Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills, and prepares them to understand the written word.

Our educators share their favourite stories with you and your child
My Mum's the best
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Looking for a short and heartfelt story that's perfect for Mother's Day, other family days and simply any ocassion to tell Mum you love her? You've found it here!

This story contains different reasons for why 'My Mum's The Best', and is wonderfully written by Rosie Smith. It also features beautiful illustrations by Bruce Whetley that will excite animal-lovers, big and small.


My Brother, Otto
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We are so excited to bring this story from one of our incredible team members at SDN Beranga Autism-Specific Preschool. Gianna, an educator from Beranga's Emu Room, reads us the story of "My Brother Otto".This heart-warming picture book tells the story of Piper and her little brother Otto, who is on the autism spectrum. Children are able to listen to this and learn more about what autism may be like, the unique strengths they may have and what true love and acceptance for autistic children looks like.


The Colour Monster
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The colour monster is a book about emotions, providing children of all kinds a creative and fun way to explore the many feelings they may experience.This story is narrated by our lovely Occupational Therapist, Mariam. In her therapy, Mariam loves providing collaborative support to children with self-regulation, emotional regulation,  behaviours, toileting, school readiness, and more. 


Emily Loves to Bounce
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This narration of "Emily loves to bounce" is brought to us by one of our Speech Pathologists, Roslyn. Ros is passionate about supporting families to develop their communication and social children’s skills, during their daily routines and interactions.She uses Key Word Sign and gestures to tell the story of Emily, an energetic young girl who loves nothing more than to bounce around! Key Word Sign is one way we use to as support the communication of children with communication needs, especially autistic children who may be non-verbal.


Whoever You Are
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Join us and SDN Hurstville Centre Director Amanda, in closing off Harmony Week with a reading of "Whoever you are", illustrated by Leslie Staub and written by Mem Fox.

This is a lovely story which recognises our differences yet also our acknowledges our similarities 'wherever you are, whoever you are all around the world.'




Birdie and the flood
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Nicole Barclay, SDN's wonderful Centre Administrator Team Leader, reads us 'Birdie and the floods' by Andrea Murray and Anil Tortop.
This story helps children understand the impacts of floods, via the story of Birdie and Mr. Frog, who must leave their homes during a terrifying flood. After the flood they are frightened and sad until their friends and others come to help.
We hope that this story gives anyone experiencing (or who has experienced) the devastation of flooding some momentary relief and hope for the future.

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SDN Mosman's Centre Director, Georgia, takes us through a heart-warming story about two friends who move apart but eventually find a way back to each other.

Written by the creator of the all-time classic, 'Very Hungry Caterpillar', this story may provide comfort to children learning to deal with moving away from friends.


Hello Baby!
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A story narrated by the wonderful Centre Admin and Educator at SDN Mosman centre, Emily. Emily reads us a book from an iconic, Australian children's writer, Mem Fox.

'Hello Baby!' is the perfect story to read to children with families who are expecting or growing in size, and for those who identify as animal lovers!

Lanterns and Firecrackers
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'Lanterns and Firecrackers' is a story about Lunar New Year customs, traditions and celebrations. Enjoy this narration by Amanda, Centre Director at SDN Hurstville.

Story written by Johnny Zucker and illustrated by Jan Barger.

I'm Australian Too
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Amanda, Centre Director at SDN Hurstville shares a wonderful reading of "I'm Australian Too," written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh.

Jack's Funtastic Day
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Enjoy a adventurous story about Jack and his fun-filled day.

Story written by Angela Barrett and read by our Early Childhood Teacher Fay, at SDN Hurstville.

The Australian 12 days of Christmas
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Sit back as Amanda from SDN Hurstville sings the story of a very Australian Christmas.

Thank you Heroes
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Amanda from SDN Hurstville reads a story thanking our essential workers.

Room on the Broom
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Amanda from SDN Hurstville reads children’s favourite Room on the Broom- dressed as a witch!


Kindness Makes Us Strong
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Join Senior Educator Elyssa, from SDN Hamilton Street in Bathurst, for a story reading of ‘Kindness makes us strong’ by Sophie Beer.

This is a book that shows the way kindness helps build friendship and community.

One Little Dinosaur
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Count along with SDN Ngallia educator Princess, as she follows the adventure of a growing number of dinosaurs.



Spot goes to the Park
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Follow Spot's adventures in the park, read by SDN Ngallia educator Princess.

Macca the Alpaca
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Follow the adventures of Macca the Alpaca as he discovers that size doesn’t really matter. Read by Carolyn from SDN Hamilton Street in Bathurst.

Tiger Days
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Enjoy a reading of Tiger Days written by M.H Clark, shared by Sara, educator at SDN Lady McKell.

This is a wonderful book to recognise emotions through storytelling. Through reading stories that focus on emotions, children are able to recognise their own emotions and they will come to see that no matter how they act or feel each day, they are always accepted as themselves. 

Other books we recommend that talk about emotions are:

  • In My Heart by Jo Witek  
  • The Feelings Series by Tracey Moroney  
  • Feelings; Inside my heart and in my head by Libby Walden  

I Do It
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Amanda from SDN Hurstville shares a reading of 'I do it' by Andrew Daddo & Jonathan Bentley.

It's the Bear
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Amanda shares a reading of one of her favourite stories. 'It's the Bear' by Jez Alborough.

Things I Love about Family
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Amanda shares a reading of a wonderful book, 'Things I love about my family' by Trace Moroney.

Top 10 books for children 0-2
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Reading books to children stimulates their imagination, expands their understanding of the world and it’s great for future literacy skills. Reading is great fun for children, but these top ten recommendations from our infant and toddler specialists at SDN Paddington make reading aloud fun for adults too.

1. Brown Bear What Do You See? – Bill Martin Jnr/Eric Carle 
This book has rhyming verse, repeats important verses and has attractive illustrations. The full package!

2. That’s Not My… series – Fiona Watt/Rachel Wells
The sensory aspect of this series is very appealing to infants and toddlers. These books are also a great way to introduce reading a series of books.

3. Blue and Other Colours – Phaidon editors
A picture book showcasing colours through the art of Henri Matisse. The bold, colourful and contrasting designs on each page are a huge visual attraction to younger children (0-1 years).

4. Pig in the Pond – Martin Waddell
This book is hilarious! Along with its sense of fun this book supports infants’ and toddlers’ language with repetitive and fun words and short sentences and attractive illustrations.

5. Owl Babies– Martin Waddell
Owls are of great interest to many of our Infants and toddlers and this book combines this interest with their interest in family.

6. My First London Bus – Marion Billet
This was a gift from one of our Paddington families and gave us an insight into a part of their family culture. The simple and effective way it describes life in London really speaks to the 0-2’s age group.

7. Dance – Matthew Van Fleet
We love this book because of its connection to music and dance. Rock out together with the accompanying song that can be downloaded with the book.

8. Each, Peach, Pear, Plum – Janet Ahlberg
A classic read for infants. The rhyme, illustration and peep holes in this book combine to make a favourite for adults and infants alike. This book also engages toddlers with its story relating to what might be similar to their day to day life.

9. Where is the green sheep?– Mem Fox
With the repetitive verse young toddlers will be joining in reading with you in no time! Concepts such as up and down, scared and brave, and near and far, as well as colours and shapes and various others are also introduced.

10. Goodnight Moon– Margaret Wise Brown
The perfect bedtime story! The rhyming text makes it a great choice for younger babies. Toddlers may identify with the bunny's desire to stay awake, but will soon find themselves calm and ready for bed, thanks to the soothing rhyme and description of the bedtime routine.

Top 10 books for preschoolers
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The preschool years are a period of rapid language development and an excellent time to update your child’s library with books that introduce new words and cater to their interests. Our preschool teachers at SDN Paddington recently sat down to create a list of their top ten books for preschoolers.

1.Beautiful Oops by Barney Salzbeg
Lift the flaps to find out how a mistake can be an opportunity to make something beautiful.

2. How to catch a star by Oliver Jeffers
Beautifully illustrated, this book can be used as a stepping stone to deeper conversations and a trigger for the imagination.

3. Shh …we have a plan by Chris Haughton
A gorgeous picture book about what happens when plans gone awry. Your child will love the humour, repetition and rhythm in this book.

4. The Polar Bear by Jenni Desmond
A beautifully illustrated non-fiction book about the polar bear’s habitat, food sources and life cycle.

5. The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak
Any book with the line ‘my head is made of blueberry pizza” is always going to be a winner. This book will have your children (and you) laughing out loud.

6. The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith
What do you call a three legged donkey? A wonky! The children will love the repetition in this book and you’ll love the humour.

7. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
The rhyme and repetition and twist in the plot make it hard to go past this classic.

8. Bamboozled by David Legge
There’s something a little different about Grandad’s house. Can your child figure it out?

9. How Many Jelly Beans? by Andrea Menotti
A fun and colourful way for children to learn about numbers.

10. Where the forest meets the sea by Jeannie Baker
Take a trip through the forest and imagine how it looked a million years ago in this classic from 1988.

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