Recommended children’s books & news for June

Coming into the winter months, we’ve got books about consent and bodily autonomy for all ages, books to deeply appreciate Australia’s unique natural landscape and culture, tales of furry and feathered friends, and a primary school Arts Fiasco!

Find our June picks for YA books here.



Welcome to Consent by Yumi Stynes & Dr. Melissa Kang

Dr Melissa Kang and Yumi Stynes have written the only guide tweens and teens need to figure out the rules of consent, in situations like school, the doctor’s office, with relatives, and in social interactions, including relationships. It has an approachable illustrated format with first-person accounts from teens, expert advice, scripts for specific situations and has content suitable for diverse cultures, genders and bodies. Welcome to Consent covers non-sexual consent and kissing, relationships and sex, so young people can find the information that’s appropriate for them.

Our reviewer Angela praised this guide: ‘It has the power to change the conversation around consent, make interactions safer and give young people clear guidance on what positive relationships look like.’

You can read her full review here.

For ages 10+.



How to Say Hello by Sophie Beer

Continuing the theme, but for much younger kids, Sophie Beer’s latest board book helps kids understand how to establish specific boundaries in relationships, through the different ways you can greet someone depending on your comfort level: waves, fist-bumps, smiles and, if you want, a hug. How to Say Hello is illustrated in Beer’s trademark colourful, detailed and joyous style, featuring a wide range of kids and animals.

Our reviewer Pilgrim described it as ‘an eye-catching and inviting book that kids will want to return to again and again.’

You can read her full review here.

For ages 2+.


Walking in Gagudju Country by Diane Lucas, Ben Tyler & Emma Long

When we go walking, we never know how long we will be, what we will hear and what we will see. We pack our bags with food and water, a billy and some matches to light a fire. We head off into the shady monsoon forest on the edge of the billabong.

Walk through one of the Top End’s magnificent monsoon forests, in Kakadu National Park, learning about the plants, animals and Bininj culture along the way. Bininj chef, entrepreneur and bush food expert Ben Tyler and educator/writer Diane Lucas introduce readers to the stories of the local flora and fauna, as well as teaching Kundjeyhmi words. Kundjeyhmi is one of several language groups of the Bininj people.

Our reviewer Claire loved the way the co-authors and illustrator Emma Long ‘weave together a story that shares their wisdom and passion for this ancient region in an accessible and vibrant manner.’

You can read her full review here.

For ages 2+.


Pawcasso by Remy Lai

Every Saturday, Pawcasso trots into town to buy groceries and undertake other chores for his family. One day, he passes by Jo’s house, where she’s peering out the window, bored and lonely. When Jo sets out to follow him, a group of kids from school mistake her for Pawcasso’s owner and, excited to make new friends, she reluctantly hides the truth. But Jo soon becomes trapped in her own web of lies. Will she risk her new friendships by telling the truth?

Our reviewer Kim, a fan of Lai’s previous books Pie in the Sky and Fly On the Wall, said: ‘This is a funny and heartwarming graphic novel that celebrates community and friendship.’

You can read her full review here.

For ages 8+.


Twitch by M.G. Leonard

Twitch has three pet chickens, four pigeons, swallows nesting in his bedroom and a passion for birdwatching. On the first day of the summer holidays, he arrives at his secret hide to find police everywhere: a convicted robber has broken out of prison and is hiding in Aves Wood. Twitch joins forces with new friend (and his former bully) Jack, but as the hunt for Robber Ryan heightens and more newcomers turn up in Briddvale, Jack’s intentions are called into question.

This latest book from the bestselling author of Beetle Boy is the first book in a new mystery adventure series, The Twitchers. Our reviewer Dani highly recommended it: ‘ Twitch is a great book for all lovers of nature, birds and mysteries.’

You can read her full review here.

For ages 10+.


The Right Way to Rock by Nat Amoore

Mac has a secret passion for musical theatre, but his mum wants him to be a rock star. When Mac finds out that his school is going to cut all its arts subjects at the end of the year, he decides he needs to reveal his passion to the world and use it to make a difference. With some new friends, a little bit of luck, and a whole lot of hard work, it’s up to Mac to save Watterson Primary from an Arts Fiasco! The Right Way to Rock is in keeping with Amoore’s favourite themes of enthusiastic kids making a difference, seen in her related companion books, Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire and The Power of Positive Pranking.

Our reviewer Joe hugely enjoyed this ‘uplifting story all about the value of the arts and the power of community.’

You can read his full review here.

For ages 8+.


The Book of Australian Trees by Inga Simpson & Alicia Rogerson

This stunning book is a love letter to some of Australia’s most iconic trees, written by award-winning Australian author Inga Simpson. Short biographies and beautiful illustrations provide an introduction to trees that have adapted over thousands of years, have symbolic importance, are important food source to native animals, provide important habitats and homes, and are a vital part of the Earth’s ecosystems. Kids will love poring over The Book of Australian Trees, learning fascinating facts and stories about familiar and rare Australian trees. It really does deliver on its promise of making readers appreciate that trees are as unique as people!

For ages 5+.



Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

The Walker children - also known as Captain John, Mate Susan, Able-Seaman Titty, and Ship’s Boy Roger - set sail on the Swallow and head for Wild Cat Island. There they camp under open skies, swim in clear water and go fishing for their dinner. But their days are disturbed by the Blackett sisters, the fierce Amazon pirates who claim to be the ‘founders’ of the island.

Our reviewer Alexa revisited this quaint 1930s classic about free-range children and friendly family rivalry, enjoying it’s imaginative role-playing and camaraderie: ‘I was living the camping and sailing life in all its vivid and charming escapism.’

You can read her full review here.

For ages 9+.


We’ve got plenty of recent recommendations for you! If you’re craving even more animal adventures, or more books to help you explore the nature around you, we’ve got you covered. Keen readers of fantasy adventures and graphic novels, you can have both in one hit, and if you want to read more kids books written by First Nations Australians, check out these recent titles.

There are some fun events for kids coming up this month. On Saturday 19 June, 10:30am at Readings State Library, we’re launching Why do Tigers Have Whiskers? And Other Cool Things About Animals - this fascinating book came out of the popular Curious Kids series one The Conversation where academic experts answer real questions from real kids. On Sunday 20 June at 11:00am we’re hosting the online launch of Anna Ciddor’s lively historical novel The Boy Who Stepped Through Time. And finally, on Thursday 24 June, 6:30pm at Readings State Library, we have the launch of When Anna Came to Stay, an essential picture book about body image and eating disorders. These events are all free, but bookings are essential.

Last month we loved hosting a wonderful event with superstar picture book creator Jon Klassen! Klassen read from his new picture book The Rock from the Sky and also held a drawing class. Luckily for you, we recorded the whole thing, so you can watch it here.

Leanne Hall is the children’s specialist for Readings online. She also writes books for children and young adults.

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Welcome to Consent: How to say no, when to say yes and everything in between

Welcome to Consent: How to say no, when to say yes and everything in between

Yumi Stynes, Dr. Melissa Kang

$19.99Buy now

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