‘Twas the night before Christmas and parents alike, gathered to see what the children might like. A book, fairy-tale, audio novel? they thought. Reading Australia has you covered with what should be bought.

Choosing the right book can often be a challenge for parents who’d like to encourage their children to read over the Christmas break. Gifting a book that your child will find entertaining, rather than treating it as a learning exercise could be the key.

Reading is a key foundation in your child’s learning and development so it’s important that it’s nurtured to spark their imagination, stimulate their curiosity and help their brain development.

Copyright Agency’s Reading Australia, the online resource for teachers, has more than 50 books for children to explore. The Reading Australia team has created a list of ten books to add to your Christmas shopping list.

Think about your child’s interests but don’t be afraid to try new authors and new illustrators to surprise and engage your child.

Early readers (Kindy to Year 3)
• Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley by Aaron Blabey – about a beautiful friendship between two kids who are different in every way.
• Crocodile Beat by Gail Jorgensen, illustrated by Patricia Mullins – a perfect read-aloud book for early readers.
• Who Sank the Boat by Pamela Allen – a fun Australian classic ready to be loved by the next generation.
• The Lizard Gang by Kirra Somerville, illustrated by Grace Fielding – an engaging tale about teamwork.
• Mad Magpie by Gregg Dreise – an incredibly colourful picture book that teaches children how to deal with bullies.

Older readers (Year 4 to Year 6)
• Just Macbeth! by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton – even reluctant readers can learn about Shakespeare with this wacky adaptation.
• Fog a Dox by Bruce Pascoe – these three stories set in the Australian bush teach empathy for animals.
• Once by Morris Gleitzman – this author is guaranteed to turn your children into voracious readers – get them hooked with the Once series.
• Storm Boy by Colin Thiele – this magical Australian classic has been delighting children for over 50 years.
• Vampyre by Margaret Wild and Andrew Yeo – great for older kids who like spooky books.

The summer holidays are a time for children to refresh and recharge their batteries but that shouldn’t mean that reading becomes obsolete. Reading should be part of their everyday. Giving them books they enjoy helps to ensure they stay interested and go back to school having significantly improved their reading abilities. Don’t forget, to encourage your reluctant readers by reading aloud with them!

What are your kids favourite authors at the moment? Any new books in the Santa sack this Christmas?

Share your comments below. 

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  • I love books, I enjoy reading them myself and have tried to pass my love onto my kids, now my grandkids. They make such awesome gifts for all ages


  • Must remember to go to Reading Australia site for future reference when buying books for my neighbours children.


  • I would LOVE to recommend the ‘Popperbottom Cure’ by Jacqueline Quinn.
    Its a great read and suitable for boys ans girls seven years and older.
    It’s a tale of magic and fantasy but it also has morals to teach and good values.
    It also lightly deals with the issues of bullying and divorce.
    Amazon sells it!!


  • I love Storm Boy by Colin Thiele which was also made into a Movie, a very inspirational book and movie. I also purchased it on DVD so I can watch it whever I want to.


  • Thanks for the list of book’s,also great for birthday presents!


  • Thanks for the suggestions it’s helpful


  • This year my son loves “don’t turn the page” and “press here” and if I’m honest, I like them too!


  • Oh I do love ‘Who sank the boat’ by Pamela Allen, actually, I love all of her books and often use quite a few of them to teach literacy and language to my Year 1 students.


  • who sank the boat is great! can’t blame that little mouse though when they all had a part!


  • Great recommendations, thank you. We love Aaron Blabey


  • Morris Gleitzman is always a favourite here as well as the Nancy Drew books which have once again been reprinted. If you can get your hands on the Pearlie books by Wendy Harmer, they’re a good read as well as the Phil Kettle books and Lemony Snicket books. Mem Fox books for the younger kiddies and all Enid Blyton books are favourites here as well.


  • r.l. stine is a good one


  • Happy to see Colin Thiele on this list – a terrific author with books available for all ages. His books are my favourites and I have passed them onto my children. They are timeless classics and he truly captures Australia’s people and the environment.


  • Thank you for the suggestions.


  • I have purchased books for my girls for christmas – my youngest loves The Bad Guys – it’s really funny and even my 10 year old loves to listen when I read it. I have also purchased fiction and non-fiction. They both asked for a chapter book (ages 10 and 6) and I think David Walliams is one that I got – and then some books like Doctor Who and Coding as that is what they are interested in.


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