Australia has spoken! We’ve rounded up the most-purchased Penguin titles of 2019 for children and teens.
This year, kids of all ages dove into reading. While a few international titles were wildly popular, including the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, Where’s Spot?, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Wonder and Where the Wild Things Are; some of your favourite books made by Aussie authors for Aussie kids included . . .
The launch of Bluey books Bluey: The Beach, Bluey: Fruit Bat and Bluey: Time to Play rocked many pre-schooler’s worlds in November, just in time for Christmas. The Heeler family was in the spotlight in 2019 for becoming ABC iView’s most downloaded series of all time, winning Most Outstanding Children’s Program at the Logies, winning the AACTA Award for Best Children’s Program and character Bandit Heeler being crowned Father of the Year.
Australian author Mem Fox has written countless children’s books which are beloved classics in households and classrooms across the country. Where is the Green Sheep? was her most popular story in 2019 and it was exciting to see the book featured on Play School, read by Hamish Blake. The book box set was also very popular and includes a plush green sheep to hold while you read the story. Adorable!
Mem Fox takes bronze as well with Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, a rhyming story about babies born all over the world – although they have very different climates and cultures, all of them have the same tiny hands and feet. This book celebrates diversity and has clearly stood the test of time as it was first published in 2008.
Teenagers love YouTube, so what could be better than a fantastic advice book by Aussie YouTube sensation Georgia Productions? Georgia shares her hot tips, activities, relatable lists, stories of her life, information about how she got started on YouTube, funny tales and more!
Taking out number five is another classic kids book, Kissed by the Moon. Released in 2013, this story is a gorgeous lullaby about a parent’s love for their child and is a favourite gift for baby showers and first birthdays across Australia. Also available is a Kissed by the Moon: Book and Snuggle Blanket Box Set, so you can snuggle with blankie together while reading a story about love. Gorgeous!
Australia’s most loveable entrepreneur Zoë Foster Blake - novelist, columnist and founder of Go-To skin care - released her first picture book No One Likes a Fart in 2017. It is the perfect read for kids (and grown-ups) who love a good fart joke and won the ABIA Picture Book of the Year in 2018. As of October 2019, you now have the option to purchase No One Likes a Fart as a boxed set which includes the hardback book and a plush toy in the shape of . . . yes, a smiling fart.
Morris Gleitzman spent his 2019 as the Australian Children’s Laureate, advocating for improved literacy and developing a love of reading for the children of Australia. Though he has written countless funny books for kids, the Once series that follows Felix and his friends through World War II is by far his most popular story. The final book of the series, Always is expected to be released in winter 2020.
Mem Fox’s third title in Penguin Random House’s top ten! The Tiny Star follows the life cycle of a special person who lands as a fallen star to the earth, grows up loved by all and giving love too, then returns to the heavens as a star. Inspired by the experience of becoming a grandparent for the first time, Mem Fox released this book in October 2019 and it was an instant bestseller.
Experience the cycle of seasons in Australia as a little girl and her family open their window onto each month of the year. Published in 2010, All Through the Year has been a stand out favourite of this decade.
Who doesn’t love a good spy story? Kensy and Max are 11 year old twins who become secret agents when they wake up one day to discover their parents are missing! A great read for both boys and girls, the action-packed adventures of Kensy and Max will keep you on your toes. Keep an eye out for the fifth book of the series, Kensy and Max: Freefall coming out in March 2020.
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