A Hollow Is a Home

2020_EACL Shortlisted Sticker

Paperback - October 2019 - AU $29.99

eBook - October 2019 - eRetailers


Take a peek into the world of tree hollows and the Australian animals that call them home.

Do you know what a tree hollow is? + Full description

To you and me, a tree hollow is just a hole, cavity or tunnel in a tree or branch. But to an animal, that hollow may be a bedroom, hiding place, nursery or shelter. It is the ultimate tree house!

Come and take a peek inside the amazing world of tree hollows and discover more than 340 species of incredible Australian animals that call hollows home. With colour photos of glorious gliders, darting dunnarts, minute microbats and many more, this book is full of fun facts about animals that use tree hollows as places for resting, nesting or hiding.

Find out how hollows are created, why they are threatened, and meet scientists who spend their time hollow-hunting. There are also plenty of tips on how you can spot hollows yourself, help to protect the environment and encourage habitat for hollow-dependent animals.

Reading level varies from child to child, but we recommend this book for ages 9-12.

Shortlisted, The Wilderness Society’s Environment Award for Children’s Literature 2020: Non-Fiction
Shortlisted, The CBCA Eve Pownall Award for Information Books 2020
Longlisted, The Australian Book Design Awards 2020: Children's Non-Fiction Illustrated Book

- Short description


We celebrated the 2019 World Habitat Day by delving into A Hollow Is a Home and the amazing world of tree hollows on our blog.


"This inspiring exploration of tree hollows and the creatures that call them home is well-designed, beautifully written and bound to become an enduring reference book. The thoroughly researched information enriches readers’ understanding of the natural world and our potential role in preserving our wildlife by providing a comprehensive introduction to tree hollows, which are an important ecological feature for so many species."
The CBCA Book of the Year Awards, 2020 Judges Report

"A Hollow is a Home provides a treasure-trove of ‘creature features’, craft projects, scientist profiles, diagrams and ‘how to’ guides for the budding citizen scientist in your life."
Natasha Harris, Australian Birdlife, December 2019

"This is a visually appealing and informative children’s book about the world of tree hollows and the 340-plus species of Australian animals that live inside them. Graphics and close-up photographs accompany facts about the birds, frogs, mammals and reptiles that rest, nest or hide in hollows."
Gardening Australia Magazine, December 2019

"‘A Hollow is a Home’, written by Abbie Mitchell and illustrated by Astred Hicks, is Australia’s first book for young and adolescent readers dedicated to hollow-dependent wildlife and my new favourite book from CSIRO Publishing! ... The book is beautifully laid out, with ample photos and diagrams on each page to keep readers engaged (and excellent teacher notes)."
Dr Sam Lloyd, Children's Books Daily blog, 20 November 2019

"Right from the onset, this is a book that entices children and adults alike to take a closer look at the natural world around them."
Mike Sullivan, Wildlife Australia, Summer 2019

"A Hollow is a Home is a wonderful resource for anyone starting their adventures learning about our local ecosystems and I’m sure it would be especially appreciated by any nature-loving 10 year olds you know."
Steve Lofthouse, Western Australian Naturalist News, December 2019

"A Hollow is a Home will help children develop a sense of wonder and respect about tree hollow as well as stimulate their curiosity about the creatures that depend on them and the ways that human actions can affect them. Its visually appealing style and comprehensive nature makes it eminently suitable as a primary classroom reference."
Dr Lucy Robinson, Geographical Education, Vol 33 2020


Paperback | October 2019 | $ 29.99
ISBN: 9781486308057 | 104 pages | 250 x 215 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Colour illustrations, Colour photographs

ePDF | October 2019
ISBN: 9781486308064
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • Highly visual and engaging content, making learning easy and fun
  • The first book for young readers dedicated to Australian hollow-dependent species
  • Teaches young readers about Australia’s unique fauna and their habitat requirements, and inspires the next generation to tackle the challenge of biodiversity loss


How to use this book
Chapter 1: What is a tree hollow?
Chapter 2: A hollow is a home
Chapter 3: Hello hollows
Chapter 4: Nature's apartment block
Chapter 5: Hollow hunting
Chapter 6: Hollow housekeeping
Chapter 7: How safe is my tree?
Chapter 8: Alternatives to hollows
Chapter 9: A world of hollows
Chapter 10: Through a scientist's eyes
Chapter 11: Hollow heroes
List of hollow-using species in Australia
Nest box designs
Other useful links


Abbie Mitchell is an environmental educator who provides school and community programs to celebrate and promote Australian biodiversity. She lives in the bush with her husband, two kids, some stingless beehives and a couple of charismatic dogs – and lots of native creatures.

Astred Hicks is an award-winning book designer, illustrator and author. She has been designing books for over 10 years through her Sydney-based business Design Cherry.

For Teachers

We have created these Teacher Notes as a free PDF download to support the use of this book in the classroom.

Teacher Notes (1.31 MB)