Books for mother-and-child read-alouds

Sharing a book together can be a wonderful thing to do for parents and children (or for the significant adults and kids in their lives). Here are some of our best recommendations across different age groups.

Recommended books to share with children ages 4–7

Bookthatneverends * For a playful interactive read, you can’t go past Beck and Matt Stanton’s anarchic (and accurately titled) picture book, The Book That Never Ends.

* The joys of family baking are lauded in children’s literature legend Margaret Mahy’s The Witch in the Cherry Tree when a sneaky witch tries to steal cupcakes from David and his mum.

* Flap along with our favourite feathery crimefighters in the latest instalment in the illustrated Real Pigeons series, Real Pigeons Nest Hard, which sees birdnappings, lost children and theft cases get solved.

* Pore over the illustrated anthology This is Home: Essential Australian Poems for Children to find new and old favourite poems by Alison Lester, Henry Lawson, Shaun Tan, Oodgeroo Noonuccal and more.

Recommended books to share with children ages 8–12

malamander * Visit the misty and monstery seaside town of Eerie-On-Sea in Malamander as Herbert and Viola try to solve one mystery and instead find another.

* The discovery of a rare ‘dragon’ dinosaur sees best friends (and amateur detectives) Kat and Harper embroiled in a suspicious death in Kat Wolfe Takes the Case, which is perfect for mystery buffs and animal lovers.

* Siblings Emery and Ella travel across the country with their dogs in The Dog Runner, a thoughtful near-future adventure in an Australia changed by environmental devastation.

* Laugh and commiserate with the effervescent Layla in Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s You Must Be Layla – when Layla’s first weeks at her new school really don’t go to plan, she has to dig deep to overcome prejudice and prove she deserves her scholarship.

Recommended books to share with teenagers

tellercrow * New Ellingham Academy student Stevie is determined to solve a fifty-year-old cold kidnapping case in Truly Devious, but instead finds herself at the centre of the much fresher murder of her classmate.

* Teenager Rudra visits Bengal for the first time in The Honeyman and the Hunter, a gentle coming-of-age story that explores family history and cultural identity.

* First, explain Buffy to your teen (if they don’t already know), then pick up Slayer, which follows Nina, the newest and last ever Slayer.

* Ghost story, police procedural, poetry and prose combine in the award-winning novel Catching Teller Crow which tracks the affecting and interwoven stories of two young Aboriginal women and a mysterious fire in a small town.

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The Witch in the Cherry Tree

The Witch in the Cherry Tree

Margaret Mahy, Jenny Williams

$12.99Buy now

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