What to Read

Girl reading

Featured Booklists

Developed by our Children and Youth Services librarians, these booklists highlight topics of interest.

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1000 Books Before School

Read at least three stories a day; it may be the same story three times. Children need to hear a thousand stories before they can begin to learn to read. Or the same story a thousand times!Mem Fox

1000 Books Before School kids reading

The 1000 Books Before School campaign is designed to influence the home learning environment by encouraging families and pre-school children to develop a reading habit. Research shows that “home literacy”, or engaging with language and reading at home, increases reading readiness and prepares children to enter school with the skills they need to do well and thrive.


By reading just one book each evening, the 1000-book target can be achieved in less than three years and your child will be set for a lifelong love of books and learning.


The concept is simple:
Customers register and receive a reading record in which they track the books that they read to their children. This program is specifically for children who have not yet started school. Children can be registered from as young as newborns up until they commence school. The idea is complete the program before commencing school.
  • Reading is logged on reading records.
  • Children achieve a small incentive from the library for reaching their reading goals (prizes can be collected in branch by showing a completed reading record). 
  • After reading 1000 books with their parents, children are awarded a certificate and gift to mark their achievement. 
  • Register for this program at your closest branch library. If you have further questions please contact us.  
Congratulations to children and parents who have reached the 1000 BBS milestone.


Register your pre-school child now at your closest Monash Public Library branch


Please note: children who are already at school can join our School Holiday Program or the Victorian Premier's Reading Challenge.


Early Learning Stem Booklist

Early childhood is the natural starting point for  Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning, as young children are curious and want to explore their environments

Picture books are a great way to engage children’s interest in STEM. Picture books can act as hooks to explore and learn about new things. Picture books introduce new vocabulary, concepts and ways of thinking and doing.

This booklist is reproduced with permission from the Early Learning STEM Australia initiative by the University of Canberra and includes links to our library catalogue.

The Most Magnificent Thing/ Ashley Spires

The girl has a wonderful idea. She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look.  But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly.

 What do you do with an idea?/ Kobi Yamada

This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child’s confidence grows, so does the idea itself.


Cao chong weighs an elephant/ Songju Ma Daemicke 

Junior Chinese Fiction. How much does an elephant weigh? How do you know? Six-year- old Cao Chong, the most famous child prodigy in Chinese history, faced just this problem!


When Papa takes his family fishing on Lake Michigan, his daughter Virena asks, 'Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a fish?’—and Papa is off to his workshop.
Eugenie Clark fell in love with sharks from the first moment she saw them at the aquarium. But Eugenie quickly discovered that many people believed sharks to be ugly and scary—and they didn’t think women should be scientists.
The story of a young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. As the young Jane observes the natural world around her with wonder, until one day she finds that her dream has come true.
Min is a microbe. She is small. Very small. In fact so small that you’d need to look through a microscope to see her. Or you can simply open this book and take Min on an adventure.
The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws... In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination,  when you see a cat, what do you see?
In One is Not a Pair, each patterned page contains a set of pairs... but one thing does not match any of the others. Can you find it? 
Two fuzzy creatures can’t agree on who is small and who is big, until a couple of surprise guests show up, settling it once and for all!
Gus’s workshop is chockful of useless odds and ends. But when his friend Rico comes over with a problem (his scooter seat is way too small for a rhino), Gus finds just the thing to solve it.
It’s time for this year’s Going Places contest! Finally. Time to build a go-cart, race it—and win. Each kid grabs an identical kit, and scrambles to build. Everyone but Maya. But who said it had to be a go-cart?
These books all have an underlying theme: Dream Big. The fun part  is each story is told from a different child in Ms. Lila Greer’s classroom. 
Charlotte is a serious scientist. She solves important problems by following the scientific method. What she doesn’t have is space.


Tapping into the desire for organisation and the insanity of uber-order, Wehrli humorously categorises everyday objects and situations by colour, size, and shape.


This clever picture book introduces the concept of animal characteristics by highlighting how there can be both differences and similarities within a group.
Meet Robyn Boid—a small, dedicated bird who loves to build nests and dreams of becoming an architect. Eager to learn, Robyn practises building all the important architectural shapes, but all the while, she seeks the perfect design for her very own nest.
Young Jack is giving an eye-opening tour of the car he’d like to build. With Jack’s soaring imagination in the driver’s seat, we’re deep-sea diving one minute and flying high above traffic the next in this whimsical, tantalising take on the car of the future.


For more information contact : https://elsa.edu.au

1800 931 042

Special Recommendations

Our Children and Youth librarians offer some incredible insights about various topics, and the value of picture books generally.

View their recommendations and catalogue links.

VCE English Resources


A list of VCE English resources including study guides and eResources that students can access easily on our catalogue. 


VCE English List 1

 "A Framework of Ideas" replaces list 2 in 2024 and most resources are in a format not suited for borrowing from our collection (eg YouTube videos). More info (State Library Victoria)


We also have some excellent research tools on our website,

The State Library of Victoria VCE research guides.

State Library of Victoria online membership allows access to a huge range of e-resources from home. Become a free Access Member.

Trove is also a great place to research anything Australian and find resources.

Victorian Premier's Reading Challenge


You can easily identify the Victorian Premiers' Reading Challenge books in our collection by the stickers on the spine. We have both digital and physical resources.

For more information and links to catalogue resources

Other resources

Read it! Loved it!

Helping boys and girls aged 10+ consistently find great books to read and love.

Go to Read it! Loved it!

Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets is a US national public media literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.

Go to Reading Rockets

Love Reading

LoveReading exists because reading matters, and books change lives.

Go to Love Reading

Literacy Hub

Free resources and professional learning to help young students learn to read.

Go to Literacy Hub

Monash Public Library resources on learning to read

Learning to read