Australia has some of the most strange and unusual animals on earth, such as thorny devils, painted ground-dragons, fairy shrimp, legless lizards, barking spiders, echidnas, gibber-hoppers, bilbies, sugar gliders.
Here’s new and favorite children’s books about Australian animals:
- Emu by Claire Saxby, Graham Byrne. An Emu dad sits on a nest, safeguarding eight green eggs (female emus lay the eggs, then skedaddle). When chicks hatch, they have brown and white stripes for camouflage, but to keep the brood safe, Emu protects them from dangers such as dingoes and eagles, until they’re grown. Stellar illustrations, we want to take the Emu home with us. (Picture book)
- Sand Swimmers by Narelle Oliver. Discover strange and wonderful wildlife of the Australian desert – on open plains, fairy shrimp live in a salt lake, water-holding frogs wait for rain, tangled mulga bushes are home to geckos, ants, spiders, other animals, such as honey ants and painted ground-dragons, live under the ground. Even in the hottest deserts, thorny devils, sand grasshoppers and marsupial moles survive. (Picture book)
- Platypus by Sue Whiting, Mark Jackson. The platypus, with a bill like a duck and a tail like a beaver, is one of the most puzzling animals. Follow the furry platypus, as he glides on the surface of the water, forages in the mud for food, hides from a hungry fox, and when nighttime is over, it’s time to go to sleep in his cozy burrow. Spectacular illustrations. (Picture book)
- Over in Australia by Marianne Berkes, Jill Dubin. A rhyming story with gorgeous collages takes you to the forests, grasslands and deserts of Australia. “Over in Australia in a eucalyptus tree, lived a cuddly gray koala and her little joeys three.” Ten different animals, plus a hidden animal in every collage. Fun for younger kids. (Picture book)
- Koalas by Laura Marsh. Kids can read for themselves about koalas – they carry their babies in pouches, are perfect tree climbers (sleep in trees too), stay up at night, have fingerprints, and hardly drink any water. (Easy reader)
- Snappy Crocodile Tale by Niki Foreman. The largest living reptile, a baby saltwater crocodile grows up, and meets other Australian animals – wallabies, bull sharks, platypus, plus Aboriginal lore and fun facts about crocodiles. (Easy reader)
- Andrew Lost: In the Desert by J.C. Greenburg. Wild adventures of Andrew and his cousin Judy in the Australian desert. Shrunk to the size of bugs, all sorts of animals (meat eater ants, thorny devil, scorpion) think the kids are a snack, but they’re saved by a rolling tumbleweed. (Easy reader)
And a photo of a thorny devil, sunning itself in the desert near Alice Springs in Australia.