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Article  •  6 January 2021


Why Renée Treml’s picture books should be on every Aussie bookshelf

One art form that has always celebrated Australiana is picture books.

One art form that has always celebrated Australiana is picture books.

From Koala Lou to Are We There Yet?, our great country has been depicted in literary form for decades now. As the years continue to chug along, we see more and more incredible talent enter the world of picture books, and one such author/illustrator is Renée Treml.

Inspired by Australia’s natural landscape and a background in ecology, Renée Treml creates gorgeous picture books featuring Australian animals. She’s originally from the USA, but has called Australia home for over a decade now, and has quickly become a must-read author with numerous awards under her belt. Whether they feature a kangaroo or a koala, a platypup or a puggle, little ones will love discovering new Australian animals within Treml’s work.

Keep reading to discover why we love Renée and her books so much, and why they should be on your bookshelf – no questions asked! 


Celebrating Australian fauna and flora

A recurring theme in Renée’s picture books is the majesty of Australian fauna and flora. Each of her books, including the upcoming Let’s Go, Little Roo (January 2021), celebrates different Australian animals, including kangaroos, wombats and platypi. Plus, native Australian plants appear in many scenes in Renée’s books, tying everything together beautifully.

Not only do Renée’s books champion everything Australian, but they also help familiarise young readers with our natural landscape, teaching them to appreciate all that our country has to offer.


Gorgeous, detailed illustrations

One thing that may stand out to new fans of Renée Treml’s work is how her illustrations expertly toe the line between simple and intricate. Detailed sketches of Australian animals in shades of grey are juxtaposed with brightly coloured backgrounds and simple additions to the scene, such as clouds, plants and butterflies. Little ones will love the animated expressions of each character, and will find joy in spotting things in the background of each page.

Although all of Renée’s books are equally as beautiful, one we love for its illustrations is The Great Garden Mystery, which not only features Aussie animals, but cute clues interspersed throughout that will help readers catch the beetroot thief before they strike again!


Big themes in little packages

Renée’s books also manage to tackle big themes in understated little packages. Let’s Go, Little Roo! explores friendship and what goes into making new friends, especially if you’re shy or apprehensive. Little Roo is scared to leave mummy’s pouch, where it’s warm, safe and familiar. But, Little Roo also longs to make friends – she’s just a little scared, and isn’t sure how to overcome it. This story delicately touches on feelings of shyness, fear and discomfort but ultimately ends in a jubilant way when Little Roo finds a new friend in Little Wallaby, and discovers that together they can learn to be brave and have lots of fun along the way.


Learning counting, colours and more

Renée’s books are the perfect gift for young ones as they first begin to explore the world of books – especially as they encourage new skills like counting and recognising colours!

Learn to count to ten as gorgeous Aussie animals frolic in books like Ten Sleepy Sheep and Ten Little Owls. On each page of Ten Sleepy Sheep we see a new animal drifting off into slumber – from foals to chicks, lizards and even parrots! One by one, an animal drops off each page, until we have one little joey making his way back to mum’s pouch for the night. 

2020’s Roo Knows Blue is another gorgeous book from Renée with an educational element. It follows an adorable little roo as they discover all of the colours of the rainbow, and where they can find those colours in nature! It’s perfect for gently encouraging new topics with your little reader.


Perfect bedtime reads

Finally, we can’t go past Renée’s gorgeous, soft prose when it comes to bedtime stories. The perfect length for young ones aged 12 months to 3 years, her books act as a great wind-down before sleep. Try One Very Tired Wombat to coax little ones off to bed – in this cheeky story, all Wombat wants to do is get some shut-eye, but he can’t seem to escape the noisy birds!

Or, maybe your littlies are scared of the dark – it’s nothing to be ashamed of! Renée expertly addresses this very common problem in Sleep Tight, Platypup, about a baby platypus who is frightened by the shadows and noises that night-time brings. Thankfully, by the end of this story, Platypup is no longer scared and is ready for a satisfying slumber – hopefully your kids will agree!

Let us know – will you be adding a Renée Treml book to your little one’s reading repertoire? If you’re not sure where to start, why not check out Let’s Go, Little Roo!, out now in your local bookstore.

Featured Titles

Let's Go, Little Roo!

Favourite Australian picture book creator Renée Treml is back with this gentle, comforting story of a shy kangaroo joey.

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Roo Knows Blue

A joyous celebration of colour in the Australian bush from bestselling author-illustrator Renee Treml.

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Ten Little Owls

Teach your little critter to count from dusk to dawn with Australia's cutest native animals.

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Ten Sleepy Sheep

A perfect bedtime book for small children, introducing the concept of counting down from ten.

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The Great Garden Mystery

A delightful Australian garden mystery where clever animals and curious kids solve the case together!

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One Very Tired Wombat

An Aussie Counting Adventure

A delightful counting book featuring some very cheeky Australian animals and lots of humour.

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Sleep Tight, Platypup

A cosy story for anyone who's still just a little bit afraid of the dark.

Read more

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