Top Australian Picture Books for Preschoolers

Get some reading inspiration for Book Week with our book list! We've chosen a few of our educators' favourite books as children.

In Australia, we have some of the best children's authors in the world. We are lucky to have many talented writers paired with the most notable illustrators creating magical stories for us and our children. We are spoilt for choice with tales of magical creatures, narratives of the Australian bush, Indigenous Dreamtime and whimsical stories in which little learners can immerse themselves.

At Genius, we like to take every opportunity to read to our little learners as it has so many life-long benefits. Reading helps little geniuses develop their language skills, improves memory and concentration, and encourages imagination and creativity.

As parents and educators, we are of course familiar with Australian authors such as Mem Fox, Alison Lester and Graeme Base, just to name a few. Their magical tales have stood the test of time, with generation after generation immersing themselves in their stunningly vibrant stories. As inspiration for book week 2022, check out our list of beautiful children's stories by Australian authors that we’ve put together, and see if there’s something you might feel inspired to read!

Magic Beach by Alison Lester

Magic beach is a stunning fusion of magic and reality, encouraging heightened imagination. This book is filled with beautiful illustrations, fun rhymes and make-believe stories that little ones will love. The playful rhymes allow children’s creativity to run wild and to daydream about kings and queens within the sandy castle they create on their magic beach. A rock pool full of fish and crabs or could it be a magical kingdom shrouded with jewels and knights and ladies. Collecting shells and rocks on the shoreline morphs into an exposed treasure chest full of pirate treasure. Paddling out in a tangerine boat, seeing fish in the blue waters below. Suddenly, the boat is a ship off to discover the seas! This creative story offers an imaginative view of the beach, swimming, digging and playing. Your little learner will love reading about the magical Magic Beach and its hidden treasures.

Check out our list of picture books that teach young children about Indigenous culture!

Possum Magic by Mem Fox

Possum Magic is a pure classic and has been loved for generations. The illustrations in this tale are stunning, bringing this story off its pages and into everyone's hearts. As parents, you would remember the first time you read this classic and the giddy enchanted feelings you felt when you read it. Possum Magic is the most loved and highest-selling Australian picture book of all time, bringing to life the story of Hush, the invisible possum. This narrative takes readers on a whimsical journey around Australia to find food which will make Hush visible again. Grandma Poss makes Hush invisible to protect her from snakes, but there comes a time when Hush wants to be visible again. Hush has fantastic adventures in this story of exploration, self-discovery and personal identity.

Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox & Judy Horacek

Mem Fox is a literary genius in children's stories, and another masterpiece in her long list of classics is Where is the Green Sheep. Children of all ages will love taking the fun-filled journey to find the illustrious green sheep. This clever rhyming tale takes readers on a hilarious tale of various sheep on the way to discover the whereabouts of the ever elusive green sheep. The stunning illustrations with vibrant colours assist your little learner in finding and recognising colours. Funny rhyming throughout this narrative encourages language skills in children. Preschoolers anticipate finding the green sheep with the turn of every page, anxiously anticipating the green sheep’s whereabouts. We courage you to go on this exciting journey with your little learner to find that cheeky green sheep!

Animalia by Graeme Base

Everyone who has read Graeme Base's Animalia would have their favourite page in this masterpiece. The stunningly vibrant illustrations immerse the reader in this magical story of imagination and make-believe. This tongue-twisting tale takes readers on a humorous journey through pages of delicious drawings and playful rhymes. Each page has hidden items in these detailed and mind-blowing drawings. You will find yourself and your little learner spilling over pages for extended lengths, discovering the finer details and hidden treasures. Each double page celebrates stunning illustrations inviting the reader to learn letters of the alphabet. It might be 'H', "Horrible hairy hogs, hurrying homeward on heavily harnessed horses". Animalia is one of Australia's most beloved books; enjoy reading it today and discovering all the hidden items in the illustrations.

Edward The Emu by Sheena Knowles

OK so there’s a definite animal theme here but we couldn’t leave this off our list! Edward the Emu is such a gorgeous tale about an Emu who is sick of the zoo and imitates being other animals. He ultimately realises he should just be himself, which is a wonderful message for our little learners. The accompanying illustrations from Rod Clement are also wonderful.

Aside from being a lot of fun, reading encourages excellent intellectual and emotional skills in your child, including listening, articulation, problem-solving and empathy. We hope you will enjoy these stunning stories from our most loved Australian authors!

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