The National Library of Australia has published a beautiful series of books for young readers about some of my favourite Australian animals.

Written by Susan Hall and beautifully illustrated by Ben Guy, these books tell the stories of  Kyla Koala, Kaz Kangaroo, Wil Wombat and Peek Platypus.

These Animal Tales are set at the time when Europeans first came to Australia…The Europeans had never seen anything like them and were not quite sure what they were. To make sense of them they compared them with animals they knew – badgers, ducks, rabbits and bears.

Each book has its own story with text and illustrations to enthrall young readers. At the back are fascinating facts about each featured animal.

When Europeans first saw a platypus, they did not believe it was a real animal. They thought that someone was playing a trick by sticking a duck’s bill onto a mole’s body.

As well as being exciting adventures, the stories share information about the historical significance of the animal they feature.

Each book also features historical illustrations of the animals, many of which are on display at the National Library of Australia.

These Australian Animal Tales are a quality hardback production but they’re also a convenient size to fit in a handbag and take on holidays or for entertainment on a long car trip. (or slip into a Christmas stocking).

There’s also a fun companion picture book, 10 Bush Babies, written by Susan Hill and illustrated by Naomi Zouwer.

This counting book for young readers also introduces them to some well known and not so well known Australian animals. There are fun ‘flip out pages’ and some interesting animal facts for young readers to enjoy.

Our Australian animals are so unique. It’s wonderful to see them featured in books and series like The National Library’s 10 Bush Babies and their Animal Tales series.

I can see these books finding their way into many Christmas stockings.