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Books for Children - All ages

Paddy O'Melon

by Julia Cooper

Illustrated by Daryl Dickson

Published by EK Books

ISBN 9781925335637


An Irish family who live in the rainforest and often help wildlife on their adventures one day come across a young joey who has been separated from it's mum after falling asleep while hiding in some bushes from some black dogs that were chasing them. The family, the O'Melons look after and raise the young kangaroo along with their menagerie of other wildlife Paddy as he is named by dad O'Melon,  is keen to learn more about his human family, but also wants to know who he really is. Is he an Irish kangaroo?

A lovely book, beautifully written and illustrated.


Julia Cooper the author, from the UK but moved to Queensland and worked in wildlife education and rehabilitation. With her partner, Martin Cohen she was always busy caring for native animals from flying foxes to pademelons. Julia's passion included educating people, especially children about the wonders  of the natural world and for us to look after native wildlife.  In 2011 Julie sadly passed away from an auto-immune disease and has left this story as part of her legacy.

Through the Gate

by Sally Fawcett


Published by EK Books

ISBN:  9781925335415


Change can be difficult, challenging, even exciting, confusing and inspiring, but we can't avoid change and one things for certain, time changes all.


The story of change told through the eyes of a child who has moved house and struggling to cope with this big change. All she sees at first is this run down broken house, it's not a home, or the one she was used to. Gradually day by day as she arrives home from school and walks through the gate, she notices little changes happening, until one day she realises that it has become a lovely home with a beautiful garden, one to look forward to seeing every day after school. Life takes on a happier new meaning.


Ideal for playing the spot the differences as each page is turned to increase awareness of observation and showing that a little done step by step can bring good results. We loved the illustrations as well as the story.

Ella Saw the Tree

by Robert Vescio

illustrated by Cheri Hughes

Publishedby Big Sky Publishing



A delightful and entertaining book for young readers. Ella's mum helps her to realise all the good things happening around in her in their backyard, centred but she hasn't really noticed the big tree yet.


On a windy day the tree loses some of it's leaves and Ella is convinced it means the tree is crying and she wonders why she hadn't noticed the big tree before. She takes  time to smell, listen, feel and look - that she discovers the tree in her backyard, as if for the very first time. Ella slows down and explores more to appreciate the world around her.


A good book to sit down and read with younger children and explore the lovely illustrations.

Stripes in the Forest

The Story of the Last Wild Thylacine

by Aleesah Darlison

Illustrated by Shane McGrath

ISBN 9781925275711




A very moving story about the last Tasmanian tiger or wild thylacine that once mainland Australian and New Guinea and Tasmania, eventually confined Tasmania.


The story is told through the courageous mother thylacine about the past and  to protect them in the future, just as she protects her cubs from humans and other predators.


 An interesting way to teach children about protecting vulnerable species and respecting nature. Be aware it is also rather a sad story.

Little Witch
Secrets & Spells

by Aleesah Darlison

Published by Big Sky Publishing

ISBN 9781925520101


This is the first instalment in a new magical series for readers 8 years+.

A story of Courtney who is stuck in the sleepty town of Mixton Bay for summer - with no friends, no pizza shops and not TV. So she has to find her own entertainment and discovers an old book in her grandma's attic. That is when everything changes and it is up to her to uncover the truth behind this strange book and her mysterious grandma, that she never met.

She has a new friend, Justice who is a surfer boy and a rather special cat and between them Courtney's life doesn't just change, it's transformed, forever.

Alana Oakley - Bloodlust Blunders

by Poppy Inkwell

Published by
Big Sky Publishing

ISBN: 9781925275803



Vampires, are Alana's new neighbours really vampires? Well, they're deathly pale, seem to know a lot and appears to be strange things happening. Alana's friends think they're definitely vampires, after all they've read about them.


Alana and her friends want to find out, they need to know and want to expose what's going on, even the resident loan shark and they want to meet Kylie Minogue.  Alana's 15th birthday is looming and she's not sure if she's dreading that event more, or will it be the kiss of immortality? With twists and turns in the story, she knows one things certain, she can't ask the lady in the living room.

To the Moon and Back

by Dianne Bates


Published by Big Sky Publishing

ISBN 9781925520293



Many people don't like change, especially when they don't have a say. This book is a heart warming story about a daughter, Claire who learns to embrace the changes and new beginnings.

A good read for younger children, especially those who or their friends maybe going trough  changes at home.

Claire's parents have been keeping secrets and now her mum has left her Claire's dad and dragged her off to live in the country, in some "run down shack".

She's had to leave her dad, her friends and her perfectly good life behind and now...her mum's in love with her new life and a boyfriend Mac.

But Claire's mum loves her daughter very much, she told Claire that she couldn't live without her and they do have some good girl-only days together.

Now it's up to Claire to bring her "real" family back together again.


by Kathryn Berryman


Published by

ISBN: 9781925530001

Available from

With its themes of self-discovery and empowerment, Erinland has inspiring lessons for contemporary youth looking for a sense of belonging in their world. Two troubled young adults as key players in a deadly game that spans the 21st century and the Viking Age.

Amy, finding it difficult to ‘fit in’, becomes increasingly obsessed with the virtual reality game Erinland. The Virtual Reality (VR) characters and the ‘Mist of Erin’ begin to invade Amy’s dreams - and then her waking moments. She finds herself drawn into Erinland in 9th century Ireland. Amy becomes part of this mystical world as she joins in the struggle to defeat the Viking raiders.

Richard has a complicated home life and feels he doesn’t belong anywhere. A series of events leave him desperate and living on the streets, when he is dragged into 9th century Norway by a mystical Viking warrior. Richard finds acceptance with the Vikings.

Choices they both make could mean the difference between life and death as the consequences of decisions in the game reach into their ‘real’ lives.


by Dimity Powell and Nicky Johnston

Published by EK Books


Its handy having a dad who fix things - just about anything. But what about the things that sticky tape and glue can't fix, like broken hearts?

Together a young girl and her dad face brief and heartache and discover that love can sometimes be the best glue of all.

A lovely book, beautifully illustrated and good story for bonding daughters and dads.

Being You is Enough and other important stuff

written and illustrated by Josh Langley

Published by Big Sky Publishing

ISBN: 9781925275827

Being different is OK, not all everyone is perfect, people do make mistakes and what's perfect anyway?

A fun illustrated book, divided into chapters, well or sections, to help children through school life with 11 essential life affirming messages.

Superpowers abound, it's good to listen, daydream, have awesome thoughts, learn to change how you think instead of getting angry, make yourself a better person.

A good addition for home or school library.


$10.95 from leading retailers

No, not a book, but a ball, but not any sort of ordinary ball.

This one is great for families on the go, especially good for taking on holidays or just out for the day without taking up so much room in the car, or indeed if you are trying to save space at home it will fit into the cupboard or toy box quite easily.

It's a ball that you inflate as and when you want to play with it. We wondered how good this would be, or how difficult it would be to inflate. Well, I'm pleased to tell you that it's dead easy to inflate, just insert the valve into the hole provided and blow, just as you would to blow up balloons, except this takes less effort and then you just remove the valve, but remember to keep it somewhere safe. You're now ready to go and have some fun. We bounced it around in the air and throwing it to one another and because it's quite light gives the same sort of feel as flicking a balloon to each other.  Although bear in mind it's made of stronger material than a balloon and I don't think it will pop unless some serious pressure was put on it.

Once you finished playing with it, just use the valve again to deflate it and return it to it's packaging. It comes a range of colours. Good fun for all ages!

Tommy Bell - Bushranger Boy

by Jane Smith

Published by
Big Sky Publishing

ISBN: 9781925275940

A bit of an adventure awaits as Tommy Bell, he's been told that he is going to his grandparents who live on a farm for the school holidays. He thinks its punishment for his bad behaviour, but it is not that at all.


The boy who thinks that history is sooo boring (just as school was closing for the holidays he got his history test results -  2 out 10). When he finds a cave from an old bushranger he soon finds out that history is anything but boring. Before long he is back in the days of the gold rush and find meets the bushranger Captain Thunderbolt and then, what is adventurous at first, becomes....

Tommy Bell - The Horsethief

by Jane Smith

Published by
Big Sky Publishing

ISBN: 9781925520064



All is going well for Tommy, he is popular, but now there's a new kid at school and he wants Tommy to join his gang, turns out it's not such a good idea because his friend is  trouble.


That's until he meet the bushranger while on holiday with his family. Tommy finds himself in the middle of a horse robbery, police chase and even an escape from prison.  While they're on holiday, Tommy asks his mum about the local bushranger, she vaguely remembers him and  looks up more information about him using her phone. Tommy becomes quite interested and it pleases his mum that he wants to know more about it.

The Leaky Story

by Devon Sillett and Anil Torto

Published by
EK Books

ISBN: 9781925335392


The Leaky Story may just get your younger child interested in books as it stretches the imagination taking the Blossburn family who are happily watching TV and playing video games on an amazing imaginary adventure.


There's a book sitting on their bookshelf that just can't wait to be read, but no-one is taking any notice of it, so the book swings into action. Slowlly the family hearing dripping noises but they know that seems ridiculous, until the  adventure begins. This will be a fun book to read with your 3-7 year old and they'll love the illustrations.

Ollie's Treasure

by Lynn Jenkins and Kirrili Lonergan

Published by EK Books

ISBN:  9781925335422


Ollie's grandmother knows that Ollie loves finding treasure so she gives him a treasure map with instructions of what to all along the way until he finds another note.

This leads Ollie on a journey of discovering the many wonderful things around him as he tries to find  what he hopes will be either a shiny new truck, maybe walkie talkies or a game he's been hankering after.

What Ollie discovers on this adventure is something unexpected, it's is that happiness is easy to find, if you know where to look.An interesting story to teach young children how to find happiness in things other than toys.  A good book with a simple but important story for all young children.
Do get it!

The Three Legged Kangaroo from Uluru

by Michelle Worthington

 Ilustrated by Dave Atze

Published by Big Sky Publishing

ISBN: 9781925520415


Being different, celebrating our unique qualities, rather than fitting in is what matters is demonstrated in this story with it's colourful and fun illustrations.

A kangaroo is teased by his mates for the  kink in his tail and they call him the Three Legged Kangaroo. It is upsetting to him but he is comforted by his friend Emu, until one day a funny red van rolls in through the outback, with people who have lost their way to the beach. The kangaroo discovers there are things called waves and he wants to get to them as soon as he can, so he jumps on board and heads off to WA with his new found surfing friends. An adventure ensues, he's never seen the sea before and he loves it. His new friends teach him to surf  and they think he's great.

A good book for young ones with a lovely little story to show that not everyone needs to fit in with  the norm.

The Mozzie with a Sharp Snozzie

by Irina Goundortseva

Published by Big Sky Publishing

ISBN:  9781925275964


A mozzie (mosquito) sees all the beautiful butterflies and admires them from afar. She wants to join them but they don't want her to because she's not pretty like them.


Not willing to include the Mozzie with the A Sharp Snozzie in their group, the Mozzie becomes creative, but then finds out being a butterfly is not necessarily always so good!


Without wishing to spoil the story, let's just say the Mozzie with a Sharp Snozzie saves the day and realises  that just being your natural self is best.

HiLo - The Boy Who Crashed to Earth

by Judd Winick

 A graphic novel

Published by Penguin UK

ISBN: 9780141376929


Totally ordinary kids, HiLo, DJ and Gina, or, are they? There are a few things that HiLo doesn't understand, where he comes from, that it's not a good idea to go to school wearing only his underwear and, if he is the only thing that fell onto our planet!


Can DJ, Gina and HiLo unlock the secrets to his past?


It's a fun read and sure to get a reluctant reader interested.


A little about the author, Judd Winick grew up on Long Island where he spent countless hours doodling, reading X-Men comics and watching Loony Tunes. Judd is an an award winning cartoonist, screenwriter and has scripted issues of bestselling comic series, including Batman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Justice League and Star Wars.


Comment from a young reader - daughter of one of our subscribers: "I really love the the book HiLo, it's really good and it's really funny. It only took me yesterday (after school) and this morning to read it." - Natasha.

Ball Stars - The Bench Warmers

by David Lawrence

Part of a series written in partnership with Basketball Australia.

Published by Random House Aust
 ISBN:  9780143781639


Danny, Crystal, Angie, Omyr, Leanne and Cody are the new basketball players at Robdale Primary School. Then there's Greg, or rather "The Goat" McGriffin who reckons they don't have a change of even winning a lunchtime game.


Things change when Danny, Crystal, Angie, Omyr, Leanne and Cody are picked for the school basketball squad. Can they shake off their name as the "newbies", are things looking up at the upcoming inter-school camp? It would help if they knew the rules,  but they pick that up pretty quickly.


When the school’s principal takes over as coach, despite knowing nothing about basketball and having to listen to Greg telling them how good he is, they discover they have to train themselves!


Plenty of twists and turns in the story, sure to delight young readers.


by Allison Marlow Paterson


Published by
Big Sky Publishing

ISBN: 9781925275148


In the years of 1914-1918 over 330,000 Australians served their country in a war far from their homeland, more than 60,000 of them die.


Five of these Australians were brothers; three of them were destined to never return to the home they loved. The Great War brought enormous sorrow to families all over the world. In Australia there were few who escaped the fear, nor the tragedy. This is the story of the Marlow brothers.


This powerful children's book written by the granddaughter of a surviving brother brings their story to life for future generations.


A very moving book in which the author shares the letters her ancestors wrote from the trenches so that the reader can walk in their footsteps. It's well illustrated with replicas of the actual letters, newspaper cuttings photographs and other mementos.


A tragic tale of mateship, bravery and sacrifice; a heartbreaking account of a family torn apart by a devastating war. It is a pledge to never forget.

A book for every young Australian's library.

100 Women Who Made History


Published by
Dorling Kindersley

ISBN: 9780241257241




Discover history's diverse wonder women, Catherine The Great, Anne Frank,  Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, Josephine Baker, Maria Callas Mary Wollstonecraft, Joni Mitchell, Emily Dickinson  Beyonce, eading ladies like Joan of Arc and Eleanor Roosevelt, Rose Parks, Aung Sa Suu Kii, Helen Keller, Nellie Bly, Coco Chanel, Cleopatra, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Indira Ghandi, Queen Victoria, Ada Lovelace, to name a few.


Explore the lives of each woman in detail, and photography and quirky "bobble-head" illustrations present history in a new and fun way. Love the "how she changed the world" circles for each woman.  Well thought out, with fun design, children can put each woman's story into context with "what came before" and "what came after" panels showing the things that influenced and were influenced by each woman.


Organised into features such as Clued-Up Creatives, Super Scientists, Inspiring Campaigners, Leading Ladies etc make it easy for the reader to  to paint a more complete picture.


A handy and good book for home or school library and an ideal gift.

Ellyse Perry - Winning Touch

by Sherryl Clark


Published by
Random House Australia

ISBN: 9780143781288


It's touch football season again and Ellyse can't wait to start, she thinks that touchdowns are just the best!


But it's not just about having time for touch football, there's schools too and homework. There's also her friends Jazz and Charlie and their dramas going on... one minute they have a great friendship and the next its all falling apart.


Seems there's some reorganising to be done, but is it all getting too much to handle?

The Secret Science of Magic

by Melissa Keil


Published by Hardie Grant Egmont

ISBN:  9781760127763



What does it mean to be extraordinary?  While Joshua is good at magic tricks, ignoring his homework, and not thinking about life after year twelve, he's not so good at talking to Sophia, the genius in his class who he's had a crush on for years.


But with their time together in high school running out, he has to do something about it and quickly, because ihe's learned  timing is everything.


Sophia is smart enough to know that geniuses like her can end up as socially inept recluses, truth is maybe she's halfway there already, what with the panic attacks and her best  friend Elsie drifting away. All Sophia can do is seek refuge in what she understands best: maths, science, logic. But there's no logical explanation for the odd, almost magical things happening around her. Some things no amount of study can prepare you for...

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Through the Gate


Being You is Enough and other important stuff

The Leaky Story

Ollie's Treasure

The Three Legged Kangaroo from Uluru

The Mozzie with a Sharp Snozzie


100 Women Who Made History

Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000