Tag Archives: Counting books

Papa Mawal-mawalpa Tjuta – Johanna Bell-nga & Dion Beasley-nyu


Allen & Unwin

August 2021


Edition No: Pitjantjatjara

Publisher: A&U Children’s

Imprint: A & U Children

RRP: $24.99

Mantaina anu ngayuku kuntiliku walikutu. Nyaana puta nyangu?

This is the beginning of the  Pitjantjatjara version of 2016’s award-winning book Too Many Cheeky Dogs.  Pitjantjatjara is a First Nations language widely spoken in central and southern Australia, It is long overdue that our children’s books be translated into First Nation languages and let’s hope we see many more forthcoming.

Of course, we don’t all speak Pitjantjatjara but don’t worry – there is an English translation included at the back of the book – or you could share both editions – Standard English and  Pitjantjatjara – in the same unit of work. Help your jarjums learn their colours, numbers and days of the week bi-lingually this year!!

On Monday I walked to my auntie’s house and guess what I saw?

Happy Birthday Tashi!


Allen & Unwin

July 2020

The very fact that over the past twenty-five years Tashi books have sold well over a million copies is testament to the love that so many have for this very special boy. While magic and fun abound the Tashi stories also have a lot for children to absorb and learn about life and now even the very youngest readers can be introduced to the joy with these special new My First Tashi books. How simply beautiful that even though the hugely talented Kim Gamble is no longer with us his legacy lives on through his equally talented daughters and of course the magical boy who is everyone’s favourite.

1 2 3: My First Tashi – Anna Fienberg and Barbara Fienberg, illustrated by Kim Gamble, Arielle Gamble and Greer Gamble


Publisher:A&U Children’s

Imprint:A & U Children

RRP : $14.99

Little ones can count dragons and ogres, tigers and demons and adults will revel in the absolutely glorious illustrations in this very different counting book.

When they have finished counting to ten they can try to spot the many other delightful objects in the double spread of a community fair, Tashi-style. The book concludes with a lovely letter from Anna Fienberg telling us the story of how Tashi came to be via two extremely talented families.

Colours: My First Tashi – Anna Fienberg and Barbara Fienberg, illustrated by Kim Gamble, Arielle Gamble and Greer Gamble


Publisher:A&U Children’s

Imprint:A & U Children


I do love the counting book but this one has to be my first pick because really who doesn’t want to see the colours of dragons, genies, tigers and Baba Yagas as well as pigs, horses and buses?! 🙂

I particularly love that the large block letters of each colour word reflect the patterns or features of the illustrated object so the GREEN for a dragon has spotty scales, the WHITE for the tiger is striped and BROWN for the horse has tufts of hair! So fun!!

Go to the Tashi website for more fun after reading as well as teaching ideas.

Check out the free activities download for more Tashi fun.

Ten Little Figs – Rhian Williams/Nathaniel Eckstrom



Walker Books Australia

April 2020

ISBN: 9781921977312
Imprint: Walker Books Australia
Australian RRP: $24.99
New Zealand RRP: $27.99

Here’s another beautiful book which would make a super complement to that reviewed in my previous post, to add vigour and depth to your backyard holidays.

Kiddos will just love this rollicking rhythmic countdown as the ten juicy figs disappear one by one thanks to some Australian native fauna. We may not all spot an echidna in the backyard or even a Hercules moth but it’s very likely we may find leaf-curling spiders or lorikeets –  again, it could well be a springboard to discovering what suburban wildlife your own backyard harbours.

This is the author’s first book and I for one look forward to seeing more from her particularly as she is passionate about nature and IMO sharing such books is a must for our little people. Eckstrom’s illustrations are wonderfully well-suited to the subject matter as they evoke a lush garden space on a sunny day and children will love investigating smaller details.

A perfect read-aloud to share whether you’re in ‘stay at home’ mode or not – this one will be a sure-fire hit with small humans from around 2 upwards.

Why not start your own backyard safari while we have so much time to enjoy our beautiful out-of-doors?


Counting Our Country – Jill Daniels



Magabala Books

February 28, 2020

RRP: $12.99

The preservation and sharing of First Australian languages and culture is of paramount importance as nations strive to not only keep their traditions intact but also to impart knowledge and understanding. Where better to start than with our youngest readers then?

This delightful little board book has been created by long-time artist Jill Daniels, from the remote community of Ngukurr. Jill is a Ritharrnu and Madarrpa woman from the South East-Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

A simple bilingual counting book which features animals found on her country on beautiful double spreads with their names in both English and Ritharrnu, Jill’s traditional language, this will both delight and teach young children.

There is a comprehensive guide to pronunciation of sounds, spellings and the animals’ names which will aid those not familiar with this language.

Educators, librarians and caregivers alike will relish the opportunity to share this beautiful example of early cultural literacy and artwork.

Highly recommended for little people from birth to prep age


Learn with Ruby Red Shoes – Kate Knapp



Harper Collins Australia


The delightful Ruby is back. The little white hare with the endearing personality has created quite the following in her previous books. Now even tiny people can enjoy her adventures while learning some basic concepts at the same time.

Knapp’s delicate illustrations offer a wealth of exploration and cosy talk while reading and carers and children will return to these time and time again to find their favourites and expand on their conversations


1 2 3 Counting Book


ISBN: 9781460756911

ISBN 10: 1460756916

November 2018

List Price: 14.99 AUD

One is for me. I’m one of a kind.

I’m separate from you and

I know my own mind.

Ruby and her flock of chickens teach little ones how to count up to twelve using buttons and teapots, peaches and hats – and, of course, eggs.


Alphabet Book


ISBN: 9781460756904

ISBN 10: 1460756908

November 2018

List Price: 14.99 AUD


Ruby and the chickens continue their classes with this equally sweet alphabet book. Each lovely illustration and letter features on its own page and truly it is very difficult to choose a favourite but I thought this was the most apt to share.

R is for Reading

It’s fun to be busy, to learn and to play,

And it’s also important to rest in the day.

To relax with a book and take time to read

Is just the thing a young hare needs.

And after all, so do old hares!


If you have some little people in your circle the two of these would make a special addition to a Christmas parcel and did you know you can also buy Ruby Red Shoes (Ashdene) dinnerware for tinies? Just think of the kudos in store for the one who puts together such a beautiful gift! *wink from a granny hare*

Check out more of Kate’s wondrous work here


Count with Little  Fish – Lucy Cousins



Walker Books Australia

ISBN: 9781406374193
Imprint: Walker
April 1, 2018
Australian RRP: $11.99
New Zealand RRP: $13.99
This has to be one of the cutest board books I’ve seen in a long time! We all know Lucy Cousins vibrant and expressive illustrative style and this underwater journey with some very funky fish is just a delight.

Babies and toddlers alike will be entranced with the rhythmic text, alliteration, and onomatopoeia following the antics of Little Fish and his finned friends. Count from 1 to 10 with some very cute and colourful fishies with your favourite tiny person!

Perfect as a gift or for your kindy shelves this is a great little fun book!

NAIDOC Week 2017


“I would like to respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land surrounding Redcliffe and Elders both past and present.

I also recognise those whose ongoing effort to protect and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures will leave a lasting legacy for future Elders and leaders.”

I also acknowledge the Elders past and present of my children’s and grandchildren’s country of the Wiradjuri people.


Nganga:  A Dictionary of Aboriginal Terms and Phrases – Aunty Fay Muir & Sue Lawson

Walker Books

June 2017

ISBN 9781921977015

Imprint: Black Dog Books

RRP $16.99

This is going to be a truly useful addition to your libraries as it explores the terminology related to First Australians. As we know there were many First Languages depending on country. This book details instead the terms used in common parlance and offers a concise and accurate definition of these, for example: cleverman, deadly, land rights, law or sorry business.

If you are familiar with Indigenous culture you will already know many of these but there are many who do not have close connections and will find this a very helpful little book.

Aunty Fay Muir is an Elder and Traditional Owner of Boon Wurrung country. This is her first book for children.

Sue Lawson’s name will be known to many for her stunning book ‘Freedom Ride’ among other work.

In my opinion, this is a must have for your units of work and general discussions on our First Australians. Highly recommended for both primary and secondary libraries and truly perfect to fit with this year’s NAIDOC theme.

On the Way to Nana’s – Frances and Lindsay Haji-Ali. Illustrated by David  Hardy


Magabala Books

June 2017

ISBN: 9781925360301

RRP $17.99

This is another stunning picture book from Magabala Books with absolutely glorious illustrations perfectly reflecting the far north-west of Australia. As the family travel the long, long way to Nana’s house there is a countdown of sights spotted from fifteen to one.

So as well as sharing some geography and mapping with younger readers there is an excellent opportunity to integrate some maths.

The authors based the book on their own family travels from Broome to Nana’s in Wyndham, a journey of around a thousand kilometres across the magnificent Kimberley region.

Illustrator David Hardy has worked on animated films for Disney and is now a gaming illustrator/animator. Readers will be familiar with his Alfie books also published by Magabala.

Highly recommended for your younger readers from little tots up to around six years old.