The best new Australian books to buy your kids for Christmas.

When it comes to buying presents for your kids, you can’t beat books. With the littlies, it’s a guarantee you’ll be spending time snuggled up next to them, reading aloud. With the older ones, you’re giving them the gift of losing themselves in a different world.

Plus, did you know that the more books you have in your home, the more likely your child is to go to university? Scientific fact.

It’s not hard to choose books for your kids because there are so many brilliant ones out there. Of course, you can’t go wrong with the all-time favourites: Dr Seuss, Mem Fox, Andy Griffiths, J.K. Rowling, etc. But if you’re looking for something different, check out the Children’s Book Council Of Australia “Book Of The Year” winners from this year.

Older readers:

Cloudwish, Fiona Wood

Van Uoc Phan is a shy, working-class scholarship student at an upper-class school. She daydreams about golden boy Billy Gardiner – and then, to her surprise, he starts showing an interest in her. This is an intelligent, contemporary, relatable book about teen romance and so much more.

Younger readers:

Soon, Morris Gleitzman

This is the fifth book in a series about a Jewish boy called Felix who lives through WWII. It’s set just after the liberation of Poland. Life is still brutal for the ever-hopeful Felix, who finds himself having to look after a baby. Kids will get emotionally involved in this powerful story.

Early childhood

Mr Huff, Anna Walker

Young Bill is having a day where nothing is going his way. The grey, cloud-like Mr Huff is following him wherever he goes, and Bill just can’t get rid of him. This is a warm, wise book about feelings, and the illustrations beautifully capture the mood.

Picture book

Flight, Armin Greder and Nadia Wheatley

With their lives at risk, a family must flee on a donkey. This is based on the Bible story of Mary, Joseph and Jesus, but it’s also a timeless tale about refugees, told simply and illustrated evocatively. It’s a good way to start talking about refugees to small children.

Information book

Lennie The Legend: Solo To Sydney By Pony, Stephanie Owen Reeder

This is the true story of nine-year-old Lennie Gwyther. In 1932, after rescuing his family’s farm from ruin, he rode his pony 1000km to see the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Even back then it was an amazing thing for a nine-year-old to do. Today’s kids will be awestruck.