Big Books 

This is a selection of Big Books, both fiction and non-fiction, which we think will be for helpful for teachers. We have included other editions of each title where available, not just the Big Book. Recommended by Kate Shepherd and Mandy Clarke

Titles marked are recently included on the list.  Download a PDF

Picture Books

Where’s My Teddy? By Jez Alborough pb 9781844284818 $17.00 big book 9780744536201 $45.00
Eddy’s lost his teddy Freddy and is searching for it in the dark wood. Bear has also lost his teddy and is searching for him in the dark wood. Children will love the mix-up when Eddy finds Bear’s huge teddy and Bear finds Eddy’s tiny teddy.

The Hidden Forest by Jeannie Baker hb 9780744561630 $30.00 pb 9780744578768 $18.00 big book 9781844285181 $45.00
This picture book, also made from collage work, is set in the kelp forests of the oceans round Tasmanian. As usual, the collages are made up of natural materials - rock, sand, wood, feathers and seaweed. This is an unusual look at life in a very different type of forest – an ocean forest.  (8 years up)

Where the Forest meets the Sea by Jeannie Baker hb 9780862033170 $30.00 pb 9780744513059 $17.00 big book 9780744563016 $45.00 
This picture book is made from intricate collages. Set in the Daintree rainforest in northern Queensland, it shows a fragile rainforest area next to the sea, easily threatened by too much human activity. (7 years up)

Window by Jeannie Baker hb 9780744596762 $30.00 pb 9780744594867 $17.00 big book 9780744594874 $45.00
This is a study of a changing view through the window of a house as more and more houses encroach on the countryside seen from the window. (8 years up) 

Belonging by Jeannie Baker hb 9780744592276 $30.00 pb 9781406305487 $18.00 big book 9781406309416 $45.00 
follows the same format as Window but it looks at an inner city suburb bleak in its drabness, ugly signs, graffiti and dilapidated houses and how over time the street is gradually transformed into a green inviting place where people can meet and enjoy their environment.. (7 years up)

Gorilla by Anthony Browne pb 9781406352337 $17.00 big book 9780744578478 $52.00
Hannah is delighted when the toy gorilla she is given for her birthday turns into a real gorilla and they make a magical visit to the zoo together. Winner of the Kate Greenaway Award.

Handa’s Hen by Eileen Browne pb 9780744598155 $17.00 big book 9780744583878 $45.00
When Handa searches for Mondi the black hen, she finds two fluttery butterflies and then three stripy mice and other animals till they finally find Mondi the hen and her ten chicks. A charming story that is a counting book and also shows us about life and the animals in a Kenyan village.   (4 – 7 years) 

Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Browne pb 9780744536348 $17.00 big book 9780744554731 $45.00
When Handa takes her friend a surprise of seven different African fruits, she is the one who is surprised when all the fruits have disappeared by the time she arrives at her friends’ village.   (4 – 7 years)

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell pb 9780140504460 $14.95 big book 9780330516891 $50.00
This is a well-loved classic. It is also a lift-the-flap book in which the flaps are truly an integral part of the story. The zoo sends all sorts of pets in all sorts of packages but none of them is right until finally a puppy is sent in a basket. (3 – 7 years)

Olga the Brolga by Rod Clement pb 9780207197581 $14.95 Big Book 9781460752449

No Dinner for Anansi by Trish Cooke & Emma Shaw Smith (illus) pb 9780749680060 $15.00 big book 9781445103907 $50.00
Anansi the Spider is the trickster in so many stories from Africa. In this story, Anansi doesn’t want to share his dinner with Turtle and tricks Turtle so that Turtle misses out. However, Anansi is dismayed and surprised when Turtle invites Anansi to dinner and plays a very effective trick on Anansi! Lots to discuss in this bright, lively story. (5 – 8 years)

Joy Cowley has a way with words and her stories are funny and very appealing to kids. The reading levels are included.

First Collection

Set One big books $39.95 each title (Small books are also available at $7.95 each)

Dan, the Flying Man Level 6 9781877454608
The Monsters’ Party Level 7 9781877454622
The Jigaree Level 7 9781877454646
Mrs Wishy-Washy Level 8 9781877454660
Smarty Pants Level 8 9781877454684
Meanies Level 8 9781877454707
To Town Level 9 9781877454721
Grandpa, Grandpa Level 12 9781877454745
The Hungry Giant Level 13 9781877454769
Hairy Bear Level 14 9781877454783


Set Two $39.95 each title (Small books are also available at $7.95 each)

Mrs Wishy-Washy’s Tub Level 1 9781877454806
If You Meet a Dragon Level 2 9781877454820
What Can Jigarees Do? Level 3 9781877454844
Look Out Dan! Level 3 9781877454868
Ice-cream Stick Level 3 9781877454882
The Bears’ Picnic Level 4 9781877454905
Ducks Level 5 9781877454943
I Love Chickens Level 6 9781877454967
Danger Level 7 9781877454981
Oh, Jump in a Sack Level 7 9781877499005
Grumpy Elephant Level 10 9781877499029
The Fantastic Cake Level 12 9781877499043
Tittle-Tattle Goose Level 13 9781877499067
The Clown in the Well Level 13 9781877499081

Set Three $39.95 each title (Small books are also available at $7.95 each)

The Farm Concert Level 2 9781877499104
Pet Shop Level 7 9781877499111
Who Will be My Mother? Level 9 9781877499135
Roy G Biv Level 10 9781877499159
The Hungry Giant’s Lunch Level 12 9781877499173
Hungry Monster Level 15 9781877499197
The Kick-a-lot Shoes Level 15 9781877499210
A Barrel of Gold Level 18 9781877499234
Clever Mr Brown Level 18 9781877499258
The Sunflower that Went FLOP Level 19 9781877499272

Green Collection $45.00 each title (Small books are also available at $8.50 each)

Mrs Wishy-Washy and the Big Wash Level 15/16 9781877499425
Mrs Wishy-Washy and the Big Tub Level 15/16 9781877499449
Mrs Wishy –Washy and the Big Farm Fair Level 17 9781877499463
Meanies in the House Level 18 9781877499340
Those Yucky Meanies Level 16 9781877499326
Meanies Night Out Level 20 9781877499302
Smarty Pants at the Circus Level 15/16 9781877499388
Smarty No Pants Level 17/18 9781877499364
Smarty Pants and the Talent Show Level 15 9781877499401
Poor Sore Hungry Giant Level 16 9781877499951
Hungry Giant’s Shoe Level 16 9781877499975
The Hungry Giant’s Baby Level 16/17 9781877499999
Little Dan Level 17 9781877499487
Dan’s Lost Hat Level 16 9781877499500
Dan and the Parrot Level 18 9781877499524

Yellow Collection $45 each title (Small books are also available at $8.50 each)

Mrs Wishy-Washy’s Birthday Level 10 9781927130018
Mrs Wishy-Washy on TV Level 11 9781927130032
Oops, Mr Wishy-Washy Level 12 9781927130056
Huggle’s Cold Level 9 9781927130070
The Huggle’s Hug Level 8 9781927130094
Huggles in School Level 10 9781927130117
Fix-It Bear Level 12 9781927130131
Hairy Bear on the Roof Level 9 9781927130155
Hairy Bear and the Door Level 13/14 9781927130179
Sloppy Tiger Washes the Floor Level 12 9781927130193
Sloppy Tiger’s Picnic Level 14 9781927130216
Sloppy Tiger on the Bus Level 14 9781927130230
Mr Whisper’s Sore Ears Level 15 9781927130254
Mr Whisper and the Road Works Level 15 9781927130278
Mr Whisper and Miss Candy Level 10 9781927130292

Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale pb 9781406353099 $17.00 big book 9780744563252 $54.00
A subtle variation on the favourite nursery song illustrated with warm and lively illustrations. 
(3 – 6 years)

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd pb 9780723278054 $15.00 big book 9780947212117 $48.95
Hairy Maclary and his friends are all terrified of Scarface Claw, the toughest tomcat in town. This rhyming story has a rollicking pace and lots of humour. (3 – 7 years)

The Gruffalo
by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler (illus) hb 9780333710920 $30.00 pb 9781509804757 $15.00 big book 9780333901762 $40.00 
A deliciously scary book. When a quick-witted mouse takes a walk through a dark wood and Fox and Owl and Snake want to eat him, he makes up tales of a fearful Gruffalo to scare them off. But then he does come across a real hungry Gruffalo. (4 – 7 years)

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler (illus) hb 9780333903377 $30.00 pb 9781509804771 $15.00 big book 9781405021746 $50.00
Cat, dog, bird and frog all manage to find room on the broom and join the witch in an exhilarating ride. Rhyme, rhythm and repetition, great illustrations and a scary dragon make this great fun. (3 – 6 years)

Sharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks (illus) pb 9781405020480 $14.95 big book 9780330511278 $40.00

Smartest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler (illus) pb 9781509812530 $15.00 big book 9780230013896 $50.00 
George decides to get new clothes. However he gives away his new clothe when he discovers that his animal friends need his help … and his clothes. 

A Squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler (illus) pb 9781509804788 $15.00 big book 9780230013902 $50.00 
A little old lady thinks her house is too small but when all the farm animals squash in she realises how roomy it feels once they have gone.

Possum Magic by Mem Fox & Julie Vivas hb 9781742990002 $30.00 pb 9781742990040 $16.00 big book 9781862916678 $40.00 
The extraordinarily popular story about a possum called little Hush and her Grandma Poss.  (3 – 7 years) 

Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French & Bruce Whatley (illus) hb 9780207199950 $24.95 board book 9780732286620 $15.00 big book 9781460752425 $40.00
This is a very funny book, ironic and whimsical. Bruce Whatley's illustrations of this hefty, very determined but endearing wombat  called Mothball are also a delight. The text is very simple but  it has layers of irony.

Baby Wombat's Week is the exciting week of Mothball's baby who is also cute and very determined. pb 9780732286958 $15.00 board book 9780732293185 $15.00 big book 9781460752418 $44.95

Arthur by Amanda Graham & Donna Gynell (illus) pb 9780947212124 $16.95 big book 9780947212100 $44.95
Children love this story about Arthur, a dog in a pet store desperately wanting a home, but nobody seems to want him. He imitates all the other pet shop animals in the hope of being bought and just when he has given up hope a little girl buys him. (3 – 7 years)

This is the Bear by Sarah Hayes & Helen Craig (illus) pb 9780744594812 $18.00 big book 9780744536218 $45.00
Very engaging rhyming story about a boy and his teddy bear. The repetition of the text and delightful illustrations make it a perfect story for very young children. (3 – 7 years)

Hands Can by Cheryl Willis Hudson photos by John-Francis Bourke pb 9780763663360 $9.00 big book 9780763658199 $45.00 
Hands can wave to say “hello”. Hands can touch things high and low. Hands can clap while voices sing. Hands can do all kinds of things.
Rhyming text with great photos on every page will encourage little ones to join in! A very simple but engaging book. MC

The Huge Bag of Worries by Virginia Ironside & Frank Rodgers pb 9780340903179 $17.00 big book 9781444902723 $55.00
Poor Jenny is beset by worries. She worries about everything that happens or might happen. One day she wakes up to find that at the end of her bed there is a huge bag of worries which won’t go away whatever she does to try and get rid of it. The bag gets bigger and bigger until finally she meets a little old lady who helps by opening up the bag and looking at carefully each of these pesky worries until they all just disappear. A funny and reassuring story. (6 – 8 years) 

How the Birds got their Colours by Pamela Lofts (compiled) pb 9781865046242 $17.00 big book 9781741699678 $40.00
How the Kangaroos Got their Tails pb 9781865046259 $17.00 big book 9781741699692 $40.00
When the Snake Bites the Sun pb 9781865046280 $17.00 big book 9781741699708 $40.00
These three picture books are very simply told traditional Aboriginal stories illustrated and told by Aboriginal people. They are from the Aboriginal Story series compiled by Pamela Lofts (was previously called Dreamtime series). They are very appealing for younger readers. (5 - 9 years)

Isabella’s Garden by Glenda Millard & Rebecca Cool (illus) hb 9781921150333 $30.00 pb 9781921720598 $17.00 big book 9781922244796 $45.00 
Using a repeated refrain similar to the well-known verse “The Cow with the Crumbled Horn” Glenda Millard describes how the seeds in Isabella’s garden come to life from the dark soil, and with the help of the rain and the sun and how then the whole garden comes to life with flowers and birds and insects. Bright naïve illustrations give the story charm and vitality. (5 – 9 years) KS

Deep in a Rainforest by Gwen Pascoe and Veronica Jefferis pb 9781863746113 $16.95 big book 9781863740944 $44.95
A beautifully illustrated picture book which shows the colour and beauty of the flora and fauna of the rainforest. (6 - 9 years)

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury (illus) pb 9780744523232 $17.00 big book 9780744547818 $45.00 
A wonderfully illustrated and retold version of the well-known action rhyme. Children will love to act out walking through the grass “Swishy swashy!’ and wading through the mud “Squelch squerch!” (4 – 7 years)

One is a Snail Ten is a Crab: A Counting by Feet Book by April Pulley Sayre, Jeff Sayre and Randy Cecil (illus) pb 9781844281640 $17.00 big book 9780763647902 $45.00 
This is a counting book with a difference, for it encourages children to add up and to see the differences between numbers and patterns of numbers and even to attempt simple multiplication. The snail with its one foot is used for one. A boy has two feet and so three is a person and a snail. Six is an insect and so seven is an insect and a snail. It gets more complicated at ten, which is a crab, and that means twenty is two crabs. Thirty is three crabs or ten people and a crab. And so on up to one hundred which is ten crabs or “if you're really counting slowly” one hundred snails. Great fun. (4 – 6 years)

Roadworks by Sally Sutton & Brian Lovelock (illus) hb 9781921150166 $28.00 pb 9781921529535 $17.00 big book 9781921529719 $45.00 
The text is noisy and full of action as the trucks, loaders, bulldozers and graders make the road. This is an exuberant story showing how the road is made and how the signs, lights and trees are added till finally the cars and buses and trucks can drive along the road. (3 – 6 years)

One Woolly Wombat by Rod Trinca & Kerry Argent (illus) pb 9781862919693 $16.00 big book 9781742990088 $40.00
First published in 1982, this counting book has a very Australian flavour with dancing kangaroos, goannas in the kitchen, kookaburras and of course a wombat relaxing in a deckchair. (2 – 5 years) KS

The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen hb 9780763630904 $31.00 pb 9780763655921 $17.00 big book 9780763655938 $45.00
Told in jaunty, humourous rhyme, this is the story of a circus boat that sinks in heavy fog five miles off the coast of Maine. The fifteen animals swim to a small island where the disgruntled residents finally welcome them into their community when the tiger rescues a little girl from a burning shed. The illustrations are energetic and colourful, and the story affirms the bonds of friendship and community. Inspired by the real story of a boat carrying a complete circus which sank off the coast of Maine in 1836. MC

Wombat Stew by Marcia Vaughan & Pamela Lofts (illus) pb 9781743621837 $16.00 big book 9780868962627 $40.00
It is great to see this classic Australian picture book in Big Book format. When a dingo catches a wombat and wants to cook him in a stew, all the other bush animals come to his rescue. (4 – 7 years)

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell & Patrick Benson (illus) pb 9780744531671 $17.00 big book 9780744563139 $45.00 
A warmly reassuring story of three owl babies left on their own while their mother goes hunting. The text is simple and certain refrains are repeated. The wide-eyed apprehensive baby owls are beautifully drawn. (3 – 6 years)

The Pig in the Pond by Martin Waddell & Jill Barton (illus) pb 9781406301595 $17.00 big book 9780744543919 $45.00
It is a very hot day at Neligan’s farm but the ducks and geese are cool swimming in the pond. The pig is watching and getting hotter and hotter, and all pandemonium breaks out when he finally decides to jump into the pond. Great fun to read aloud. (4 – 7 years)

Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell & Helen Oxenbury (illus) pb 9780744536607 $17.00 big book 9780744547795 $45.00 
This Award winning book has overtones of Animal Farm for littlies. The animals use their initiative and take over the running of the farm from a domineering, lazy and bossy farmer. (6 – 10 years)  

My Place by Nadia Wheatley & Donna Rawlins (illus) pb 9781921150654 $20.00 big book 9781921977954 $45.00 
This edition published in 2008 has a timeline of important events up to 2008. It is brilliant in concept and in execution. By moving backwards in decades from 1989, the book shows how a particular neighbourhood in Sydney has changed from a modern urban street to the first white settlement and earlier to the time when the indigenous people lived there. The story is told through the eyes of the various children who lived there. (8 – 14 years)

The Firefighters by Sue Whiting & Donna Rawlins (illus) hb 9781921150296 $30.00 pb 9781921529498 $17.00 big book 9781921529702 $45.00
The children at kindergarten pretend to be real firefighters getting into their truck and racing along to get to the fire and squirt it with their hoses. Later, the real fire engine arrives and two firefighters show the children their truck and tell them stories about fires. The bright illustrations and lively text will make this book very popular with preschoolers. (3 – 6 years)

Big Books of Traditional Stories Big Book $45.95 each (Small books are also available at $7.95 each)
These books are beautifully produced and the illustrations by a variety of illustrators are lively, bright and engaging. However, I have one problem and that is because the text has been simplified and adapted for various reading levels, in some of the stories it loses a lot of the life and vitality of the original versions. The text of some of the books is fine, however in The Gingerbread Man instead of the lively repetition of “You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man” the expression becomes “No one can get me,” said the gingerbread man. Some teachers will be very pleased that the text then becomes more predictable and easier for children to read. However, because I love the lively and colloquial text of some of the traditional stories, I feel obliged to point out to teachers that the text in these stories has been adapted and simplified for particular reading levels.

The Gingerbread Man Level 5 9781741203943
The Ugly Duckling Level 8 9781741203950
The Three Little Pigs Level 8 9781741203967
Little Red Riding Hood Level 11 9781863749268
The Poor Old Lady Level 13 9781741204575
The Billy Goats Gruff Level 14 9781741203974
Jack and the Beanstalk Level 17 9781741203981
Goldilocks and the Three Bears Level 17 9781741204223
The Thick Fat Pancake Level 17 9781741204582
The Bremen Town Musicians Level 20 9781741203998
The Emperor’s New Clothes Level 20 9781741204599
Puss in Boots Level 20 9781741204605 

Pied Piper of Hamlin Level 22 9781741204230   Big Book $48.95 each(Small books are also available at $8.75 each)
Aladdin and his Lamp Level 26 9781741204629 


Life in a Rainforest: A Tree Top Walk by Rodney Martin Big Book 9781863747912 $44.95
Describes the features of a sub-tropical rainforest in northern Australia and some of the flora and fauna that may be seen during a walk that takes readers from the forest floor to the canopy. (6 – 10 years)