Girls to the Front: Our favourite Aussie junior fiction series starring girls!

Girls to the Front: Our favourite Aussie junior fiction series starring girls!

We’re all absolutely loving Zanni Louise’s brilliant new beginner fiction series, Tiggy and the Magic Paintbrush here at Better Reading Headquarters! Charting the trials and tribulations of young Tiggy and she tackles everyday worries and challenges with enthusiasm, intelligent and positivity (and the help of a rather special paintbrush), the Tiggy series represents everything we love about Aussie junior fiction.

When trying to find a clever, imaginative and vibrant young female character for newly independents to connect with, we are absolutely spoilt for choice here in Australia – from long-time favourites such as Billy B Brown or Clementine Rose, to more recent offerings like Tiggy or Ginger Green.

All of these series are perfect for 5-8 years olds, and we are sure potential young fans will quickly delight in knowing there are many books featuring their new favourite character!

Let us know if there is an Aussie author that we have missed!

Tiggy and the Magic Paintbrush – Zanni Louise

Tiggy has a big imagination and she can sometimes have big feelings too. But everything is A-Okay, because Tiggy has a very special secret…

Tiggy is spirited and full of imagination, though she can sometimes be just a little bit shy, and a little bit worried about things that are out of her control. But everything is A-Okay, because Tiggy has a special secret – a magic paintbrush that can bring to life anything her imagination dreams up!

Billie B Brown – Sally Rippin

Meet Billie B. Brown, brave, brilliant, bold, and bound to become your best friend! Brand-new readers will readily relate to this series of stand-alone, everyday adventures. Filled with true-to-life situations, warm family relationships, humorous illustrations and positive problem-solving, they’re taking the early reader scene by storm!

Juliet, Nearly a Vet – Rebecca Johnson

Meet Juliet, she is nearly 10-years-old and is almost a vet (sort of). Juliet’s mother is a vet, and it is from watching her mum do her job most days that encourages Juliet in her belief that she too could do a good job looking after animals! Perfect for all animal loving, vet dreaming young readers, author Rebecca Johnson is an award-winning Science teacher, so you can be assured that all animal information is pretty spot on.

Clementine Rose – Jacqueline Harvey

Clementine Rose was delivered not in the usual way, at a hospital, but in the back of a mini-van, in a basket of dinner rolls.

So begins the story of a lovely little girl who lives in Penberthy Floss in a large ramshackle house with her mother, Lady Clarissa, Digby Pertwhistle the butler and a very sweet teacup pig called Lavender.

When her scary Aunt Violet arrives unexpectedly, the household is thrown into disarray. What is it that Aunt Violet really wants and what is she carrying in her mysterious black bag?

Ella and Olivia – Yvette Poshoglian

Best friends and sisters, Ella and Olivia are the focus of this lovely series perfect for readers looking for a bit more of a challenge after mastering the Billie B Brown series. Exploring such issues as new kids at school, fights with your best friends, competition nerves and even getting a new pet, children will see their own lives reflected back at them, something which will surely engage them on many levels!

Coco Banjo – N.M Gemmell

Coco Banjo loves her life. She sleeps in a tiger onesie, wears her mum’s diamonds just because she can, and has dolphins and penguins for friends. With a sparkling Australian setting and offbeat humour, Coco Banjo will surely have readers giggling with delight!.

Violet Mackerel – Anna Branford

The beautifully philosophical Violet Mackerel series offers themes and issues that many young readers will connect with, wonderfully they read as stories about a real girl and a real family…complete with issues that will be familiar to many children.

The central character, Violet Mackerel, was named after the flower of the same name, but she herself is also rather partial to fuchsias. Violet does not enjoy early mornings, but she does enjoy poffertjes with icing sugar. Violet enjoys coming up with theories on life, which then get tested in each new book. Warm and inviting, with some of the most exquisite illustrations in junior fiction, these are a gorgeous series to share together.

Henrietta, The Greatest Go-Getter – Martine Murray

Henrietta P. Hoppenbeek provides the delightfully careening narrative in Murray’s (The Slightly True Story of Cedar B. Hartley ) quirky tale. After the garrulous heroine describes herself (“I’m a good wiggler, and sometimes I’m exhillperating and sometimes I’m exasperating “), she introduces her pet mice, dog, best friend and baby brother Albert, who is “only the size of a sock.

Independent readers will easily fall under Henrietta’s sway, and joyfully go along on her madcap adventures of imagination.

Lulu Bell – Belinda Murrell

Where there’s Lulu, there’s family, friends, animals and adventures galore!

Belinda Murrell’s lovely Lulu Bell will win the hearts of young readers quickly. Fun-loving and slightly bossy, they’ll love reading about her adventures with her zany family.

Ginger Green, Play Date Queen – Kim Kane

Ginger Green is BRIMMING with excitement, BURSTING to dance and BUSTING to play with her friends. But will she ever have a drama-free play date? There’s no such thing, but don’t worry because Ginger Green IS the Play Date Queen!

Play dates are a fabulous way to explore friendships and social etiquette in a way young readers will love. In this fun early-reader series, the clever Ginger Green navigates a range of tricky social situations with a lightness of touch and gentle humour. It’s the perfect companion for any child who is making their way from picture books into chapter books.

Polly and Buster – Sally Rippin

With her Billie B Brown series, Sally Rippin has proven that she truly understands the minds and worries of small people. Polly and Buster explore the nuanced and sometimes scary world of friendship and school with such empathy that adults and children alike will find themselves identifying with the stories.



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  1. Gemma Angell says:

    The anti-princess club by Samantha Turnbull is great too. Based on a group of 10 year old girls that “don’t need rescuing”.

  2. Kerryn Dempsey says:

    You forgot Squishy Taylor, by Ailsa Wild!

  3. Kalika Miliankos-King says:

    What about the Our Australian girls series and Alice-Miranda?