ANZLL First Nations Reading List: Children’s Books

ANZLL First Nations Literature Reading List: Fiction ANZLL First Nations Reading List Non Fiction & Life Stories ANZLL First Nations Reading List  Drama, Poetry, Art & Music
ANZLL First Nations Reading List Children’s Books First Nations Writing from New Zealand: Maori and Pacific Islands First Nations Writing from around the World (Asia, Canada & the Americas, and Africa

Cultural warning: First Nations Australians please be aware that this page contains the names of deceased persons.

This page was created on the traditional land of the Ngaruk-Willam clan, one of the six clans of the Bunerong (Boonwurrung or Boon wurrung) saltwater people of the Kulin nation.

Update 9/7/21 Thanks to numerous contributions from all over the world, this page was becoming too unwieldy to manage so it has been split into sub-categories.  Please note that asterisked authors write across genres and their work will be found in more than one category.

Please read the Introduction on the main Reading List page first.

Children’s Books

(All these reviews are on my professional blog, LisaHillSchoolStuff.

Aunty Patsy Cameron, a descendant of the Pairebeenne Trawlwoolway clan in North East Tasmania, and Lisa Kennedy a descendant of the coastal Pairebeenne/Trawlwoolway clan.

Gregg Dreise, a Kamilaroi and Euahlayi author and illustrator from northwest NSW

Kunyi June Anne McInerney whose family’s language group is Yankunytjatjara.

Nhulunbuy Primary School

Oodgeroo Noonuccal a.k.a. Kath Walker of the Quandamooka people of Stradbroke Island, Queensland

  • Stradbroke Dreaming

Jasmine Seymour and Leanne Mulgo Watson of Darug ancestry in New South Walers

Ben Tyler, from the Bininj/Mungguy peoples and cultures of Kakadu, writing collaboratively with Diane Lucas and Emma Long

Aunty Joy Murphy Wandin, a Senior Wurundjeri elder of the Kulin alliance in Victoria, and Lisa Kennedy, a Trawlwoolway story teller and artist and a descendant of Woretemoeteyenner from North East Tasmania

Brona from This Reading Life (formerly Brona’s Books) has been a regular contributor to First Nations Reading Week (formerly Indigenous Literature Week).

In her 2019 post Indigenous Picture Books for Children she included

  • Baby Business (2019) by Jasmine Seymour, a member of the Durag Custodian Aboriginal Corporation;
  • Sorry Day (2018) by Coral Vass and illustrated by Dub Leffler, from the Bigambul and Mandandanji people of SW Queensland;
  • Little Bird’s Day (2019) by Sally Morgan from the Bailgu people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia, and Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr, a Yolgu man from the Ganalbingu clan;
  • Welcome to Country (2019) by Aunty Joy Murphy and illustrated by Lisa Kennedy. Aunty Joy Murphy Wandin AO is an Elder of the Wurundjeri People of Melbourne and environs, and Lisa Kennedy is a descendant of the Trawlwoolway People on the north-east coast of Tasmania;
  • Wilam: A Birrarung Story (2019) is another story by Aunty Joy Murphy with Andrew Kelly, illustrated by Lisa Kennedy. Andrew Kelly is a Yarra Riverkeeper;
  • My Culture and Me (2019) by Gregg Dreise, a descendant of the Kamilaroi and Euahlayi tribes, from south-west Queensland and north-west New South Wales;
  • Black Cockatoo (2018) by Carl Merrison, a Jaru man from Halls Creek and his partner Hakea Hustler.

Brona also included in her collection The Land of the Echidna People, the eighth book in Percy Trezise’s Journey to the Great Lakes series. Neither Tresize nor the illustrator Mary Lewis are indigenous, but he worked throughout his life in artistic collaboration with Dick Roughsey, from the Lardil language group on Mornington Island in the south-eastern Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland and there can be little doubt that these books belong in any collection of Indigenous picture books for children.

In 2022, Brona reviewed books on the theme of the Uluru Statement from the Heart:

  • Somebody’s Land (Welcome to Our Country series) by Adam Goodes, an Adnyamathanha & Narungga man, and Ellie Laing.  Illustrated by David Hardy who is a Barkindji man, author and artist.
  • Ceremony, in the same series, also by Goodes, Laing & Hardy.
  • Finding the Heart: A story about the Uluru Statement for young Australians, by Thomas Mayor and illustrated by Blak Douglas
  • Miimi Marraal: Mother Earth by Melissa Greenwood who identifies with her mother’s a Gumbaynggirr heritage
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