie is supposed to write about what she wants to be when she grows up. But she doesn't have a clue! When she has a series of puzzling dreams, Gran encourages her to think about their deeper meaning and Susie soon finds she knows...

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Two-Hearted Numbat

Two-Hearted Numbat

Ambelin Kwaymullina, Ezekiel Kwaymullina

Numbat has two hearts?one made of stone and one made of feather. His stone heart makes him strong and powerful, while his feather heart makes him soft and gentle. When having more than one heart becomes troublesome for him, Numbat...

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Big Rain Coming

Big Rain Coming

Katrina Germein, Bronwyn Bancroft

Everyone and everything is waiting for the rain. Rosie's kids, the panting dogs, the fat green frogs, and Old Stephen - for he predicts its arrival. But when will the big rain come? Shortlisted for 2002 Washington (State)...

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Joey Counts To Ten: Little Hare Books

Joey Counts To Ten: Little Hare Books

Sally Morgan, Ambelin Kwaymullina

Watch, look, listen and count! Experience the rhythm of life in the bush as Joey and his mum go about their day.

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The Legends of Moonie Jarl

The Legends of Moonie Jarl

Moonie Jarl, Wandi

Celebrating the anniversary of the first Aboriginal children's book to be published in Australia.

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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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No Way Yirrikipayi!

No Way Yirrikipayi!

Alison Lester

A beautiful children's book written and illustrated by students from Melville Island with Alison Lester.

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Sea Horse

Sea Horse

Bruce Pascoe

Written with gentle humour and a beautiful interpretation of landscape, this adventure story about Jack and his family is reminiscent of endless summers, azure seas and sandy white beaches. Jack, his dad Vince, sister Tanya, and...

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 Read reviewMrs Whitlam

Mrs Whitlam

Bruce Pascoe

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Fog a Dox

Fog a Dox

Bruce Pascoe

Albert Cutts is a tree feller. A fella who cuts down trees. Fog is a fox cub raised by a dingo. Hes called a dox because people are suspicious of foxes and Albert Cutts owns the dingo and now the dox. Albert is a bushman and lives...

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Kicking Goals with Goodesy and Magic

Kicking Goals with Goodesy and Magic

Adam Goodes, Anita Heiss, Michael O'Loughlin

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Stradbroke Dreamtime: Deluxe Edition

Stradbroke Dreamtime: Deluxe Edition

Oodgeroo Nunukul, B Bancroft

A new edition of this classic title.

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The Girl from the Great Sandy Desert

The Girl from the Great Sandy Desert

Jukuna Mona Chuguna, Pat Lowe, Mervyn Street

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Kakadu Calling: Stories for Kids

Kakadu Calling: Stories for Kids

Jane Garlil Christophersen, Christine Christophersen

From Dinky the Dingo to Finding My Way Home, Jane Christophersen presents an engaging collection of short stories for young readers. Jane reveals the wonders of daily life in the bush and includes messages about caring for the...

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Deadly D and Justice Jones: Making the Team

Deadly D and Justice Jones: Making the Team

Scott Prince, David Hartley

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 Read reviewUbby's Underdogs: The Legend of the Phoenix Dragon

Ubby’s Underdogs: The Legend of the Phoenix Dragon

Brenton E. McKenna, Banjo Woorunmurra

It is the late 1940s and Broome, a small pearling town in the heart of an ancient land, is recovering from WWII. Ubby, a smart, street-wise Aboriginal girl, is the leader of a small rag-tag gang known as the 'Underdogs'. She meets...

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As I Grew Older

As I Grew Older

Ian Abdulla

Ian Abdulla's paintings and text offer a snapshot of an Aboriginal family living on a small stretch of the Murray River in South Australia in the 1950s and 1960s when the assimilation policy still existed and there were few...

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 Read reviewPlayground: Listening to Stories from Country and from Inside the Heart

Playground: Listening to Stories from Country and from Inside the Heart

Nadia Wheatley, Ken Searle

With stunning photographs and illustrations, this book is a fascinating insight, from earliest times to today, into the experiences of Indigenous children, whose land was, and is, their playground.

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The Shack That Dad Built

The Shack That Dad Built

Elaine Russell

When Elaine Russell was five, her dad built the family a shack just outside the Aboriginal mission at La Perouse in Sydney. In this book, aimed at ages 4-8, she illustrates what life was like for an indigenous kid on the urban...

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Maralinga's Long Shadow: Yvonne's Story

Maralinga’s Long Shadow: Yvonne’s Story

Christobel Mattingley

Grandfather and Grandmother telling lots of stories. They had to live at Yalata. Their home was bombed. That was their home where the bomb went off. They thought it was mamu tjuta, evil spirits, coming. Everyone was frightened,...

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 Read reviewWelcome to My Country

Welcome to My Country

Laklak Burarrwanga, Family

Laklak Burarrwanga and family invite you to their Country, centred on a beautiful beach in Arnhem Land. Its crystal waters are full of fish, turtle, crab and stingray, to hunt; the land behind has bush fruits, pandanus for...

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Papunya School Book of Country and History

Papunya School Book of Country and History

Nadia Wheatley, Ken Searle

A fascinating and significant contribution to Australian history, this book tells the story of how Anangu from five different language groups came to live together at Papunya (250km west of Alice Springs). This multi-layered text...

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Born to Run: My Story

Born to Run: My Story

Cathy Freeman

Hi guys,Ever since I was little I only had one dream - to win a gold medal at the Olympics. When I was twenty-seven years old, my dream came true. I'll never forget that night at the Sydney 2000 Games - as I crossed the finish...

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My Home Broome

My Home Broome

Tamzyne Richardson, Bronwyn Houston

With a poem written by young Tamzyne Richardson as its centerpiece, My Home Broome captures the heart and soul of the multicultural town of Broome in Australia's north west.   

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Growing up in Kakadu, Australia

Growing up in Kakadu, Australia

Belinda Wright, Stan Breeden

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