Recommended Indigenous Australian children's books

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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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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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. She's taken back to the community where she finds a happy home. Happy that is apart from the local dogs who keep chasing and...

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Bakir and Bi

Bakir and Bi

Jillian Boyd, Tori-Jay Mordey

Bakir (rock) and Mar (storm bird) live on a remote island called Egur with their two young children. While fishing on the beach Bakir comes across a very special pelican (Bakir's totem is a pelican) named Bi. One day Bakir and Bi...

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My Australian Story: Who am I?

My Australian Story: Who am I?

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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We All Sleep

We All Sleep

Ezekiel Kwaymullina

Acclaimed mother-and-son-team Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina take readers on a journey through a day, celebrating the interconnectedness of people and animals in lyrical language and sumptuous colour.

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Monster Party

Monster Party

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

Monster Party is an explosion of fun and pure joy. Children will love the hilarious, naughty desert monsters who come out of the ground to have a party on Dora Lake. Eating chips and monster cake, they go 'galumphing' all over...

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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

Benny Bungarra comes to the rescue when Olive Python's head is stuck in a plastic bottle, Colin Crow's beak is entangled in a fishing line, and Kathy Kangaroo's paw has glass in it! Benny Bungarra's Big Bush Clean-Up...

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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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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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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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The Rainbow

The Rainbow

Ros Moriarty

A perfect read-aloud story which revels in the kaleidoscopic colours of the Australian landscape featuring Indigenous art by Balarinji.

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Free Diving

Free Diving

Lorrae Coffin, Bronwyn Houston

Free Diving is a poignant tribute to the Indigenous men and women who worked in the pearling industry as 'free divers' in the late nineteenth century in Western Australia.In a practice known as 'blackbirding' (forced...

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At the Beach I See

At the Beach I See

Kamsani Bin Salleh

This delightful book for Early Childhood will mesmerise young children and older readers. The black linework and colourful wash backgrounds work beautifully with the lyrical text. Together they introduce extraordinary creatures...

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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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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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The Perfect Thing

The Perfect Thing

Sally Morgan, Ambelin Kwaymullina

Lily's grandpa can solve any problem. He always knows the perfect thing. Grandpa suggests a walk in the park, but Lily has other ideas - and lots of weird and wonderful objections. But no problem is too great for grandpa - he has...

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I Love Me

I Love Me

Sally Morgan, Ambelin Kwaymullina

A celebration of individuality and joyous self-esteem, in bouncy, rhythmic prose and riotous colour.

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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 Cathy Freeman is coming to talk to her...

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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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 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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The Rainbow Serpent

The Rainbow Serpent

Dick Roughsey, P. Trezise

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

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Why I Love Australia: Little Hare Books

Why I Love Australia: Little Hare Books

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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Aboriginal Story: How the Birds Got Their Colours

Aboriginal Story: How the Birds Got Their Colours

Pamela Lofts, Mary Albert

This book is based on a story told by Mary Albert, of the Bardi people, to Aboriginal children living in Broome, Western Australia. The illustrations are adapted from their paintings of the story. Mary Albert said, Would you like...

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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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The Goanna Was Hungry

The Goanna Was Hungry

Ann James, Sally Morgan

Imagine being at a camp in the Great Victorian Desert. Imagine being one of just ten lucky kids chosen to work with two of Australia's best-loved author illustrators. In June 2015, The Indigenous Literacy Foundation brought...

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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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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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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

Marnie Clark of Curdie Vale can ride but she doesn't have a horse. She dreams of owning one and having the whole world to ride it in. Before too long Marnie is gifted Mrs Margaret ‘Maggie' Whitlam, a beautiful, big...

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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

AFL legends Adam Goodes and Michael O'Loughlin are blood brothers and great mates. They are also two of the best footballers ever to play for the Sydney Swans. Between them, they played over 650 games and kicked over 900 goals.<br...

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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

The Girl from the Great Sandy Desert is the charming account of the life of Mana, a young Walmajarri girl, and her family, in the desert country of north-west Australia. Simultaneously delightful tales of...

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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

Eleven-year-old Dylan has to move from Mt Isa to Brisbane and he's not happy. But as soon as he gets to Flatwater State School he finds a former Mount Isa Miner's footy supporter in his principal and a 'Broncos tragic' as a...

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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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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

Born To Run

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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