There is no doubt that with parents and carers spending 24-hours-a-day at home with their kids, the demands on their time, energy and capacities are greater than they have ever been. With picture books from the home library being read over and over again, we wanted to highlight a few of our favourite new Australian picture book releases that might offer a reprieve from the repetition! These recommendations from our Head of Children’s and YA programs, Amelia Lush, feature a wonderful range of books and include raucous rhyming fun, a message of conservation and ecology and thoughtful stories of kindness and inclusion.

Many of your local bookstores are offering free or reduced-price delivery – so even if you cannot get to a bookstore it can definitely still come to you!

Dugong Magic by Deborah Kelly and Lisa Stewart

Dugong Magic is a poetic and magical picture book with a strong message of conservation and ecology that encourages readers to appreciate the wonder of these remarkable marine creatures at great risk of extinction. Full of fascinating information about the history and lives of dugongs, this is also an exquisitely written and illustrated story bound to captivate young children.

Cats Do Not Like Birthdays by Nicki Greenberg

It is Kit’s birthday and as a shy cat he’s not having the best time. Everybody is at his house celebrating, making noise, crowding around and not giving him a moment alone to himself – something we are all very familiar with at the moment! Nicki Greenberg celebrates the quiet ones in this bright and cheerful new picture book, which is truly the perfect story to read in a time when finding a little bit of peace and quiet at home is harder than usual.

Goodnight Glow Worms by Aura Parker

There is always a lovely gentleness to Aura Parker’s picture books, and Goodnight Glow Worms is no exception. Capturing the silliness and cycles of trying to calm small people and tuck them into bed, this is the perfect book to start the bedtime routine with. Aura’s illustrations are detailed and beautiful, and although brightly coloured have a warmth to them that won’t overstimulate the senses.

Ribbit, Rabbit, Robot by Victoria Mackinlay and Sofya Karmazina

When they come across a magic lamp primed with three wishes, a friendly frog, a greedy rabbit and a robot (with a bit of a temper) clash over what to do. Kindness and friendship prevail over selfishness and greed in a fresh and hilarious new take on a familiar tale in this delightful debut picture book by Victoria McKinlay with illustrations by Sofya Karmazina.