Children’s books

What sort of books should I choose?

For the sort of books to choose for different stages of your child's development, from birth to 4 years, click here. Printable sheets are available in English and nine community languages.

Babies from birth to 12 months

Asquith, Ros
Babies! and others
Dorman, Helen (The Children’s project)
Baby shapes
Gant, Trish — photographer (Walker books)
Gentieu, Penny
Wow! Babies!
Hoban, Tania
Black on white
Red, blue, yellow shoe
White on black
Who are they?
First cot book
Lousanda, Sandra (Campbell)
Baby Faces
Miller, Margaret
Baby faces
Baby food
Baby pets
Get ready, baby
Peekaboo, baby
and others
Ormerod, Jan
Oxenbury, Helen
I see
I touch
Tickle tickle
Tom Tracy
Show me!

12–18 months

Asquith, Ros (Random house)
Baby’s shoe
Campbell, Rod (Campbell books/Macmillan)
Stroke Henry — tactile book
Dorling, Kindersley (and earlier)
Baby love
Toys that go
Hutchins, Pat
Rosie’s Walk
Nilsen, Anna & Nick Sharratt (Orchard books)
Jungle Peepers
Oxenbury, Helen
I can
Clap hands
Scholastic Australia
Cuddly Puppies (tactile)

1½–2½ years

Argent, Kerry (Omnibus)
Animal capers
Campbell, Rod
Baby animals
Busters Park
Busters Day (lift the flap)
Dear Zoo
Farm animals
Farm babies
Farm chase
My presents
Noisy farm (lift the flap)
Zoo animals
Other titles
Carle, Eric
Mister seahorse
My first book of colours
Slowly, slowly, said the sloth
Cousins, Lucy
Hooray for fish
Is this Maisy’s house?
It’s more fun with Maisy
Maisy’s rainbow dream
Maisy’s treasure hunt
Maisy loves you
(other titles)
Cowley, Joy
Mrs Wishy Washy
Mrs Wishy-washy’s farm
Dorling, Kindersley
My first body board book
Garland, Sarah
Doing the garden
Going shopping
Ellie’s breakfast
(other titles)
MacKinnon Debbie & Anthea Sieveking (Frances Lincoln)
Find my spade (a first lift the flap book, one of a series)
Martin, Bill
Brown bear, Brown bear, what do you see?
Panda bear, Panda bear, what do you see?
Polar Bear, Polar bear, what do you hear?
Miller, Virginia
On your potty!
Ten red apples
Where is little black kitten?
Pienkowski Jan
Rowe, Jeanette
My Dad
My Grandad
My Grandma
My Mum
Whose teeth?
Whose nose, feet, ears?
Yoyo’s day
Watanabe, Shigeo
How do I put it on

2½–3½ years

Allen, Pamela
Inside Mary Elizabeth’s house
Who sank the boat?
(other titles)
Ahlberg, Allen & Janet
Each Peach, Pear, Plum
Burningham, John
My first book of colours
Andreae, Giles
Commotion in the ocean
K is for kissing a cool kangaroo
Rumble in the jungle
Clark, Emma Chicester
I love you, Blue Kangaroo
Just for you, Blue Kangaroo
Dodd, Lynley
Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy
(and other titles)
Fox, Mem; illus Jane Dyer (Omnibus)
Time for bed
Hill, Rod
Where’s Spot?
(and other titles including lift the flap books)
Hughes, Shirley
Hutchins, Pat (Puffin)
Happy birthday Sam
McBratney, Sam
Guess how much I love you
Pienkowski, Jan
Turner, Gwenda
Let’s make mud!
(and other titles)
Waddell, Martin
Good job, little bear
Room for a little one
Sleep tight little bear
West, Colin
Buzz…Buzz…buzz went bumblebee
‘I don’t care,’ said the bear
(and other titles)

3–5 years

Alborough, Jez
Watch out! Big Bro’s coming!
Allen, Pamela
Cuthbert’s babies
The pear in the pear tree
Andreae, Giles
Berenstein Bears series
Bears in the night
Blake, Quentin (Jonathon Cape)
Quentin Blake’s ABC
Browne, Anthony
My Dad
Burningham, John
Mr Gumpy’s outing
Mr Gumpy’s motorcar
Carle, Eric (Hamish Hamilton)
The very Hungry caterpillar
Donaldson, Julia
Chocolate mousse for greedy goose
The Gruffalo
The smartest giant in town
Emmett, Jonathan
No place like home
Someone bigger
Fox, Mem
Possum Magic
Where is the green sheep?
and others
(many versions)
The Gingerbread Man
Fearnley, Jan
Mr Wolf’s Pancakes
French, Jackie
Too many pears
Graham, Bob
Queenie, the bantam
Grindley, Sally
Hughes, Shirley
Inkpen, Mick
The Great Pet Sale
Jones, Ursula
The Witch’s children and the Queen
Kelly, Mij
Where’s my darling daughter?
Krosoczka, Jarrett
Bubble bath pirates
Langley Jonathon, Mark Sperring
The Fairytale Cake
Long, Melinda
Hi, I became a pirate
Mahy, Margaret
A lion in the meadow
A summery Saturday morning
Puttock, Simon
Squeaky clean
Roddie, Shen
You’re too small
Rosen, Michael
We’re going on a bear hunt
Sendak, Maurice
Where the wild things are
Sutton, Eve & others
My cat likes to hide in boxes
(many versions)
There was an old lady who swallowed a fly
Tolstoy, Alexi
The great big enormous turnip
Vrombaut, An
Clarabella’s teeth
Waddell, Martin
Farmer Duck
Wells, Rosemary
Bunny cakes
Bunny money
Wild, Margaret
Seven more sleeps

Wordless books

Ormerod, Jan
Magbala books
Australian Babies

Recommendations from others

Book lists

Tips and activities for parents to help get children ready to succeed at school.

Children’s Book Council of Australia
Find the awards for the picture book of the year and a number of other awards at this site, which focuses on children's books by Australian authors.
Better Beginnings
A Western Australia State Library programme. Includes a downloadable booklist entitled Better Beginnings: first books for babies and toddlers (1MB PDF) in its section on Why Read, Early Literacy.
Growing Up Reading (USA)
Look up for recommended books for babies and toddlers.
Pierce County Library (USA)
Recommended books to begin with.
Reading Zone (UK)
Includes a section for ‘Grown-ups’ as well as for teachers and children. Some recommended books are available here in Australia.
Jim Trelease
Treasury of Read-alouds