8 books that will ignite a love of reading over the school holidays

Expert Advice 11 Jul 24 By

Boy reading books
(Image: Getty Images)

Ignite a love of reading over the school holidays. These books are perfect for keeping young minds engaged and entertained!

The school holidays are almost upon us. And while it’s a fun time for kids to take a break from school, it can be an intense period for parents.

Keeping little ones entertained all day long is no easy feat, but thankfully there are a few engaging books that can help.

Scroll on to learn more about the best books to keep young readers (aged 3–12) busy during the school holidays. Not only will you avoid the inevitable conflict that arises from boredom, but you’ll also help instil a love of books and reading in your child. Talk about a win/win!

Best books to get kids reading over the school holidays

These must-read books for kids will keep them entertained during the school holidays while fostering a long-lasting love of reading.

Bluey A Jigsaw Book

Bluey: A Jigsaw Puzzle Book, RRP $10.00 (was $16.99)

Do you have a little problem solver on your hands? This jigsaw puzzle book will engross children as they try to solve the 4 double-sided puzzles. Each puzzle reveals a picture of the beloved Bluey characters – the perfect motivation to solve them all.

Once you’ve piqued your little one’s interest in the Bluey books, there are several other stories perfect for bedtime reading and beyond. Fun fact: Bluey books have sold over 6 million copies – so it’s safe to say, they are a hit among young readers.

Emma Memma Sticker Book

Emma Memma Sticker Activity Book, RRP $4.00

Sing, dance and sign with Emma Memma! This magical activity book includes over 50 stickers that will allow kids to enjoy a magical story time with Emma Memma. From decorating her dress to finding Waffles the Wombat’s home, these sticker activities are perfectly entertaining for Emma Memma fans.   

Once your child has had enough fun with the stickers, they can move onto Emma Memma’s picture books, Hello, Emma Memma, Emma Memma: How Are You? and Emma Memma’s Alphabet Day.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar activity book

The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Australian Feast, RRP $16.00

Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar as he eats his way through this bright and beautiful Australian-exclusive sticker and colouring book. Between the pages, children will discover tasty lamingtons, magical fairy bread and lots more! With over 30 stickers included, plenty of fun awaits.

After your young one has tired themselves out with sticker fun, you can tuck them into bed while reading from the classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

The Other Side of the Clouds

The Other Side of the Clouds by Matt Samuel and Tam Teow, $21.59 (usually $26.99)

This touching book features beautiful illustrations and acknowledges difficult and overwhelming feelings, reminding us that there is always hope beyond our sorrow. It’s a great book for starting conversations about emotions and mental health.

The story follows a young boy named Finn, who is overwhelmed by his own sadness. Although hope briefly visits him, it never stays. Desperate to find it, Finn rides a kite into the dark sky, calling for hope. He sails over crashing waves, but only loneliness answers.

Just Because by Matthew McConaughey

Just Because by Matthew McConaughey, $16.00 (usually $24.99)

From Academy Award-winning actor and bestselling author Matthew McConaughey comes the star’s first picture book. Filled with humour and wisdom, the highlights the contradictions are all around us. With gorgeous illustrations from Renée Kurilla, each page introduces different characters as they learn to understand the complexity (and wonder) of the world around us.    

Bedtime Stories with R.A. Spratt

Bedtime Stories with R.A. Spratt, $12 (usually $24.99)

If you want to introduce your child to the wonders of reading over the school holidays, then look no further than this collection of bedtime stories from R.A. Spratt. From the bestselling author and host of the hugely popular Bedtime Stories with R.A. Spratt podcast, this book compiles the show’s most popular stories for laugh-out-loud fun that the whole family will enjoy!

Ratbags books

Ratbags series, RRP $20

Slightly older readers will love the Ratbags series, which is the perfect transition from picture books to chapter books. Heavy on illustrations and light on text, this laugh-out-loud series is the perfect way to hook even the most hesitant readers. Following a friend group of naughty rats – and one who actually likes to follow the rules – the books track their adventures and escapades . . . typically revolving around their favourite food: pizza.

Recommended for readers aged 6-9.

The art book for children book cover

The Art Book for Children, RRP $29.97 (usually $39.95)

Celebrating it’s 20th anniversary in 2025, The Art Book For Children is an essential introduction to the world’s greatest artists, featuring 60 artists including house hold names such as Claud Monet and inspiring female artists such as Frida Kahlo.

Curated by a team of experts, and created in collaboration with art historian, writer, and artist Ferren Gipson, each entry invites children to engage with accompanying artworks, with guiding questions and stimulating prompts to fire young imaginations into looking beyond the frame, and spark creative responses. The perfect boredom buster for the school holidays.

Recommended for readers aged 7-12.

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