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Article  •  13 December 2021


Australia’s Top 10 Books for Kids in 2021

The most popular books of the year, written by Australian authors.

We’re rounding up the most-purchased Penguin books for children and teens in 2021. While some international titles clearly have Australia’s heart – including the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Awesome Friendly Kid series, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Wonder and of course, Peppa Pig – the favourite books made by Australian authors for Australian kids included . . .



For the third year in a row, Bluey takes the cake. There are now over 27 Bluey books and combined they have sold over 2.8 million copies. The top three most popular Bluey books in 2021 were The Pool, Where’s Bluey? and Big Backyard. We can never have enough Bluey, so enjoy these free Bluey activity pages too!


Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes and Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox

Mem Fox has written over 40 books for children and is a superstar of the picture book genre. Both Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, and Where is the Green Sheep?, illustrated by Judy Horacek, were crowned as Australian favourites again this year. Warm and joyous, these two remain popular picks to gift new parents and their tiny tots. If you’re also a fan of these sweet titles, don’t miss the Where is the Green Sheep activity pack, or Nicole Alexander reading Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes and Richard Harris reading Where is the Green Sheep? on YouTube.


Kissed by the Moon by Alison Lester

Part poem, part lullaby, this gentle story celebrates the power of wonder. First published in 2013, Kissed by the Moon is a household favourite and comes in paperback and board book editions, or as a gorgeous book and snuggle blanket box set.


The Prison Healer and The Gilded Cage by Lynette Noni

Lynette Noni is Australia’s #1 YA author, and her thrilling new fantasy series has taken off! The first two books, The Prison Healer and The Gilded Cage, were released in 2021 and shot straight to the top of the bestseller lists. Make sure you read them both before the hotly-anticipated final book, The Blood Traitor arrives in June 2022.


Fart and Burp are Superstinkers, Back to Sleep and No One Likes a Fart by Zoë Foster Blake

Author and entrepreneur Zoë Foster Blake first made herself the queen of comedic picture books in 2017 with the release of No One Likes a Fart, illustrated by Adam Nickel. Since then, Zoë has created more funny books for families including the sequel Fart and Burp are Superstinkers and a joyous role-flipped bedtime story, Back to Sleep, illustrated by Mike Jacobsen. All three of these stories made it into the list of bestselling Australian books in 2021. A special mention to the latest tall tale that is sure to make you giggle: Scaredy Bath, illustrated by Daniel Gray-Barnett, which released in November 2021.


Terry Denton’s Really Truly Amazing Guide to Everything

Gracing the top ten for the second year in a row is Terry Denton’s Really Truly Amazing Guide to Everything, a hardback filled with fun facts, Terry’s iconic illustrations and a whole lot of laughs. Read an extract to get a taste! Also, keep your eyes peeled for the next Terry Denton activity book, Terry Denton's Bumper Book of Silly Stuff to Do, out January 2022.


House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

House of Hollow was the YA thriller-horror that had us all on the edge of our seats! Nominated for both the Indie Book Awards and Goodreads Choice Awards 2021, this chilling story is not one we’ll forget in a hurry. Watch the book trailer to catch the creeps!


Once and Always by Morris Gleitzman

Morris Gleitzman’s award-winning and bestselling series was made complete this year with the release of the final book, Always, in September. The first book in the Felix Collection, Once, was released in 2005 and has become an Australian classic – not only for children, but people of all ages – and has sold over 150,000 copies.


Don’t Forget by Jane Godwin and Anna Walker

Sometimes, we all need a little help to remember the truly important things in life – offering a smile, dreaming, hoping and imagining. The timely Don’t Forget was released in April, right when we all needed it most. Watch the read aloud video with Jane Godwin or take a look behind the scenes in this Meet the Creators video on YouTube.


Friday Barnes 9: No Escape by R.A. Spratt

Look who’s back! Genius detective Friday Barnes is finally out of jail and returning to high school in Friday Barnes 9: No Escape. There’s just one problem – she’s now sworn off all detective work, but the crimes won’t solve themselves . . . R.A. Spratt’s gripping and funny series will have middle-grade readers begging for the next story (which, by the way, comes out in 2022 as Friday Barnes 10: Undercover).


A special mention to John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series, as well as Jacqueline Harvey’s Alice-Miranda and Kensy and Max series, Belinda Murrell’s The Golden Tower and Melina Marchetta’s Zola series. We have such an array of fantastic Australian authors and can’t wait to see them grow as we continue to #shoplocal in 2022.

Featured Titles

Bluey: The Pool
Based on the hit ABC KIDS TV show!
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Bluey: Where's Bluey?
Based on the hit ABC KIDS TV show!
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Bluey: Big Backyard
Based on the hit ABC KIDS TV show!
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Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

As everyone knows, nothing is sweeter than tiny baby fingers and chubby baby toes . . . A delightful Australian classic that will have children begging to hear it again and again.

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Where is The Green Sheep?
THE MILLION COPY BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE CBCA BOOK OF THE YEAR EARLY CHILDHOOD Mem Fox and Judy Horacek take you on a wildly wonderful adventure in their rollicking search for the green sheep in this Australian classic.
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Kissed by the Moon
From Australia's favourite picture-book creator Alison Lester comes a timeless book to share and to treasure.
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The Prison Healer
'Lynette Noni is a masterful storyteller. A must-read for any fantasy lover!' SARAH J. MAAS, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
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The Gilded Cage (The Prison Healer Book 2)
Kiva trades one cage for another when she leaves behind a deadly prison for a deceptive palace in this dark and dangerous sequel to The Prison Healer, from Australia's #1-bestselling YA author Lynette Noni.
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No One Likes a Fart



A sweet, funny story about accepting yourself and finding a friend who loves you just the way you are. Mostly, though, it's about a fart. And fart jokes. Loooots of fart jokes.

Read more
Fart and Burp are Superstinkers
Zoë Foster Blake's beloved character Fart is back. Together with his new friend Burp, they're off on an adventure to use their bad pongs for good! Move over Superman and Wonder Woman, here come the Superstinkers!
Read more
Terry Denton's Really Truly Amazing Guide to Everything
A mini book of facts packed with maximum humour!
Read more
House of Hollow
A New York Times Bestseller! An Instant Indie Bestseller! 'This dark, deliciously twisted novel has everything you could hope for as a reader – a brilliant concept, glamorous characters with secrets to hide, immersive world-building, and some of the finest writing I’ve seen in YA fiction. I’ll put it like this – I am obsessed with House of Hollow.’ Louise O'Neill, author of Printz Honor Book, Asking For It
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The gripping first instalment in Morris Gleitzman's multi-award-winning Felix series, followed by Then, After, Soon, Maybe, Now and Always.

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The much-anticipated final journey in the story of Felix, hero of Morris Gleitzman's multi-award-winning Once, Then, After, Soon, Maybe and Now.

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Don't Forget
A timely and uplifting picture book for 5+, reflecting on what’s important for each of us to remember, from the creative team that brought us All Through the Year and Today We Have No Plans.
Read more
Friday Barnes 9: No Escape
Friday Barnes is back with a new mystery to be solved.
Read more

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