First Nations Books for Kids: Exploring Indigenous Stories

18 Mar 2024
We have some captivating recommendations of books by First Nations authors and creatives to share. From stories of bravery and friendship to adventures, appreciation of land and cultural traditions, let's dive into these enchanting pages! 

Bush Tucker Counting by Maureen Glover 3+

‘Bush Tucker Counting’ is a beautiful board book full of cheerful watercolour illustrations depicting various bush tucker from the North of Australia. This is the perfect book to introduce early childhood readers to counting while also teaching them about some edible native plants along the way 

Thank You Rain! By Sally Morgan 4+

A beautifully illustrated celebration of rain, Thank You Rain is a joyful story of plants and animals that welcome rain. With stunning illustrations and a lovely story, the book will engage young readers and teach them about gratitude and connection to nature. 

The Heartbeat of the Land by Cathy Freeman 4+

Narrated by a young Cathy Freeman, The Heartbeat of the Land features many words from the Kuku Yalanji language and tells the story of a child who loves to run across her land. With a strong focus on caring for and bringing balance to the environment, and full of bright and breathtaking illustrations, this book is perfect for young readers. 

Welcome To Country by Joy Murphy & Lisa Kennedy 5+

Welcome to the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri People! The book is full of stunning representations of the landscape, which are bound to hold the little one’s attention span, and they’ll learn all about the history and cultural significance of the Welcome to Country.  

Deadly Science – Life Cycles by Corey Tutt and Australian Geographic 5+

For those that don’t love fiction, this book will bring you into the wonderful world of science Explore the life cycles of living things like insects, birds, whales and flowering plants. With this book children will discover the environmental factors that affect these processes. 

Wiradjuri Country by Larry Brandy 6+

Come with Uncle Larry Brandy on an enlightening journey through his Country. This beautiful book combines language, culture, Indigenous history and storytelling. Written by a Wiradjuri author, the colour photographs of animals, plants and habitats, as well as illustrations by Indigenous artists will engage the little ones and help them understand the rich history of Indigenous Australians – and learn some words from the Wiradjuri language as well! 

Young Dark Emu: A Truer History by Bruce Pascoe 10+

This junior version of the multi-award winning book compels young readers to consider a different version of Australia’s history pre-European colonisation. Exploring the cultivated farming areas, sustainable fisheries, permanent homes and an understanding of the environment and its natural resources, this book is great for maturer readers to gain an understanding of the informed and sustainable practices of Indigenous Australians before colonisation.

These books are fantastic reads for First Nations children and allies alike! We hope the little ones enjoy them, and learning about our country’s history along the way.