Recommended Indigenous Australian children's books

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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I Open the Door...

I Open the Door…

Gregg Dreise, Ann James, Judy Watson

I Open the Door...contains nine interconnected stories, all of which begin and end with opening a door. The young author/illustrators at the 2016 Spinifex Writing Camp were encouraged to let their imaginations run wild, and the...

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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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Colour Me

Colour Me

Ezekiel Kwaymullina

Using the rainbow as a metaphor for our diversity and uniqueness, indigenous author, Ezekiel Kwaymullina, joins forces with award-winning illustrator, Moira Court, in this gorgeous new picture book. Luminous screen prints and...

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Patty Hits the Court: Game Day! 1

Patty Hits the Court: Game Day! 1

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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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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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

Morgan, Sally; Kwaymullina, Ambelin

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

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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 Cathy Freeman is coming to talk to her...

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Our Island

Our Island

Elizabeth Honey, Alison Lester

Our island lies beneath a big blue sky, surrounded by the turquoise sea. Turtles glide through the clear salt water, and dugongs graze on banks of seagrass. In this lyrical celebration of place, the children of Mornington Island...

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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 awe-inspiring...

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Dream Little One, Dream

Dream Little One, Dream

Sally Morgan, Ambelin Kwaymullina

When Moon shines and earth breathes a breath of deepest night dream, little one, dream into the peace of a wonderful world. From sunrise to night-time, celebrate the wonders of nature with this rhythmic and radiant bedtime...

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Counting Aussie Animals in My Backyard

Counting Aussie Animals in My Backyard

Bronwyn Houston

In vivid illustrations Bronwyn Houston takes us on a tour of her backyard. From tiny ants to swooping birds; meet the inhabitants of a flourishing tropical garden! With vivid imagery and simple, bold text, Counting Aussie Animals...

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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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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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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

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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Nginingawila Ngirramini: Our Story

Nginingawila Ngirramini: Our Story

Tiwi College Alalinguwi Jarrakarlinga

Nginingawila Ngirramini - Tiwi language for 'Our Story' - is a celebration of pride and a window into the lives of nine talented, intelligent and funny teenage girls from the Tiwi Islands.

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Remembering 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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Splosh for the Billabong

Splosh for the Billabong

Ros Moriarty, Balarinji

Splosh for the billabong at shady bend of river. Brush for the flowers that burst in summer heat. A glorious celebration of country, animals and painting, illustrated by Balarinji, Australia's leading Indigenous design studio.

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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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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, 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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Born to Sing

Born to Sing

Sally Morgan

Maddie loves to sing and make up new songs. Her favourite is her humpback whale song, so she is very excited when her mum and grandma promise to take her to Shark Bay to see the whales. They set off in their car and rattly old...

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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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 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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 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: Little Hare Books

The Shack That Dad Built: Little Hare Books

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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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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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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Sally's Story: My Place For Young Readers

Sally’s Story: My Place For Young Readers

Sally Morgan

My Place is Sally Morgan's rich, zesty and moving story of her childhood and growing up in Perth, Western Australia. It tells how she gradually came to realise the truth about her family and their heritage. In its original...

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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

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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My Home Broome

My Home Broome

Tamzyne Richardson, Bronwyn Houston

My Home Broome is a beautiful new picture book that captures the heart and soul of the unique multicultural community of Broome in Australias north west. With a poem written by nine year old Tamzyne Richardson as its centerpiece,...

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