There are loads of ways to celebrate Australia Day and as you read this you quite possibly have plans to spend the day with some mates and family. Perhaps you’re heading to the beach, having a BBQ, going for a bush walk watching the tennis or just enjoy the sights and sounds of this beautiful country in you own small or big way.

With the school year about to start for most Aussie kids tomorrow, some families will be enjoying low key celebrations at home with some great Australian kids movies or quieter pursuits. I can totally recommend two Australian family friendly movies we’ve watched in recent times Paper Planes and Oddball they are both fantastic movies my kids have watched many times over.

Keeping quieter pursuits and kids in mind I thought it would be wonderful to celebrate Australian Children’s Literature and Authors, on this Australia Day.

I’m sure you will recognise some of these titles and authors from your own childhood or school days. I have some of these titles and authors, including some first editions in my personal collections and stock. I’ve also recently bought second hand copies of some some Australian Children’s books I had as a child, to share and relive with my children.

How many of these titles and authors do you recognise or have read? Wouldn’t it be a great shared goal to have with your kids this year to read as many Australian Children’s Classics as possible?

The first eight titles that you see below will be very well known to many these eight titles are relatively easy to come by in a second hand and collectable book shops or op shops.

Seven Little Australians – Ethel Turner
The Magic Pudding – Norman Lindsay
Blinky Bill – Dorothy Wall
Snugglepot and Cuddlepie – May Gibbs
Bush Christmas – C.J Dennis
The Muddleheaded Wombat – Ruth Park
Waltzing Matilda – A.B (Banjo) Paterson
The Rainbow Serpent – Dick Roughsey

Other notable Australian children’s authors and classics are:

Possum Creek and the Animals that Noah Forgot – A.B (Banjo) Paterson
Bottersnikes and Gumbles – S.A Wakefeild
The Story of Karrawingi the Emi – Leslie Rees
It Happened One Summer – Joan Phipson
All the Pride Tribesmen – Kylie Tennant
The Brown Land Was Green – Mavis Thorpe Clark
The First Walkabout – Norman B. Tindale and H.A Lindsay
A Little Bush Maid – Mary Grant Bruce
The Spirit Wind – Max Fatchen
The Sun on the Stubble – Colin Thiele
By the Sandhills of Yamboorah – Reginald Ottley
Children of the Desert – Phyl and Noel Wallace
Longtime Passing – Hesba Brinsmead
Whalers of the Midnight Sun – Alan Villiers

Ivan Southall, with:

  • Ash Road – The Children’s Book Council of Australia – Book of the Year 1966
  • Hills End 

Patricia Wrightson, with:

  • The Crooked Snake 
  • The Nargun and the Stars 
  • The Bunyip Hole 

Nan Chauncy, with:

  • Tiger in the Bush – Nan Chauncy 
  • Tangra – Nan Chauncy

Do any of theses titles bring back childhood memories of reading escapes to other places?

I’ve been lounging around in quiet moments over the last few days reading Ash Road by Ivan Southall (pictured and listed above) which is a first edition second print, I recently picked up at my favourite collectable book store haunt here on the Gold Coast. So that will be my Australia Day today with a bit of reading, a bit of sunshine in the yard with the kids, some vegemite sandwiches, some Aussie tunes and a relaxed day before school goes back tomorrow.

5 thoughts on “Australia Day: Celebrating Vintage Australian Children’s Literature…….

  • January 25, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    Sometimes I reread children's books too. Enjoy your reading this Australia Day.

  • January 26, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Love the list! I remember the Magic Pudding and Blinky Bill fondly. I found a copy of Blinky Bill at the Op Shop two months ago, still gotta read that one again! 🙂

  • January 26, 2016 at 11:21 am

    I have read so many of these books or books by the same authors but my all time favourite is Seven Little Australians.

  • January 28, 2016 at 3:37 am

    I -love- children's books and their illustrations. I didn't realize a lot of these were by Australian authors 🙂

  • January 29, 2016 at 12:06 am

    A wonderful list – I feel the need to go op shopping now! Aren't they just the BEST for books! x


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