New picture books written by Aussie authors for the under three’s

Here are some wonderful picture books written by Aussie authors just for the under threes. The illustrations in these books show just how talented children’s book illustrators (and authors) are!


My Dream for You
by Ash Barty & Jasmin McGaughey, illus. by Jade Goodwin, pub. HarperCollins h/b RRP$24.99 Ages 0+

A proud First Nations woman, Ash Barty retired as the world’s No.1 Tennis player a couple of years ago to pursue new opportunities. Ash, a passionate reader and advocate for children’s literacy, published her autobiography My Dream Time in 2022. Prior to that, she collaborated with Jasmin McGaughey and Jade Goodwin to write her best-selling Little Ash series for ages 5 and up.

My Dream for You was written to her first child, Hayden, and echoes Ash’s wishes for his future. She has dedicated it to all mothers—‘You have the best job in the world’.

The illustrations are simple and whimsical to go along with the theme of the book:

My Dream for you is
Know you can be
Whoever you dream;
Let your wishes fly free.


Little Book Baby
by Katrina Germein, illus. Cheryl Orsini, pub. HarperCollins h/b RRP$24.99 Ages 0+

Little Book Baby loves books. From dawn to dusk and in bed at night, Little Book Baby looks at books. He’s the ‘Happy Book Baby’ reading on a tram; he’s the ‘Bubbly Book Baby being read to in the bath–he really loves books. The story is in rhyme and the illustrations are engaging with little details to absorb–on a picnic with grandparents or lying on the rug at home.


Giinagay Gaagal, Hello Ocean
written and illus. by Melissa Greenwood, pub. ABC Books h/b RRP$24.99 Ages 0+

Gumbaynggirr artist Melissa Greenwood’s striking traditional illustrations work with lines, dots and dashes familiar to aboriginal art. With her new books for reading to toddlers, she has extended her style with brighter colours. Using her ancestral language, intermingled with English, her stories of physical features such as the seaside and the sun, along with observation of local traditional life, such as swimming, life in the ocean, gathering foods to eat and eating around a campfire, will sound exotic to many children!

She has also written and published Miimi Marraal, Mother Earth; My Little Barlaagany (Sunshine); and Miimi and Buwaarr, Mother and Baby.


Beginnings and Endings (Play School Mindfully Me Series)
by Jan Stradling, illus. Jedda Robaard, pub. HarperCollins h/b RRP$24.99 Ages 3+

All the ‘Play School’ favourite toys travel to comfort Little Ted after his goldfish Swish has died. The book shows small children how to be a good friend and comfort someone who is sad. ‘It’s OK to cry,’ comforted Big Ted’. ‘We can talk anytime,’ says Jemima’.

The illustrations use beautiful watercolours, and the ‘Play School’ toys are instantly recognisable for the littlies. At the end of the book, there are also some helpful discussion points (such as making a scrapbook of memories).

The author was the Executive Producer for the Play School TV show and her collaboration with Jedda Robaard continues with this series.