Stories and pictures are a great way for children to begin to understand the wider world. They can inspire, help children explore complex issues or offer different ways to approach the every day. This list of inspiring reads ranges from books that encourage bravery, explore environmental responsibility and provide insight into personal and community challenges. Share them with younger readers as a conversation starter and read them at the same time as your older readers so you can answer their questions.
Take Heart, Take Action by Beci Orpin
What It’s About: Designer Beci Orpin has created a book to inspire children (and adults) into making a positive impact on the world. Each page in this vibrant book has its own unique message or “conversation starter” on a wide range of issues, from how to directly care for the environment, to behaving in a socially conscious way.
Why We Love It: Take Heart, Take Action is a gorgeously illustrated picture book with bold, honest images which will get your little reader thinking about how they fit in the world and how they can make it better.
Brave Adventures, Little Girl by Iresha Herath, illustrated by Oscar Fa
What it’s about: Brave Adventures, Little Girl by Iresha Herath, takes little readers on a journey around the globe while reflecting on the importance of grandparents and finding courage to embrace all that life has to offer.
Why we love it: This touching story is a joy to read, and is filled with stunning illustrations. It’s the perfect book for grandparents and parents alike to read to young children – it will be the start of many wonderful conversations about family and being brave!
You Can Change The World by Lucy Bell
What It’s About: Australian author, Lucy Bell has done all the hard work for us with a guide that provides practical information on how to make a positive difference to the world one step at a time. This is the go-to book for anyone who wants guidance on how to tackle everyday life in the most environmentally responsible, kind and aware way.
Why We Love It: Beautifully illustrated You Can Change the World is nothing short of stunning – the perfect gift for young people that you can genuinely feel good about handing over.
En Pointe by Chloe Bayliss
What it’s about: Chloe is an ordinary girl with an extraordinary passion, a passion for dance. On the journey to becoming a professional dancer many things have been sacrificed but dedication has driven her to continue to reach for new heights. When she is dealt an unexpected blow and finds herself struggling for her life, she has to draw on all her reserves to achieve her dreams.
Why we love it: This is a gripping and eye-opening tale, yet it’s also inspiring. It’s about adapting, it’s about pushing yourself to achieve your dreams and sometimes having to face the fact that you can’t control what life has in store for you despite hard work, careful planning and overwhelming passion.
Songbird by Ingrid Laguna
What it’s about: Jamila has fled her home in Iraq to live in Australia, where a new school, new friends and a new language makes life complicated. Aside from all of this she is desperately missing her father and her best friend Mina who are both still in Iraq. When the school choir provides her with a place of belonging and comfort, Jamila must be careful not to cross the line when trying to hide her differences.
Why we love it: Reading Songbird together is a great way to start conversations with your children about topical issues, refugees, and to help create understanding around differences in culture and family. With themes around family, community and belonging, the book is also about finding what you’re good at and having the courage to pursue it.