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Animals: Books For Kids

Calling all animal lovers! There are plenty of children's books about animals, but we've rounded up our very favorites with a wide variety of story, illustrations, and animal characters. From little hands learning where animals live and what they say to independent readers looking for animal adventures, these books will entertain even those who claim not to be animal people.

Top 10 Books About Animals

Gotta Go, Buffalo book
#1
Gotta Go, Buffalo
Written by Kevin Meyers, Haily Meyers and illustrated by Haily Meyers
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from Readerly Mom

A clever concept, adorable illustrations, great design, and flaps to lift: what more could you want?! My toddler daughter loves reading this book, and she loves using the silly phrases whenever she's telling someone goodbye. We read this book over and over again, and if we lost our copy, I'd absolutely be ordering a new one ASAP.

Make goodbyes fun with animal rhymes and colorful lift-the-flap illustrations! “So long!” “See you later!” There are so many ways to say goodbye! Lift the flaps in this colorful book to discover favorite animals (and maybe a few new ones, too) and fun goodbyes. Children and grown-ups alike will be giggling before you can say, “Toodle-Loo, Kangaroo!”

Appleblossom the Possum book
#2
Appleblossom the Possum
Written by and illustrated by Holly Goldberg Sloan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

What a darling book! I love both the realistic aspects about possums as well as the entertaining scenarios the possums are involved in. Appleblossom ends up falling into a house and breaking one of the main possum rules--staying away from humans! Luckily, she has a great possum family and a kind human girl who help her out. The possums are great examples of being there for your family members and pushing out of your comfort zone in order to help those around you. I also learned quite a few fun things about possums!

Mama has trained up her baby possums in the ways of their breed, and now it’s time for all of them—even little Appleblossom—to make their way in the world. Appleblossom knows the rules: she must never be seen during the day, and she must avoid cars, humans, and the dreaded hairies (sometimes known as dogs). Even so, Appleblossom decides to spy on a human family—and accidentally falls down their chimney! The curious Appleblossom, her faithful brothers—who launch a hilarious rescue mission—and even the little girl in the house have no idea how fascinating the big world can be. But they’re about to find out! With dynamic illustrations, a tight-knit family, and a glimpse at the world from a charming little marsupial’s point of view, this cozy animal story is a perfect read-aloud and a classic in the making.

A Boy Called Bat book
#3
A Boy Called Bat
Written by Elana K. Arnold and illustrated by Charles Santoso
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I absolutely adore this book. Bat is a wonderful, developed character that can really help children reading understand and have empathy for those on the Autism spectrum. You get to learn a lot about skunks as Bat takes a particular interest in one, and he has a mother who is a veterinarian!

The first book in a funny, heartfelt, and irresistible young middle grade series starring an unforgettable young boy on the autism spectrum, from acclaimed author Elana K. Arnold and with illustrations by Charles Santoso. For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises—some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat’s mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter. But the minute Bat meets the kit, he knows they belong together. And he’s got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet. "This sweet and thoughtful novel chronicles Bat’s experiences and challenges at school with friends and teachers and at home with his sister and divorced parents. Approachable for younger or reluctant readers while still delivering a powerful and thoughtful story" (from the review by Brightly.com, which named A Boy Called Bat a best book of 2017).

Eyes book
#4
Eyes
Written by Michael E. Smith
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This was my son's favorite book for about a year and when this book accidentally got left in the rental car (since we NEEDED to take it on vacation!) we replaced it. It's a wonderfully unique take on the classic animal book just looking at an animals eyes. The typography is gorgeous and the illustrations wonderfully modern and stylized. I'm not sure if it would capture the attention of a toddler as much just reading the animal name, but when my son and I read this together we make each animal sound (including chest pounding for the gorilla page) and it makes it a wonderfully interactive reading experience.

Did you know animal eyes come in all shapes, sizes, and colors? Read this picture book to your kids and explore the uniqueness of eyes.

Where the Red Fern Grows book
#5
Where the Red Fern Grows
Written by Wilson Rawls
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from The Fun Uncle

I have very fond memories that come flooding back whenever I read this. I love Old Dan and Little Ann (Billy's two hounds)! Rawls tells an incredible story that tugs at the heart of any reader. There are so many gold nuggets that carry great lessons, like Billy's determination to catch his first coon, Billy's diligence throughout the book in caring for his dogs, and the family unity that Billy and his family share. Where the Red Fern Grows is one of the best books there is.

"Billy has long dreamt of owning not one, but two, dogs. So when he's finally able to save up enough money for two pups to call his own--Old Dan and Little Ann--he's ecstatic. It's true that times are tough, but together they'll roam the hills of the Ozarks. Soon Billy and his hounds become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements spread throughout the region, and the combination of Old Dan's brawn, Little Ann's brains, and Billy's sheer will seems unbeatable. But tragedy waits for these determined hunters--now friends--and Billy will learn that hope can grow out of despair and that the seeds of the future can come from the scars of the past. This beloved classic is sure to delight readers of all ages as it captures the powerful bond between man and man's best friend. To commemorate more than fifty years in print, this special edition includes historical materials to enrich this treasured novel."

Stuart Little book
#6
Stuart Little
Written and illustrated by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A hardcover edition of this treasured story, for which Garth Williams's original black-and-white line drawings for the jacket of Stuart Little have been colorized by the celebrated illustrator Rosemary Wells. Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Though he's shy and thoughtful, he's also a true lover of adventure. Stuart's greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend?

The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR! book
#7
The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!
Written and illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is one of my very favorite recent books. I love the illustrations, I'm an absolute sucker for a great rhyme scheme and the message is phenomenal: friends matter more than winning.

From the award-winning author and illustrator of Blown Away, Rob Biddulph, comes a delightfully hilarious story about a grizzly bear named Fred who loses his GRRRRR. Each year, for as long as the forest has stood, a contest is held for the bears of the wood… Fred is the champion. He’s the best. But being the best takes time and training, especially when it comes to having the loudest growl. Then, one morning, disaster strikes—Fred’s GRRRRR is gone! Oh, no! Will Fred find his GRRRRR and realize that there’s more to life than being a winner?

Some Bugs book
#8
Some Bugs
Written by Angela DiTerlizzi and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

The illustrations in this book are phenomenal! This book shows a lot of different bugs as well as many different things bugs can do. My favorite part is that the ending encourages you to go find bugs outside, and the last page shows all of the bugs included in the books and their names. So fun!

Get the buzz on bugs in this Classic Board Book edition of Some Bugs by bestselling author Angela DiTerlizzi! Grab your magnifying glass! Find your field guide! And come hop, hide, swim, and glide through this buggy backyard world! Featuring butterflies and moths, crickets and cicadas, bumblebees and beetles, this zippy rhyming exploration of backyard-bug behavior is sure to have young insect enthusiasts bugging out with excitement!

History Uncovered: Dinosaurs book
#9
History Uncovered: Dinosaurs
Written and illustrated by Dennis Schatz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9
Thoughts from The Fun Uncle

I rate this book so high because of the incredible illustrations and education. It can be a little mature in the education, talking about carnivores and omnivores, but it's a realistic book that is fantastic for the little readers who are genuinely curious about dinosaurs.

Travel back in time to the age of dinosaurs with History Uncovered: Dinosaurs! Learn about different time periods, including Jurassic and Cretaceous, and the most exciting dinosaurs that lived during each one, including Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, and more! Discover what dinosaurs ate, how they lived, and why they went extinct. As you move forward in time, experience the changing landscape of the Mesozoic Era as life evolved and the plates moved apart to create the globe we know today! The dynamic History Uncovered series shows kids how the world changed throughout history in an innovative format with stunning illustrations and fascinating facts. These books include die-cuts on every page that create a strong narrative thread, tying spreads together and engaging children to turn the page. Parents and children will pour over the information and images, and uncover new details as they return to read again and again.

Mrs. Peanuckle's Bug Alphabet book
#10
Mrs. Peanuckle's Bug Alphabet
Written by Mrs. Peanuckle and illustrated by Jessie Ford
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

All of the Mrs. Peanuckle books I've read so far have been fantastic. Chock full of facts, great typography, bright colors and Jessie Ford has managed to simultaneously be true to a bugs anatomy (as far as an untrained eye can tell) while simultaneously making over 90% of them actually cute!

Mrs. Peanuckle’s Bug Alphabet introduces babies and toddlers to all sorts of interesting bugs. Perfect to read aloud, this creepy, crawly adventure will engage children and parents alike with its vibrant illustrations and fascinating facts about bugs. Learning the ABCs has never been so bitingly fun! Mrs. Peanuckle’s Bug Alphabet is the fourth title in a series of board books celebrating the joy of nature at home and in the backyard, from fresh fruits and vegetables to birds, flowers, and trees.

Books About Animals and Rhyming

Gotta Go, Buffalo book
#1
Gotta Go, Buffalo
Written by Kevin Meyers, Haily Meyers and illustrated by Haily Meyers
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from Readerly Mom

A clever concept, adorable illustrations, great design, and flaps to lift: what more could you want?! My toddler daughter loves reading this book, and she loves using the silly phrases whenever she's telling someone goodbye. We read this book over and over again, and if we lost our copy, I'd absolutely be ordering a new one ASAP.

Make goodbyes fun with animal rhymes and colorful lift-the-flap illustrations! “So long!” “See you later!” There are so many ways to say goodbye! Lift the flaps in this colorful book to discover favorite animals (and maybe a few new ones, too) and fun goodbyes. Children and grown-ups alike will be giggling before you can say, “Toodle-Loo, Kangaroo!”

This Little Hamster book
#2
This Little Hamster
Written and illustrated by Kass Reich
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from Grammy

This Little Hamster is a fun and playful new take on a book about color. The spirited hamsters celebrate their eclectic collections of colorful objects in unexpected combinations in clever, rhyming couplets. The spare, consistent illustrations allow for easy identification of each item, facilitating the assembly of our own colorful objects.

This Little Hamster is a spirited playful board book for babies and toddlers. Rhyming couplets and cheerful illustrations will capture the interest of both child and adult readers. This follow-up to Kass Reich's bestselling debut, Hamsters Holding Hands, is a charming introduction to basic colors that will fascinate little ones.

Flamingos Fly book
#3
Flamingos Fly
Written by Douglas Florian and illustrated by Barbara Bakos
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love the illustrations by Barbara Bakos! They are incredibly cute and colorful! This animal board book contains some different animals than the normal ones you'd think of, which I love. There's also a fun rhyme.

Discover what these animals do in this playful board book by award-winning author Douglas Florian. Flamingos fly. Sailfish swim. Monkeys swing on a jungle gym! Discover what different animals do in this fun, rhyming story by award-winning author Douglas Florian! Animals include flying flamingos, swimming sailfish, swinging monkeys, diving dolphins, soaring swallows, creeping starfish, digging prairie dogs, lunging lizards, plunging pelicans, jumping jaguars, leaping llamas, and sleeping sloths.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Animal Numbers - B is for Bookworm - This book is beautiful, I love the cute, colorful illustrations! This rhyming book introduces little ones to new animals while learning to count to ten. I love the ending where all of the animals meet up and are playing a game!

  2. Goat's Coat - This charmingly illustrated rhyming picture book about Alfonzo, a goat with a very special coat, celebrates the power of kindness and friendship. Let me tell you the tale of Alfonzo the goat, who was terribly proud of his lovely new coat. Alfonzo was happy; he pranced and he skipped. Then he heard a sad noise, croaking out of a ditch. Alfonzo couldn't be happier. He just got an amazing new coat, and he feels like a million dollars. But when he discovers some creatures in need of help, will Alfonzo be able to give up his treasured possession to save the day? This great big hug of a book shows that kindness is definitely the best recipe. Awards for Tom Percival Herman's Letter--A Kids' Indie Next List Pick

  3. Once I Was a Pollywog - Discover what these baby animals become when they grow up in this sweet board book by award-winning author Douglas Florian. Once I was a pollywog, but now I am a frog. Once I was a piglet, but now I am a hog. In this fun, rhyming story by award-winning author Douglas Florian, meet different baby animals and discover what they become when they grow up! The baby/adult pairs include: pollywog/frog; piglet/hog; cub/bear; leveret/hare; gosling/goose; calf/moose. And at the end, meet a little boy who will always be his mama's bundle of joy!

  4. Dream Animals - Ideal for bed time reading, Dream Animals convinces children to close their eyes and discover who their dream animal might be—a fox? a bear? a narwhal?—and what dream it might take them to. With a perfect nighttime rhyme and gorgeous illustrations, this book is irresistible.

Want to see more children's books about rhyming?

Books About Animals and Pets

Where the Red Fern Grows book
#1
Where the Red Fern Grows
Written by Wilson Rawls
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from The Fun Uncle

I have very fond memories that come flooding back whenever I read this. I love Old Dan and Little Ann (Billy's two hounds)! Rawls tells an incredible story that tugs at the heart of any reader. There are so many gold nuggets that carry great lessons, like Billy's determination to catch his first coon, Billy's diligence throughout the book in caring for his dogs, and the family unity that Billy and his family share. Where the Red Fern Grows is one of the best books there is.

"Billy has long dreamt of owning not one, but two, dogs. So when he's finally able to save up enough money for two pups to call his own--Old Dan and Little Ann--he's ecstatic. It's true that times are tough, but together they'll roam the hills of the Ozarks. Soon Billy and his hounds become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements spread throughout the region, and the combination of Old Dan's brawn, Little Ann's brains, and Billy's sheer will seems unbeatable. But tragedy waits for these determined hunters--now friends--and Billy will learn that hope can grow out of despair and that the seeds of the future can come from the scars of the past. This beloved classic is sure to delight readers of all ages as it captures the powerful bond between man and man's best friend. To commemorate more than fifty years in print, this special edition includes historical materials to enrich this treasured novel."

Charlotte and the Rock book
#2
Charlotte and the Rock
Written by Stephen W. Martin and illustrated by Samantha Cotterill
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

When a little girl wishes for a pet, and her parents get her a rock, she chooses to look on the bright side and ends up loving her pet rock so much. Little did she, or her parents, know that the rock was actually a dinosaur egg! This book has darling illustrations to go along with its fun story and unexpected ending.

An unexpected friendship forms between a girl and her pet rock in this charming story that’s perfect for fans of What Pet Should I Get? Charlotte has always really wanted a pet, so when her parents present her with one for her birthday she expects a cat, dog, or maybe a bird. Instead, she receives a rock. Rocks can’t cuddle, fetch, or even help her eat her vegetables, but that doesn’t stop Charlotte from loving her rock as if he were real. If only he could love her back…or can he?

Memoirs of a Hamster book
#3
Memoirs of a Hamster
Written by Devin Scillian and illustrated by Tim Bowers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"A pet hamster is enticed by the family cat to venture outside his well-equipped cage to the sunroom only to very quickly discover life outside his cage is not the best for him."--

Honorable Mentions
  1. I Wanna Iguana - Alex and his mother write notes back and forth in which Alex tries to persuade her to let him have a baby iguana for a pet.

  2. Sparky! - A child takes a sloth named Sparky as a pet.

  3. Land Shark - B is for Bookworm - Land Shark is one of my favorites! This book about a clever little boy obsessed with sharks is so witty and always makes me laugh. It's also fun to learn some facts about sharks while you're reading, and I love the fun illustrations and details in the pictures!

  4. Silly Doggy! - When Lily discovers a bear in her garden, she mistakenly thinks it is a dog and wants to keep it for her pet.

Want to see 10 more children's books about animals and pets?

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Books About Animals and Calming Reads For Bedtime

Lion's Lullaby book
#1
Lion's Lullaby
Written by Mij Kelly and illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-2
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

The illustrations in this book are beautiful with a unique touch. Each page appears only half-illustrated a creative use of solid white shapes. The cadence is calming and makes for a great going-to-bed book. I can't put my finger on why, but this book reminds me of simplicity and the innocence of a child.

With the help of hugs and lullabies, a young girl tucks her stuffed animals into bed, one by one, in this cuddly good-night read. Holly Clifton-Brown's soft palette and adorable illustrations paired with Mij Kelly's comforting rhyming text set the perfect tone for bedtime.

All the Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep book
#2
All the Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep
Written by Crescent Dragonwagon and illustrated by David McPhail
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

This is a sweet alphabet book that includes lots of alliteration, but it's not overdone. It's not a book I'd want to read over and over again in the same setting because it's a little bit of mouthful, but the fact that you do have to slow down to read it correctly adds to the soothing tone of the story and it is one I would happily read every day. The watercolor illustrations are soothing as well.

Now in board book format, this lyrical animal ABC book is just right for bedtime--or anytime! From antlered antelope to zzz-ing zebra, all the awake animals are getting sleepy in this abridged board book edition of a favorite bedtime alphabet book, from an acclaimed author and bestselling illustrator. This exquisite celebration of language and nature is perfect for lulling little ones into a cozy, soothing slumber.

Can't Sleep Without Sheep book
#3
Can't Sleep Without Sheep
Written by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

After you read this adorable bedtime book, you definitely will not take counting sheep for granted! Super cute premise, adorable illustrations and a great lesson to be appreciative of those helping you, be they real or imaginary. This book also gets points from me for having a diverse main character .

Whenever Ava can't sleep, she counts sheep. But Ava takes so long to fall asleep, it's the sheep that are growing tired-until finally, they quit! When the sheep promise to find a replacement that Ava can count on, chaos ensues as chickens, cows, pigs, hippos, and more try their hand at jumping over Ava's fence. Finding the perfectly peaceful replacement for sheep might not be so easy after all. With irresistibly adorable art, this delightful take on a familiar sleep tactic is sure to become a bedtime favorite.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Sunrise, Moonrise - Day turns into night and some animals drift to sleep while others spring to life in this beautiful high-contrast board book. Sun rises. Bird sings. And so the day begins in this beautifully simple board book with bold artwork and lyrical text that shows us the passing of time in the day. Fish swim under a blue sky, squirrels dream as the sun sets, the moon rises as stars blink, and an owl hoots when night falls. With word repetition and a single tree that houses both the bird who sings as the sun rises and the owl who hoots after the moon rises, little ones can begin to understand that the day begins and ends in the same way.

  2. Mommy's Best Kisses - Every mother knows that the sweetest way to say "I love you" is with a kiss. This loving book shows that animals know all about a mother's love, too.

  3. A Book of Sleep - When the sky grows dark and the moon glows bright, everyone goes to sleep… except for the watchful owl! With a spare, soothing text and beautifully rich and textured illustrations of a starry night, this is the perfect “book of sleep.” Join the owl on his moonlit journey as he watches all the other animals settle in for the night: some sleep standing up, while some sleep on the move! Some sleep peacefully alone, while others sleep all together, huddled close. Il Sung Na makes his American debut with this gorgeous bedtime offering. While each animal rests in its own special way, little ones will also drift off to a cozy sleep.

  4. Rock-a-Bye Farm - From a baby to a horse, the farmer is rocking everybody to sleep on this farm! Originally published in 1992, Rock-a-Bye Farm is filled with sweet lullabies. Little Simon is bringing this humorous and touching bedtime story back in a board book format with beautiful new illustrations.

Want to see more children's books about calming reads for bedtime?

Books About Animals and Lift-the-flaps

Hatch book
#1
Hatch
Written and illustrated by Heather Brown
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is such a cute lift-the-flap book and definitely a favorite of my toddler's, so much so that it made the two books cut for the airplane bag. I'm not personally convinced that the top of the book needed to be a circle, particularly since it makes the spine a little weaker, but this book has been dragged all around our house and is no worse for the wear (plus, my son is obsessed with circles... so it gets bonus points from him there.) The rhyming is cute, and the content is simple yet informative, and it's a unique take on eggs!

Can you guess what each egg will hatch? Read the rhyming clues and let your child guess before they “hatch” each egg by lifting the flap to find out who is inside. This lift-a-flap book has a smart but simple design that will entertain and educate about egg-dwelling baby animals.

Dear Zoo book
#2
Dear Zoo
Written and illustrated by Rod Campbell
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Rod Campbell’s classic lift-the-flap book Dear Zoo has been a firm favorite with toddlers and parents alike ever since it was first published in 1982. Young readers love lifting the flaps to discover the animals the zoo has sent—a monkey, a lion, and even an elephant! But will they ever find the perfect pet? With bright, bold artwork, a catchy refrain, and a whole host of favorite animals, Dear Zoo is a must for every child’s bookshelf.

Who's at Home? book
#3
Who's at Home?
Written by Jane E. Gerver and illustrated by Kathryn Lynn Davis
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This lift-the-flap book is colorful and mostly simple, but when you lift the flaps, you discover the cutest little illustrated animals! I like that this has a woodland theme and helps little ones learn where different animals live.

Woodland animals play a guessing game with the little ones in this interactive board book! Each spread poses a riddle to young readers: "Who's at home?" Children will love lifting the flaps to reveal a furry bear, a wide-eyed owl, a cheery squirrel, a dozing beaver, and a cuddly rabbit all snuggled up in their homes.

Honorable Mentions
  1. What's That Noise? Toot! Toot! - "What's that noise? Lift the flap to find out! Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills--and simply joining in!"--Page 4 of cover.

  2. What's That Noise? Snap! Snap! - "What's that noise? Lift the flap to find out! Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills--and simply joining in!"--Page 4 of cover.

  3. My First Peek-a-Boo Animals - Lift the flaps to discover the animals being described.

  4. What's That Noise? Tap! Tap! - "What's that noise? Lift the flap to find out! Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills -- and simply joining in!"--Page 4 of cover.

Want to see 9 more children's books about animals and lift-the-flaps?

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Books About Animals and Ducks

Make Way for Ducklings book
#1
Make Way for Ducklings
Written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Mrs. Mallard was sure that the pond in the Boston Public Gardens would be a perfect place for her and her eight ducklings to live. The problem was how to get them there through the busy streets of Boston. But with a little help from the Boston police, Mrs. Mallard and Jack, Kack, Lack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack arive safely at their new home. This brilliantly illustrated, amusingly observed tale of Mallards on the move has won the hearts of generations of readers. Awarded the Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children in 1941, it has since become a favorite of millions.

Duck and Goose, 1, 2, 3 book
#2
Duck and Goose, 1, 2, 3
Written and illustrated by Tad Hills
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-2
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

I love all of Tad Hills books. His illustrations are particularly enjoyable. Right now my one and a half year old carries this book around and says, "eight eyes." Because he can say it so clearly, when not a lot of his other words are understandable, we all know that he loves this book. It is very cute with a bright and sunshiny feel.

Duck and Goose introduce the numbers from one to ten, from one goose to ten butterflies.

Hit the Ball Duck book
#3
Hit the Ball Duck
Written and illustrated by Jez Alborough
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Duck hits the ball into a tree during a friendly game of baseball, he and his animal friends try to work together to get it back.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Duck! Rabbit! - Two unseen characters argue about whether the creature they are looking at is a rabbit or a duck.

  2. Duck, Duck, Moose - Duck's best friend Goose is gone for winter and Duck is lonely. The animals try to cheer Duck, but Duck, Duck, Pig is too messy, and Duck, Duck, Moose is too scary. Will Duck be alone until Goose gets back? Or can Duck come up with a game they all can play?

  3. I Wish that I Had Duck Feet - A boy imagines what it would be like if he had such things as duck feet, a whale spout, and an elephant's trunk, but eventually realizes that he is better off just being himself. Reissue.

  4. The Adventures of Lucky Duck - This heartwarming adventure of Lucky Macy, a mallard, is based on a true story of a duckling found in the early spring of 2006. Lucky’s adventures began after her egg was found in front of Macy’s department store near Livingston, New Jersey, by two kind farm girls, Annie and Marie Williams, who welcomed the duckling into their lives and hearts as the newest member of their family. Follow as Annie; Marie; a miniature horse named Lita; Sydney, a self-centered sparrow; and Chippy, an easy-going chipmunk, join in the fun of helping Lucky discover not only what she is but also about the value of family. In time, Lucky will realize that family is made up of the ones who love you regardless of who you are.

Want to see 10 more children's books about animals and ducks?

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Books About Animals and Friendship

The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR! book
#1
The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!
Written and illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is one of my very favorite recent books. I love the illustrations, I'm an absolute sucker for a great rhyme scheme and the message is phenomenal: friends matter more than winning.

From the award-winning author and illustrator of Blown Away, Rob Biddulph, comes a delightfully hilarious story about a grizzly bear named Fred who loses his GRRRRR. Each year, for as long as the forest has stood, a contest is held for the bears of the wood… Fred is the champion. He’s the best. But being the best takes time and training, especially when it comes to having the loudest growl. Then, one morning, disaster strikes—Fred’s GRRRRR is gone! Oh, no! Will Fred find his GRRRRR and realize that there’s more to life than being a winner?

The One and Only Ivan book
#2
The One and Only Ivan
Written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Patricia Castelao
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Soon to be a major motion picture! This Harper Classic edition of the Newbery Medal winner and #1 New York Times bestseller includes an author's note, a letter from the real Ivan's caretaker at Zoo Atlanta, Ivan's "signature," discussion questions, and more. This unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself. Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes. In the tradition of timeless classics such as Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little. Katherine Applegate's novel blends humor and poignancy to create this incredible tale of friendship, art, and hope. The One and Only Ivan was named to multiple state lists, received three starred reviews, and was hailed as a best book of the year by Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Amazon. Plus don't miss Katherine Applegate's Endling series!

Ribbit! book
#3
Ribbit!
Written by Rodrigo Folgueira and illustrated by Poly Bernatene
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

When a pig visits a frog pond, sits on a rock, and says only "Ribbit!", news spreads fast but only the wise old beetle has an explanation.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Animal Inn 3-Books-in-1! - The first three novels in the Animal Inn chapter book series, where the fur—and fun—flies at an animal spa and hotel, are now available together in a fur-tastic paperback edition! The Animal Inn is an all-inclusive pet resort and spa for animals from dogs to rabbits, cats to ducks, parrots to lizards. From doggie and kitty daycare, to grooming, and group play—you name it, and the Animal Inn has it. The Inn is run by the Tyler family along with their pets Leopold, the Macaw; Fuzzy and Furry, the gerbils; dogs Dash and Coco; felines Shadow and Whiskers; and a rollicking horde of animal visitors. In A Furry Fiasco, when the animals hear that a new boarder—a Komodo Dragon—will be coming to the Inn, they panic! Will it gobble them all up and then devour their family? In Treasure Hunt, the animals are convinced a pirate with a glittering treasure is visiting the Animal Inn. Will the animals have to walk the plank in order to survive? Arghhh! And in The Bow-Wow Bus, Cassie Tyler’s first grade class takes a field trip to Animal Inn for a meet and greet. And it’s a furry good time for all—even for the newest kid in class, a goldfish named Blub.

  2. The Nice Book - A perfect introduction to manners and playing nice, by David Ezra Stein—author of Caldecott Honor winner Interrupting Chicken, Pouch! (a Charlotte Zolotow Honor book) and Leaves (recipient of the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award). From cuddling koalas to friendly penguins, an array of animals illustrates fun, sweet, and silly examples of “how to be nice,” showing simple ways young children can show they care for those around them. The lyrical text, funny illustrations and upbeat friendship message make this a great gift and a wonderful introduction to manners.

  3. How to Win Friends and Influence Creatures - Presents humorous advice on maintaining friendships with animals, including not hogging a mudbath, howling along with a pack, and learning to listen to small voices.

  4. You Should, You Should! - Hippo's morning starts off good, until friends say, “You should! You should!” You should prance! You should sing! Wear this hat! Stretch your wing! Though Hippo wants to be a friend, he wonders when the “shoulds” will end. Hippo and friends will soon find out that being yourself is what life's about.

Want to see 8 more children's books about animals and friendship?

How about children's books about friendship?

Books About Animals and Problem Solving

Appleblossom the Possum book
#1
Appleblossom the Possum
Written by and illustrated by Holly Goldberg Sloan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

What a darling book! I love both the realistic aspects about possums as well as the entertaining scenarios the possums are involved in. Appleblossom ends up falling into a house and breaking one of the main possum rules--staying away from humans! Luckily, she has a great possum family and a kind human girl who help her out. The possums are great examples of being there for your family members and pushing out of your comfort zone in order to help those around you. I also learned quite a few fun things about possums!

Mama has trained up her baby possums in the ways of their breed, and now it’s time for all of them—even little Appleblossom—to make their way in the world. Appleblossom knows the rules: she must never be seen during the day, and she must avoid cars, humans, and the dreaded hairies (sometimes known as dogs). Even so, Appleblossom decides to spy on a human family—and accidentally falls down their chimney! The curious Appleblossom, her faithful brothers—who launch a hilarious rescue mission—and even the little girl in the house have no idea how fascinating the big world can be. But they’re about to find out! With dynamic illustrations, a tight-knit family, and a glimpse at the world from a charming little marsupial’s point of view, this cozy animal story is a perfect read-aloud and a classic in the making.

The Whale in My Swimming Pool  book
#2
The Whale in My Swimming Pool
Written and illustrated by Joyce Wan
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I'm a huge fan of Joyce Wan's signature illustration style (as a side note, did you know she can even make worms look cute?! I digress). This cute book combines a preposterous situation with one little boy's innovation and problem-solving to create happy humor and good feels all around.

One sunny day, a little boy heads outside for a swim, but his pool is already taken . . . There's a big whale in the water and it's not budging! The boy tries everything to get the whale to leave. Nothing seems to work. Not fetch. Not tag. Not even offering his allowance. What's a boy to do? Luckily, he comes up with the perfect solution: he decides to chill out on a spray of water over the whale's spout. This colorful whale of a tale from the talented Joyce Wan is sure to inspire giggles from little guppies!

Oliver's Tree book
#3
Oliver's Tree
Written and illustrated by Kit Chase
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A board book about three adorable best friends! Oliver, Charlie, and Lulu love to play outside together. Their favorite game is hide-and-seek, but it’s not fun for Oliver when his friends hide in the trees—he can’t reach them! So the friends set off to find a tree that Oliver can play in. But there’s a reason we don’t see elephants in trees, and just when Oliver is ready to give up the search, Charlie and Lulu surprise him with the perfect tree for them all to play in together!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Henry's Bright Idea - Deep in the shade of a walnut grove stands a tall tree house. A delightful group of friends gathers here. They call themselves the Walnut Animal Society. Their mission is to create and to always remain curious. Henry the Fox is a knowledgeable fellow, known for his unique inventions. Margaux the Kitty’s many books are filled with stories and poems she’s written. Ruthie the Deer loves to dance like the butterflies that flutter outside. The collection of ropes and fishing poles belongs to adventurous Chester the Raccoon. Magnolia the Bunny makes maps of the places she’s explored beyond the walnut grove. And Eleanor the Bear gathers flowers and plants to make tea for her friends. Henry is a founding member of the Walnut Animal Society, an inventor and a tinkerer. Today Henry is not inventing or tinkering. Henry has lost his idea. Follow Henry and his friend Eleanor as they search for Henry’s lost idea and discover much more in this charming picture book, the first in a series of titles, reminiscent of such classics as Winnie the Pooh, and illustrated in a rich, vintage palette.

  2. The Little Green Hen - A timely retelling plays off "The Little Red Hen" with an environmental slant. On top of a hill, inside an old and very fruitful apple tree, lives Little Green Hen. She prunes the tree's branches, rids it of pests, and sows its seeds so that more trees will grow. But soon the work proves too much, and Little Green Hen seeks some help. Dog (who loves sticks), Sparrow (who loves bugs), and Squirrel (who loves burying things) are glad to pitch in. But Peacock, Fox, and Cat have far more important things to do -- until the storms roll in, the rain comes down, and the waters rise. . . . With contemporary flair, Alison Murray offers another engaging adaptation of a traditional children's tale.

  3. What Does an Anteater Eat? - Anteater is hungry, but he has completely forgotten what anteaters eat. Baffled, and with his tummy rumbling, he consults the other animals. Sloth is too busy, Toucan is clueless, and Crocodile has his own mouth full. Whatever will Anteater do? It isn't until the ants all run for their lives that Anteater remembers what he should be eating . . . and it's not what you think! A delightfully silly tale that little ones will return to again and again.

  4. Little Orange Scarf - Little Owl loves many things, including his tree house in City Park, riding his scooter, and eating ice cream. But he does not love the new orange scarf his mommy makes him wear. It’s too long. It’s too itchy. It’s too . . . orange! After several attempts to lose his orange scarf, Little Owl finally succeeds. But a trip to the yarn store provides Mommy with the perfect solution to keep Little Owl warm and happy. From the author of Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket comes another toddler-friendly—and parent-friendly—board book offering.

Want to see more children's books about problem solving?

Books About Animals and Opposites

Bears Are Big book
#1
Bears Are Big
Written by Douglas Florian and illustrated by Barbara Bakos
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

The funny illustrations, unique animals—get ready to explain what a shrew is!—and clever rhyming make this a totally enjoyable (and quick) read, that at least I rarely get tired of reading. The first two times I read it, it really bothered me that the center two pages didn't seem to go with the "opposites" pattern, but now I enjoy the departure from the norm! This is my favorite of this little series of board books (Flamingos Fly & Once I was a Pollywog).

Discover animal opposites in this playful board book by award-winning author Douglas Florian. Bears are big. Bees are small. Shrews are short. Giraffes are tall. In this fun, rhyming story by award-winning author Douglas Florian, little ones can meet pairs of animals and discover how they're different! The pairs include bears/bees, shrews/giraffes, rhinos/tigers, turtles/snails, sloths/cheetahs, eels/tree frogs, hippos/butterflies, and ravens/doves.

Little Friends: Big and Small book
#2
Little Friends: Big and Small
Written and illustrated by Roger Priddy, Natalie Munday, Barbi Sido, Amy A. Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Such a fun book to learn opposites with, especially because of the fun mini book that fits into the bigger book! The mini book has pages with the baby animals related to the animal on the page in the bigger part of the book, and the opposites are in the big book and the corresponding page in the little book. :) The illustrations are really cute, too!

Invites young readers to match the sentences on each page with similar sentences featuring opposing terms that appear in a corner of the book that has pages that move independently.

Opposites book
#3
Opposites
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

A selection of opposites--beginning with happy-and-sad--is presented by a group of engaging animal characters. On board pages.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Big Hugs, Little Hugs - A joyful board book about family love from the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie! Big or small, Furry or not, Here or there, Inside or out, Everyone hugs all over the world. With its loving, simple text and bold, beautiful artwork, this is a perfect board book for baby showers, first birthdays, or a baby’s first first holidays. And it’s not just about hugging! Little ones can learn about opposites and about animals and their habitats in this story too. Mega-selling author and artist Felicia Bond has crafted a charming book filled with animals hugging across the globe that celebrates the universality of love.

  2. The Opposite Zoo - After the zoo closes, a monkey slips out of his cage to explore the zoo, introducing the reader to the other animals and the idea of opposites.

  3. So Light, So Heavy - Elephant is so heavy, and all the other animals are so light. How will the seesaw ever go up and down? Toddlers will be drawn in by repetition, opposites, humor, and an unexpected twist in this board book story about Elephant's quest to get the seesaw to teeter. A cast of friendly animals—who are all so light—try to help move the seesaw, but Elephant's side won't budge. He's so heavy. Then what happens when a child swoops in with other plans? Short, simple, and memorable, this board book offers a satisfying story arc.

  4. So Far Up - Bear can't reach the cake he's after—it's so far up, and he's so far down! Will his friends be able to help? Toddlers will be drawn in by repetition, opposites, humor, and an unexpected twist in this board book story about Bear's quest to reach a cake on a windowsill that is so far up! A cast of friendly animals—who are all so far down—try to help bear reach the desired cake. But what happens when a child swoops in with other plans? Short, simple, and memorable, this board book offers a satisfying story arc.

Want to see more children's books about opposites?

Books About Animals and Alphabet (abc's)

Arf! Buzz! Cluck! A Rather Noisy Alphabet book
#1
Arf! Buzz! Cluck! A Rather Noisy Alphabet
Written by Eric Seltzer and illustrated by David Creighton-Pester
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This clever take on an alphabet book (using their noises rather than the animals themselves!) has great cadence and vibrant illustrations. I love how the variety of habitats shown and how each page seamlessly combines different animals and their sounds.

Moo! Neigh! Oink! Peep! This silly and inventive alphabet board book teaches little ones the ABCs with animal sounds! We Arf We Buzz We Baaah We Coo We Chirp and Cluck and cock-a-Doodle-Doo!

Alphabet Kingdom book
#2
Alphabet Kingdom
Written and illustrated by Starla Michelle Halfmann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-4
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers

Alphabet Kingdom is full of beautiful, kaleidoscopic illustrations. Each page is vibrant with color and life, and Staria Michelle Halfmann has a beautiful style. For a child who appreciates beautiful art, this would be a great choice. On the other hand, if children are interested in variety and words, this might not be the perfect fit. This book will catch the attention of most adults, but I'm less confident that it will interest most children. Still a favorite when it comes illustration-only, or at least, illustration-focused children's books.

In this large-format alphabet book, the letters of the English language come alive through the artwork of Austin-based fine artist Starla Michelle Halfmann. Children will learn and marvel as their ABCs become members of the animal kingdom, and adults will appreciate the beauty of this gorgeously rendered wordless picture book.

Jane Foster's ABC book
#3
Jane Foster's ABC
Written and illustrated by Jane Foster
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Introduce little ones to letters in this bold and graphic style board book by illustrator and textile designer Jane Foster. In this ABC board book, children will be introduced to letters by associating them with animals, such as D for duck, L for lion, and Z for zebra.

Honorable Mentions
  1. An African Alphabet - An African Alphabet is a vibrant ABC book that introduces babies and toddlers to the unique variety of animals found in Africa. An alphabet for all ages, the stunning linocut artwork brings an uncommon selection of critters to life in this lively concept book. From aardvark to zebra and all that's in between, little ones will love learning their alphabet with these colorful creatures.

  2. My First Animal ABC - Turn the pages from A to Z to discover this animal ABC! Turn the pages to discover the wonderful world of animals while learning ABCs! In My First Animal ABC by award-winning illustrator Maurice Pledger, kids are introduced to animals from all over the world with letters that start from A to Z. Fold-out pages are included on every page, allowing for even more exploration and discovery. After reaching the letter Z, kids can pin up the included poster for even more animal ABC fun!

Want to see more children's books about alphabet (abc's)?

Books About Animals and Love

I've Loved You Since Forever book
#1
I've Loved You Since Forever
Written by Hoda Kotb and illustrated by Suzie Mason
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lyrical text and illustrations of baby animals and their mothers show the love of a parent.

The Trumpet of the Swan book
#2
The Trumpet of the Swan
Written by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This story is a delightful read with a swan who believes he can do anything, and he does. I loved following along in his adventures and seeing how he dedicates himself. His friend, Sam, was also one of my favorite parts of the book. Louis never quits--which is what allows him to find his best friend, Sam, his true love, Serena, and his many talents, including his trumpeting. Louis learns to make his weakness (being mute) a strength (learning how to play the trumpet) and never thinks he can't do anything just because he's a swan--he even learns to read and write!

Swan Song Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can't trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can't even make a sound. And since he can't trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena's affection--he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?

My Love is For You book
#3
My Love is For You
Written by Susan Musgrave and illustrated by Marilyn Faucher
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Celebrated poet Susan Musgrave weaves the purity, strength and sweetness of love with simple joys from nature experienced through the seasons. Marilyn Faucher's vibrant illustrations are a lovely complement to Musgrave's prose, and together these elements introduce babies and toddlers to the delight of cold summer plums, a shower of cherry blossom petals and the endlessness of love. A perfect read-aloud, this poetic board book will foster warmth and closeness with the littlest ones in your life.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Hello, Love! - How do animals show their love? By touching trunks, beaks, and noses! Toddlers will delight in adorable pairs of fish, ducklings, elephants, and monkeys as they splash, swim, dance, and swing, all while showing affection. Author-illustrator Taro Miura brings a playfulness and verve to this love-affirming board book, which culminates in the ultimate celebration of love: a child embraced by loving parents.

  2. If Animals Said I Love You - If animals said “I love you” like we do…how would they say it? Whale would make bubbles shoot from her spout. Boa would give her hatchlings a hug. Gorilla would snuggle his child to sleep. And across the animal kingdom, every creature would show love in a special way. Ann Whitford Paul and David Walker are back with If Animals Said I Love You, a sweet imagining of love in the animal world.

  3. Beauty and the Beast - Originally published in 1989, this luminous reissue of an all-time favorite fairy tale will attract an even wider audience with its romantic new jacket and a shortened text. Exquisite illustrations of Beauty and her mysterious suitor, the Beast, are set in a magical castle where animals dressed in period costumes serve them. Woven into glorious tapestries throughout are hidden clues hinting at the Beast’s secrets, setting Brett’s version apart from others.

  4. If Animals Said I Love You - If animals said “I love you” like we do…how would they say it? Whale would make bubbles shoot from her spout. Boa would give her hatchlings a hug. Gorilla would snuggle his child to sleep. And across the animal kingdom, every creature would show love in a special way. Ann Whitford Paul and David Walker are back with If Animals Said I Love You, a sweet imagining of love in the animal world.

Want to see more children's books about love?

Books About Animals and Touch-and-feel

Animal Homes book
#1
Animal Homes
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

After a first read through on my own, I'd probably have given this a 4.5, but my toddler is obsessed with this book, as are several of our other toddler friends, so I've developed a lot of appreciation for this book. The illustrations are really cute and the interactive activity of matching animals to their homes, with the raised textures on each illustrations to add interest, makes this an enjoyable read. It's also one my son is happy to "read" to himself!

Introduce little ones to all sorts of different homes for animals! In Animal Homes, little ones will be asked which homes belong to which animals. The pages of this book are filled with familiar, kid-friendly animals such as cats, fish, dogs, birds, and more, rendered in soft colors that make this an even more enjoyable experience for babies. Each page includes an embossed animal home, creating a tactile experience for tiny hands. And on the last spread, all the animals appear with their correct homes!

Alphaprints: ABC book
#2
Alphaprints: ABC
Written by Roger Priddy
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Indentifies the letters of the alphabet using illustrations of animals representing each letter, comprised of finger and thumb prints.

Tails book
#3
Tails
Written and illustrated by Matthew Van Fleet
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Tails are irresistible to toddlers, and in Matthew Van Fleet’s sturdy touch-and-feel board book, preschool-age pokers and prodders can finally tug to their heart’s content. Engaging, cartoonish animals from tigers to pangolins romp across the pages as the rhyming text bounces along: “Tails fluffy, / Tails stringy, / Scaled tails strong and—clingy!” Pull tabs, lift-able flaps, tufts of fur, and even a scratch-and-sniff skunk tail provide plenty of tactile surprises. Along the way, youngsters will learn about counting, opposites, and how animals use their tails. A tried and true tail-wagger!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Who Wears What? - Who wears the fluffy hat? What about the shiny boots? Touch each page and find out which animal wears what and how it feels! A host of cute animals introduce younger children to different textures and new adjectives in this Touch and Feel board book.

  2. Animal Patterns - Introduce little ones to all sorts of different patterns seen on animals! In Animal Patterns, little ones will be asked which patterns belong to which animals. The pages of this book are filled with familiar, kid-friendly animals, such as giraffes, zebras, tortoises, leopards, and more, rendered in a soft colors that make this an even more enjoyable experience for babies. Each page includes embossed animal patterns, creating a tactile experience for tiny hands. And on the last spread, all the animals appear with their correct patterns!

  3. TouchThinkLearn: Wild Animals - Featuring spreads with raised shaped objects that fit into scooped cut-outs on their opposite page, this new TouchThinkLearn book offers the youngest learners an opportunity to explore in a hands-on, multisensory way. Seeing the image, tracing its shape, saying its name—these modes of perception combine to stimulate understanding of essential concepts. Discover a monkey and its jungle home by tracing the raised outline on one side, and the concave shape on the other! Related words on each spread offer parents and child a springboard for further conversation to encourage the language skills crucial to later successful learning. In a format unlike any other, these groundbreaking books translate abstract thought into tangible knowledge.

  4. Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings - This charming introduction to colors, shapes, and animals has been delighting children all over the world for ten years! There is a surprise on every peek-a-boo page, where textured shapes magically turn into colorful creatures perfect for toddler’s touching.

Want to see more children's books about touch-and-feel?

Books About Animals and Adventure

Stuart Little book
#1
Stuart Little
Written and illustrated by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A hardcover edition of this treasured story, for which Garth Williams's original black-and-white line drawings for the jacket of Stuart Little have been colorized by the celebrated illustrator Rosemary Wells. Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Though he's shy and thoughtful, he's also a true lover of adventure. Stuart's greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend?

Night Knight book
#2
Night Knight
Written and illustrated by Owen Davey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Come on a bedtime adventure with one little knight as he rides through forests to reach his bedroom, battles crocodiles to brush his teeth and climbs the tallest tower to get into bed. This exciting and imaginative bedtime tale is told through Owen Davey's charming and witty words and illustrations — making this a perfect k-nightly read for every young adventurer. Bedtime becomes an unforgettable k-nightly adventure!

Bizzy Bear: Fun on the Farm book
#3
Bizzy Bear: Fun on the Farm
Written by Nosy Crow and illustrated by Benji Davies
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Introducing Bizzy Bear from Nosy Crow, an imprint of Candlewick Press! Introducing Bizzy Bear, the busiest bear on the block! With chunky sliders to push and pull, these robust little board books are perfect for active toddlers. Rich in visual detail and with touches of humor, they are set to become firm favorites in the family library. Bizzy Bear's off to lend a hand on the farm. Toddlers can help him count the ducks, feed the goats, and f ind the eggs before he waves bye-bye.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion - Little Red sets off to visit her auntie who is poorly. She walks under the giraffes, over the sleepy crocodiles, past the enormous elephants and the chattering monkeys. Then a Very Hungry Lion approaches Little Red, wanting to gobble her up. But despite all the cunning plans by Lion, Little Red outsmarts him and soon has him saying sorry and eating doughnuts instead.

  2. Wild Rescues: Amazing Stories from a Wildlife Shelter - Can you imagine a hawk falling from the sky and into your mom’s flower garden? Or a duck family that decides to make a swimming pool their pond? These and other stories fill the pages of Wild Rescues: Amazing Stories from a Wildlife Shelter. Each story, based on real patients, highlights a kid discovering a wild animal in need and helping it on its journey to recovery. Woven with fascinating animal facts and tips for helping wildlife, the book encourages us all to become wildlife rescuers helping humans and animals to be good neighbors. Part of the proceeds from this book go to Westsound Wildlife Shelter on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

  3. Kitty Alone - Kitty Alone is the latest in a series of captivating picture books, each based on a beloved songtale from the great American folk music heritage. This beautifully illustrated version sets the song in the Appalachian Mountains and uses a bobcat, called a "woods ghost" by locals, as the title character. Like the other titles in the First Steps in Music series, Kitty Alone includes song history and notation, along with a free download link for the song, sung by Jill Trinka.

  4. Soapstone Porcupine - The dog shows up the way snow does on a winter’s day. She just drifts in and stays, becoming the friend of a young Cree boy. The boy and the dog set out on an adventure that ends in a quandary of quills and a big brother who swears to take revenge on the porcupine. But Lindy, a Cree elder and master carver, reminds the brothers of the importance of the great porcupine. After a day spent carving in town, the boy learns some truths about human nature and realizes that sometimes, like the porcupine, you must put your quills up to keep from getting pushed around. Soapstone Porcupine is the second book, after Soapstone Signs, narrated by a young Cree boy.

Want to see more children's books about adventure?

Books About Animals and Fact Filled

Sam the Man & The Chicken Plan book
#1
Sam the Man & The Chicken Plan
Written by Frances O’Roark Dowell and illustrated by Amy June Bates
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Sam the Man wants to earn some money and he’s got a cluck-worthy plan in this endearing chapter book that’s the first in a new series from Frances O’Roark Dowell. Sam the Man needs a job. Even his sister gets twenty bucks a pop for mowing people’s lawns! But seven-year-olds aren’t allowed to mow lawns, so Sam decides to ask his next door neighbor if she needs help doing other chores. It turns out she’ll pay him a whole dollar each time he can convince her dad, Mr. Stockfish, to join him for a walk. But it turns out that getting Mr. Stockfish to leave the living room isn’t easy. AND a dollar a pop isn’t going to cut it. So when Mrs. Kerner, another neighbor, asks if Sam would like to watch her chickens, Sam jumps on the task. You can count on him, yes indeed. Watching chickens is more fun than he expects, and comes with an added bonus: it turns out that visiting the chickens is the one thing that can coax Mr. Stockfish out of the house! But what does a seven-year-old do with all the money he’s earning? It’s too little for a bike, and too much for candy. But wait! It’s just enough for a chicken of his own—the kind that lays BLUE eggs! Soon he has a whole waiting list of kids who want to buy a blue egg. And what does Sam plan on doing with his new fortune? Buy Mr. Stockfish his own chicken, of course!

Mad about Monkeys book
#2
Mad about Monkeys
Written and illustrated by Owen Davey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Ever wonder what monkeys are and what makes them so special? With over 250 species inhabiting our planet, this book explores the many different types of monkeys from the smallest Pygmy Marmoset to the largest Mandrill as well as providing all the facts you wanted to know and more. Discover where monkeys come from, how they swing from tree to tree and why they fight and play with each other. After reading this beautifully illustrated book by Owen Davey, you’ll soon you’ll be raving mad about monkeys!

Beware of the Crocodile book
#3
Beware of the Crocodile
Written by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

You probably know a little about crocodiles already. They’re reptiles, they have an awful lot of teeth, and they’re pretty scary — at least, the big ones are! They’re not very fussy about what they eat, and when it comes to hunting down dinner, crocodiles are very determined . . . and very cunning. But there’s more to crocodiles than just their appetites. They love to nap on warm sandbanks and cool off in calm waters, and crocodile mothers are very gentle with their babies. This fascinating look at one of Earth’s most infamous creatures is full of information for amateur scientists, with back matter that includes an index, notes on species, and suggestions for further reading.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Who's Hiding at the Beach? - There are lots of creatures at the beach. Where are they hiding and what are they doing? In this innovative lift-the-flap book, little ones can pore over the beautiful collaged pages and explore under rocks, shells, and seaweed to find out lots of interesting facts about seaside wildlife. This is the perfect introduction to the outdoors.

  2. Mama Dug a Little Den - There are so many different kinds of dens that mother animals make for their babies, from desert burrows to snow caves to elaborate underground tunnels. Jennifer Ward introduces young readers to all sorts of animals and the cozy burrows they call home in this bouncy, rhyming picture book, illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Steve Jenkins.

  3. Octopuses One to Ten - "A fascinating counting journey through the amazing and mysterious world of octopuses"--

  4. In the Wild You Might See... - Find all kinds of Wild Animals in this beautifully illustrated First Words book by artist Lisa M. Gardiner, perfect for your youngest reader discovering the joy of books. They can look inside and learn that in the wild they might see a tiger, monkey, toucan, and so much more! Keywords: Informational, repetitive text, strong picture support. Theme; animals in the wild Lexile: 170L GRL: D

Want to see more children's books about fact filled?

Books About Animals and Silly

Chimpanzees for Tea! book
#1
Chimpanzees for Tea!
Written and illustrated by Jo Empson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A silly, fun version of the game “telephone”—in which a grocery list committed to memory goes playfully awry. One day, Vincent’s mother asks him to go to the store to pick up a few items: “a bunch of carrots, a box of rice, some China tea, a big, firm pear, and a tin of peas” to be precise. “And hurry home in time for tea!” she says. Sounds easy enough. Yet distractions are at every turn, causing havoc with Vincent’s memory. All of a sudden, a tin of peas is replaced by a trapeze; a big, firm pear becomes a big furry bear; and a box of rice transforms into a box of mice! Needless to say, Vincent’s mother is in for quite a surprise. Told with a playful rhythm for reading aloud and illustrated with exuberance and great child appeal, this humorous picture book will have kids laughing and asking for repeated readings.

Wiggle! book
#2
Wiggle!
Written and illustrated by Taro Gomi
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

It's more than a book—it's a game! Every spread is missing a key element of a featured animal—from an elephant's trunk to a penguin's beak, these creatures are incomplete. And it's up to young readers to help them out! Kids can finish the illustration by wiggling their fingers through suitably placed die-cuts. Children are sure to giggle at the silliness of turning their fingers into elephant trunks and chameleon tongues—and learn a bit about animal features on the way!

The Mitten book
#3
The Mitten
Written and illustrated by Jan Brett
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

The bestselling modern classic, in an oversized board book edition perfect for sharing. When Nicki drops his white mitten in the snow, he goes on without realizing that it is missing. One by one, woodland animals find it and crawl in; first, a curious mole, then a rabbit, a badger and others, each one larger than the last. Finally, a big brown bear is followed in by a tiny brown mouse and what happens next makes for a wonderfully funny climax. As the story of the animals in the mitten unfolds, the reader can see Nicki in the borders of each page, walking through the woods unaware of what is going on. In her distinctive style, Jan Brett brings the animals to life with warmth and humor, and her illustrations are full of visual delights and details faithful to the Ukrainian tradition from which the story comes.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Quest for the Magic Porcupine - The BADgers are back in Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face’s second adventure, perfect for fans of The Stinky Cheese Man and Pseudonymous Bosch. The villainous badgers have escaped from prison, and it’s up to Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face to find them and put them back! Only someone who knows about stories can point them in the right direction, so they consult Miss Butterworth, the Ninja Librarian. After referring to a copy of Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Quest for the Magic Porcupine, Miss Butterworth sends them on their quest. Along the way they encounter raccoons who are definitely NOT badgers in disguise, a really REALLY long traffic light, a rabbit in a prickly coat, and a banana-eating hammerhead shark, all leading to a showdown with the badgers. Can the kids think fast enough to save the king from being shot out of the biggest water rocket in the world? We don’t know. But we’re going to read it and find out!

  2. Night Animals - Something's out there in the dark! First Possum hears it. Then Skunk. Then Wolf comes running. 'What could it possibly be?' asks Bat. 'Night Animals!' the animals declare. 'But you arenight animals,' Bat informs this not-so-smart crew. Children will love the oh-so-funny animals in this twist on a cozy bedtime book.

Want to see more children's books about silly?

Books About Animals and Bedtime

If Animals Kissed Good Night book
#1
If Animals Kissed Good Night
Written by Ann Whitford Paul and illustrated by David Walker
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from Grammy

I could read this book night after night. The text rhymes along cleverly describing how each animal pair would kiss goodnight if they kissed as we do. The illustrations are delightful and the layout of the text on the page, as well as the emphasis of strategic words, complement the animals' creativity. Really, it is a pleasure to read.

Rhyming text explores what would happen if animals kissed like humans do, from a slow kiss between a sloth and her cub to a mud-happy kiss from a hippo calf to his father.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star book
#2
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
Written by and illustrated by Sylvia Long
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-12

In this tenderly illustrated edition of the classic rhyme, award-winning artist Sylvia Long touches the hearts of readers yet again. Her detailed watercolors depict a group of animal friends as they make their way home under the night sky to complete their bedtime rituals.

Sleep Like a Tiger book
#3
Sleep Like a Tiger
Written by Mary Logue and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

At bedtime a young girl asks "Does everything in the world go to sleep?"

Honorable Mentions
  1. Good Night, Gorilla - A must-have board book for all babies. Good night, Gorilla. Good night, Elephant. It’s bedtime at the zoo, and all the animals are going to sleep. Or are they? Who’s that short, furry guy with the key in his hand and the mischievous grin? Good night, Giraffe. Good night, Hyena. Sneak along behind the zookeeper’s back, and see who gets the last laugh in this riotous good-night romp.

  2. Night-Night, Forest Friends - As the sun sets, animals all over the forest get ready for bed. Papa rabbit tucks his babies in among the leaves, fuzzy bears settle in their den, and little foxes snuggle together under the moonlight. Up above, an owl hoots a lullaby. The gentle rhyming text and soft illustrations in this charming book will help little ones settle down for a cozy night.

  3. Little Owl's Night - It’s evening in the forest and Little Owl wakes up from his day-long sleep to watch his friends enjoying the night. Hedgehog sniffs for mushrooms, Skunk nibbles at berries, Frog croaks, and Cricket sings. A full moon rises and Little Owl can’t understand why anyone would want to miss it. Could the daytime be nearly as wonderful? Mama Owl begins to describe it to him, but as the sun comes up, Little Owl falls fast asleep. Putting a twist on the bedtime book, Little Owl’s Night is sure to comfort any child with a curiosity about the night.

Want to see 10 more children's books about animals and bedtime?

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Books About Animals and The Ocean

1, 2, 3 Sea Creatures book
#1
1, 2, 3 Sea Creatures
Written and illustrated by Toko Hosoya
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book has you count in a few different ways! It also has a lot of different sea creatures and helps you learn their names. I like that it isn't just a normal counting book, it mixes things up a little and also is a little more interactive as it has you look for different creatures and try to remember their names. :) The illustrations are cute and I love all of the fun colors!

Beautiful, hand-drawn illustrations of sea creatures help teach the 1,2,3s in a fun and unforgettable way. This charming picture book is sure to engage early learners in counting and picture recognition skills until the very last page! The book also comes with a poster displaying the silly sea creatures matched with their corresponding numbers!

Inky's Amazing Escape book
#2
Inky's Amazing Escape
Written by Sy Montgomery and illustrated by Amy Schimler-Safford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Learn all about Inky the Octopus, an international sensation known for escaping from the New Zealand aquarium in April 2016, in this adorable picture book from National Book Award nominee and octopus lover Sy Montgomery. Inky had been at the New Zealand aquarium since 2014 after being taken in by a fisherman who found him at sea. Inky had been getting used to his new environment, but the staff quickly figured out that he had to be kept amused or he would get bored. Then one night in 2016 Inky, about the size of a basketball, decided he’d had enough. He slithered eight feet across the floor and down a drainpipe more than 160 feet long to his home in the sea. Acclaimed author Sy Montogmery reminds readers that Inky didn’t escape—but instead, like the curious animal he is, wanted to explore the rest of the vast ocean he called his home.

Moby-Dick book
#3
Moby-Dick
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Little Master Melville teaches little ones the language of the sea in Moby-Dick: An Ocean Primer. From ships and sailors to squawking gulls and moody good captains, Alison Oliver’s brilliant illustrations and Jennifer Adams’ clever, simple text will make a sea dog out of any young shipmate.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Hello, World! Ocean Life - All young children love to play in the waves at the beach. Now here’s a Hello, World! board book that teaches them all about oceans and the creatures and plants that live there.

  2. Slide-N-Seek Ocean - Explore a new and exciting way to learn about creatures that live in the ocean with this Slide-N-Reveal book. You'll see colorful images appear before your very eyes with the turn of a wheel. Learn fun facts about each creature and discover hidden images throughout each page. Kids will love this fun and interactive format and learn about beautiful creatures along the way.

Want to see more children's books about the ocean?

Books About Animals and Sheep

Sheep Dog and Sheep Sheep book
#1
Sheep Dog and Sheep Sheep
Written and illustrated by Eric Barclay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An accidental-friendship story packed with humor from author-illustrator Eric Barclay Sheep is an expert at protecting sheep—or so she thinks until one happy afternoon when she bumps into a very hairy someone on the farm. “Who are you?” she asks. “I’m the sheep dog!” the someone says. “I watch the sheep.” Holy begonia! Sheep knows this can’t be right. After all, she’s the pro! So Sheep goes off to get everything Sheep Dog needs to get the job done, but each time she goes, something almost happens to Sheep… And it's Sheep Dog who saves the day! For fans of Goodnight Already! by Jory John, You Will Be My Friend! by Peter Brown, and Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle, this hilarious and tender friendship story proves that even the best watchers must look out for one another.

Russell the Sheep book
#2
Russell the Sheep
Written by Rob Scotton
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

This is Russell. Sometimes Russell is just a little bit out of step with the rest of the flock. All the sheep are falling asleep -- except Russell. What's a sheep to do? Russell tries everything ... until, at last, he falls asleep.

Sheep Go to Sleep book
#3
Sheep Go to Sleep
Written by Nancy Shaw and illustrated by Margot Apple
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

At the end of the day, tired sheep return to their shed but none can sleep until the collie arrives, giving a hug, a drink of water, and more until all have begun to snore.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Lily Wool - A little lamb with a great big imagination. A new picture book from Paula Vasquez filled with delightful illustrations depicting a little lamb intent on being true to herself. Lily Wool gets bored with all of the grazing and resting that the herd does and prefers to count stars and dream of adventures. When Lily finds a strand of loose wool, she lets her imagination run wild and has a grand time until she accidentally unravels a problem. Children will love seeing how Lily Wool puts her imagination and creativity to work to fix things, and how Lily discovers a way to help others while she finds her special place in the herd. Paula Vasquez,an avowed artist from childhood, studied graphic design at the Universidad Cat�lica de Chile, and honed her illustration skills with a post-graduate diploma from Finis Terrae University. She currently lives in Santiago de Chile writing and illustrating children's picture books.

  2. Those Magnificent Sheep In Their Flying Machines - The sheep on the hillside were munching away, much as they always did, day after day, when suddenly something went ZOOM overhead! "Let's go and see what it is!" they all said. And so begins a ripping, round-the-world adventure as the magnificent sheep take to skies in their spiffing, yellow flying machine...

  3. Pablo in the Snow - What is soft, fluffy, and white? Pablo’s wool, of course. But this little lamb soon discovers that there’s something else as well: SNOW! From making trails to sledding with friends, having snowball fights and crafting snowmen, there’s tons of fun to be had in the snow. But winter days grow dark very fast, and Pablo finds himself lost on his way home. Not to worry―Mama and Papa help Pablo get back to the cozy barn so he can talk about his adventures.

  4. Go To Sheep - There are many ways to go to “sheep” with this delightful bedtime board book that’s perfect for reading aloud! You can sheep in your pj’s or just underpants. You can sheep all alone but sometimes you can’t. There are lots of ways to go to “sheep,” and here to show you all of the ways is an adorable…sheep! This bedtime book is perfect for a giggle before little ones drift off to sleep, just as the sheep does in this charming board book.

Want to see 6 more children's books about animals and sheep?

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Books About Animals and Pigs

Little Oink book
#1
Little Oink
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Little Oink is a neat little fellow. Clean, clean, clean, that's all he wants to do. But Mama and Papa won't have it! They say in order to be a proper pig he has to learn to make a proper mess. What's a little pig to do? Now available as a board book, Little Oink shows Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace applying their traditionally wry humor to the issue of cleaning up, in a laugh-out-loud romp that is sure to make readers giggle with recognition.

The Dreamer book
#2
The Dreamer
Written and illustrated by Il Sung Na
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Once, there was a pig who admired birds. But he could never join them. Or could he? Thus begins the journey of a pig with big dreams, and the perseverance to make them come true. He develops flight plans, builds experimental contraptions, and has far-flung adventures, but at the end of the day, his favorite thing to do is still to sit and watch for those he loves best: the birds. Il Sung Na creates a world at once whimsical and aspirational, where anything is possible and, yes, even pigs can learn to fly.

Olivia book
#3
Olivia
Written and illustrated by Ian Falconer
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

It's everyone's favorite pig...it's OLIVIA! The Caldecott Honor Book and New York Times #1 bestseller is now available in a sturdy format perfect for pig-loving toddlers everywhere!

Honorable Mentions
  1. I Like Me! - I have a best friend. That best friend is Me! Meet Nancy Carlson’s peppy pig—a character who is full of good feelings about herself. Her story will leave little ones feeling good about themselves, too!

  2. If You Give a Pig a Pancake - If you give a pig a pancake, she'll want some syrup to go with it. You'll give her some of your favourite maple syrup, and she'll probably get all sticky, so she'll want to take a bath. She'll ask you for some bubbles. When you give her the bubbles... Ages 0–5

  3. Rufus Goes to Sea - When school lets out for the summer, Rufus Leroy Williams III, a determined pig who loves to read, decides to become a pirate.

  4. Olivia Helps with Christmas - ...Not a piglet was stirring. Well, maybe just one. Christmas is coming, and Olivia is incredibly busy. She has to wait for Santa, make sure Dad sets up the tree, watch Mom make the Christmas dinner, oversee the care with which the stockings are hung, and, of course, OPEN HER PRESENTS! Whew, being helpful during the holidays is exhausting! Lovingly told and lavishly illustrated, this board book edition of Olivia Helps with Christmas is the perfect stuffing for any stocking.

Want to see 10 more children's books about animals and pigs?

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Books About Animals and Food

My Backpack! book
#1
My Backpack!
Written by Scholastic and illustrated by Weldon Swanson
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A lift-the-flap board book featuring the lovable characters from Skip Hop's Zoo backpacks! What's inside your backpack? Join Bee, Dog, Elephant, Ladybug, and Penguin in this delightful interactive story based on the beloved Zoo backpack line from Skip Hop. Lift the flaps to find out what each animal likes to pack in their backpack, which looks exactly like the real thing! With adorable animal illustrations and a surprise on each spread, this story is sure to get little ones excited about school!

That Fruit Is Mine! book
#2
That Fruit Is Mine!
Written and illustrated by Anuska Allepuz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When five fruit-loving elephants spot a scrumptious hard-to-reach fruit high up in a tree, it's a race to see who can claim it first! But after one too many fumbles, the elephants begin to lose their cool, and the highly coveted fruit is whisked away by the teeny-tiniest of all jungle creatures—mice! The elephants soon realize they have a lot to learn from this cooperative little bunch.

Hungry Little Lizard book
#3
Hungry Little Lizard
Written and illustrated by Kate Stone
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

SLURP! How many bugs did Hungry Little Lizard catch this time? Pull and Peek to find out! Hungry Little Lizard can’t get enough of those bugs! This unique board book allows kids to open Lizard’s mouth and count how many bugs he’s caught on each page. It’s a fun and silly way for kids to begin counting and practice fine motor skills.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Please Please the Bees - Benedict has a pretty sweet life for a bear. Every morning the bees leave a jar of honey on his doorstep, and every day he has honey for breakfast and honey in his tea. It’s an important part of his day. But all that changes when the bees go on strike. Now it’s up to Benedict to listen to the bees, and he realizes there’s a lot more he could be doing to help them. So he fixes up the hive and learns to be a better beekeeper. Will the bees be pleased?

  2. What's Up Tiger?: Food - What are the animals up to? There are lots of clues to help us decide, and we can lift the flap to see if we’re right.

Want to see more children's books about food?

Books About Animals and Colors

Orange Pear Apple Bear book
#1
Orange Pear Apple Bear
Written and illustrated by Emily Gravett
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Destined to become a contemporary classic, this book has spare text and sweet illustrations but contains only five words: apple, pear, orange, bear--and there. Emily Gravett creates clever variations on this theme by rearranging the words--on one spread, a brown bear juggles an orange, apple, and pear; on another spread, there is an orange-colored apple and a pear-shaped bear. Simple and compelling, children will enjoy reading this book over and over again as they learn many different concepts.

Not Quite Black and White Board Book book
#2
Not Quite Black and White Board Book
Written by Jonathan Ying and illustrated by Victoria Ying
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

Silly animals star in this lively board book that introduces colors in a unique and catchy way. Have you ever seen a zebra wearing pink polka dots? Or a penguin with bright yellow boots? Brother and sister team Jonathan and Victoria Ying present these surprisingly colorful animals and more in this clever celebration of colors.

The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse book
#3
The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Every child has an artist inside them, and this vibrant picture book from Eric Carle will help let it out. The artist in this book paints the world as he sees it, just like a child. There’s a red crocodile, an orange elephant, a purple fox and a polka-dotted donkey. More than anything, there’s imagination. Filled with some of the most magnificently colorful animals of Eric Carle’s career, this tribute to the creative life celebrates the power of art.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Chomp Goes the Alligator - From #1 New York Times bestselling novelty book creator Matt Van Fleet comes an irresistible picture book about a very hungry alligator who likes to chomp, chomp, chomp, which will delight readers as they learn animal names, colors, and counting. Along came the alligator, chomp, chomp, chomp! From the internationally bestselling children’s book creator Matthew Van Fleet comes the story of a hungry little alligator who gulps his way from one to ten. Ten touchable textures, a sturdy chomping pull tab, and a grand finale pop-up are sure to engage the youngest readers.

  2. My First Busy Book - From beloved author-illustrator Eric Carle, this brand-new busy book is filled with touch-and-feels, lift-the-flaps, mirrors, and more—sure to endlessly entertain your little ones! This brand-new busy book featuring Eric Carle’s bright, colorful artwork is jam-packed with interactive activities to keep little hands busy. Each page features a different concept, from numbers and shapes, to colors, animals, and sounds! With a mylar mirror that’s visible through the cover, glitter, lift-the-flaps, touch-and-feels, and more, this book is sure to be a hit with babies and parents. It’s a must-have for every Eric Carle collection!

Want to see more children's books about colors?

Books About Animals and Farm

Animal Noises book
#1
Animal Noises
Written and illustrated by Thomas Flintham
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

A brand-new board book that explores animal sounds from morning until night in the bold and vibrantly colorful world of artist Thomas Flintham. The chickens wake from the farm each day, “CLUCK, CLUCK, CLUCK,” the chickens say. At breakfast time, the cows all chew, In the meadow, “MOO, MOO, MOO.” It’s a very noisy day on the farm, until bedtime comes and the farmyard is quiet. With sturdy pages, a simple, engaging story, and graphic bold artwork, this animal sounds book is perfect for little ones.

100 Farm Words book
#2
100 Farm Words
Written by and illustrated by Dawn Machell
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Take a fun first trip to the farm with this early learning book! Bright pictures and labels encourage children to look, point, and learn as they master their first 100 farm words! With adorable illustrations by Dawn Machell and a padded cover format, 100 Farm Words is the perfect first trip to the farm for little learners.

Old MacDonald Had a Farm in Oregon book
#3
Old MacDonald Had a Farm in Oregon
Written by Forrest Everett and illustrated by Mary Sergeeva
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Old MacDonald had a farm . . . in Oregon! In this delightful Oregon twist on the familiar farm tune, the sea lion goes bark bark here, the beaver goes chuck chuck there, and everywhere's there's lots of Oregon pride. This chunky layered board book cleverly reveals each Oregon animal and, when closed, forms an adorable pickup truck! Friendly Oregon animals and scenery fill the pages of this irresistible book for kids.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Picken - Mix and match the front and back of farm animals to create funny new species! If you could cross a calf with a chicken, would that be a cacken? How on earth do you make a chiglet? Would a kippy satisfy folks who love kittens and puppies? With this inventive book, children are invited to flip the pages to make outlandish creatures with silly hybrid names. Featuring boldly colored, simply shaped animals ready to be mixed up again and again, these sturdy board-book pages open to the left and the right for easy manipulation by little hands.

  2. Tug a Tail Farm Animals - Children will learn about different farm animals in a fun and interactive way. Just pull the tab to slide the page open and you'll find the animal that matches each tail.

Want to see more children's books about farm?

Books About Animals and Cows

I'll Love You Till the Cows Come Home book
#1
I'll Love You Till the Cows Come Home
Written by Kathryn Cristaldi and illustrated by Kristyna Litten
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

I will love you till the cows come home from a trip to Mars through skies unknown in a rocket ship made of glass and stone. I will love you till the cows come home. Love knows no bounds in this lyrical, gentle lullaby, a tender tribute to the depths of family love. Filled with warm, funny art, I’ll Love You Till the Cows Come Home is a perfect read-aloud for curling up with your little one at the end of the day . . . or anytime you want to express just how much you love them.

I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo! book
#2
I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo!
Written by Jill Esbaum and illustrated by Gus Gordon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

While showing her timid gal pals the wonders of the woods, brave Nadine the cow discovers that she is not entirely fearless.

Buttercup's Lovely Day book
#3
Buttercup's Lovely Day
Written by Carolyn Beck and illustrated by Andrea Beck
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Readers will enjoy a day in the life of a cow named Buttercup in this poetic and heartwarming picture book. Called a “read-aloud gem” by Quill & Quire, this picture book will delight children with its creative use of language and endearing illustrations. In rhyming text that winds like a creek through a farmer’s field, the book takes readers on a journey through one lovely day in Buttercup’s life. Whether she is ruminating on the mud beneath her feet or on the moon and the stars in the blue-black sky, she draws us deep into her rich and wonderful world, reminding us all to be grateful for life’s simple pleasures.

Honorable Mentions
  1. One Witch at a Time - When his family's cow is sold for some magic beans, Rudi must find a way to return the beans to their rightful owner, a witch who lives in a neighboring village.

  2. Cindy Moo - One night on the farm, the cows overhear a fantastic tale. “Hey Diddle Diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon!” Inspired by this classic rhyme, a plucky cow named Cindy Moo sets out to prove that cows really can leap over the moon. The other cows laugh at her, but that doesn’t stop Cindy from trying—and failing—night after night . . . until a trick of nature shows Cindy a way to triumph. As delightfully silly as the original nursery rhyme, this hilarious picture book will have readers of all stripes (and spots) cheering for its determined heroine.

  3. I Wanna Be a Cowgirl - A little girl imagines what her daily life would be like if she were a cowgirl, living out west on a ranch with cows and sheep, riding a horse, and sleeping under the stars.

  4. Prudence the Part-Time Cow - Prudence looks like a full-time cow―she wanders through pastures, she swats flies, and she lines up for supper. But Prudence is a part-time cow―she is also a scientist, an architect, and an inventor, studying and building and dreaming and creating. To the other cows in the herd, Prudence is a bit too part-time. She's just too different to be part of the herd. At first Prudence tries to fit in, suppressing all her scientific smarts and imaginative inventing. But in a moment of inspiration―Cow Power!―Prudence realizes how to show the others that she can be a part-time cow and a full-time member of the herd. Funny and sweet, this is a story for anyone who's ever felt a bit different.

Want to see more children's books about cows?

Epilogue

32 books that are just too good to leave off of our animals list.

  1. The Chicken Squad - B is for Bookworm - As far as intermediate reading level books go (between early reader and chapter), this is one of my favorites! Definitely an easier read, but entertaining and funny the whole time. The big question of this book is what the "big" "scary" thing is in the yard--but it turns out there's nothing to be afraid of. This book will have you laughing and is fun to read aloud!

  2. Mice of the Round Table #1: A Tail of Camelot - B is for Bookworm - My favorite part of this book are the strong message to believe in yourself. Throughout the story, Calib saves the day only by having courage and believing he can do it. Watching Calib grow in his confidence makes this book so rewarding, not to mention all the adventure and suspense involved!

  3. The Bear Ate Your Sandwich - Grammy - This delightful story is told in absolute opposition to Occam's razor. While the simplest explanation may be the most likely, it can't possibly be so entertaining. On pages drenched with color, we witness the bear's alleged antics; he has so much character and personality. Keep an eye open for the visual jokes. You will want to read this one again and again.

  4. Alpha Bugs - From boogie-woogie Bubble Bugs to upside-down Umbrella Bugs, this fun-filled pop, pull, and peek book makes learning the alphabet exactly eight Egg Bugs excellent.

  1. Little Fox in the Forest - "A wordless picture book in which two friends follow a young fox deep into the woods and discover a wondrous and magical world"--

  2. Ida, Always - A polar bear grieves over the loss of his companion, based on the real-life Gus and Ida of New York's Central Park Zoo.

  3. My Heart Is Like a Zoo - Grammy - I am amazed at how creatively Michael Hall illustrates so many different animals, somehow also communicating their size and character in blocks of bold color. Told in rhyming couplets with great vocabulary the animals engage in some typical and some zany activities. At the end of the sleepy zookeeper's day, it all makes perfect sense. This is a favorite with my grandson and I am happy to read it again and again.

  4. Hide and Seek - B is for Bookworm - I love this hide-and-seek board book! The illustrations are cute and I love all of the different objects you get to find. This is a great one for older kids, too, because some of the hidden objects are a little tricky (though perfectly suitable for little ones, who may need a little help from parents).

  1. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? - Readerly Mom - This book is a perennial favorite for a reason: its call-and-response pattern makes it easy for even very young children to engage with the book. It lends itself particularly well to incorporating elements of rhythm--clapping, snapping, etc. Eric Carle's classic illustrative style is bold and bright, and the animals stand out well on their plain white backgrounds. This book is great for reading to babies, and can be enjoyed for years.

  2. The Tale of Despereaux - The adventures of Desperaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess that he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.

  3. Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear - Mom of Boys - This is such a fun story of best friends who can't always be together. Beatrice wonders where Bear has gone and when she finds out he is hibernating because it's Winter she decides to try and go along with him. When that proves to be difficult she finds another way to close the distance between the two friends. It is fun to read this with little ones who may not know what different seasons mean for different animals.

  4. Tacky the Penguin - Tacky's perfect friends find him annoying until his odd behavior saves the day.

  1. Giraffes Can't Dance - B is for Bookworm - The message of this book is wonderful--I love that it inspires confidence in oneself and not worrying about what others think of you, and embracing your differences. The whole idea of the dancing animals is so fun, as are the illustrations!

  2. The Best Bear in All the World - B is for Bookworm - I love these stories based off of the original Winnie the Pooh, and love that it's divided up into four stories with the four seasons. Pooh is always so positive and looks for the good in everything, there's so much wisdom from the little sayings throughout the story. I think Pooh is a great example of choosing to look at the bright side and be happy. :) Plus, I was surprised by how high quality this book is! The illustrations throughout are also gorgeous.

  3. Max the Brave - Mr. Staccato - Max is a kitten that likes to chase mice. Or at least he's pretty sure he does. But, he just has one little problem. He doesn't know what a mouse looks like. Seeing as he's a brave kitten, though, he strikes out on an adventure to find and chase a mouse.

  4. Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs! - The Book Snob Mom - Such an adorable opposites book with Sandra Boyton's signature animals :)

  1. Tea Rex - The Goodfather - I love this clever dinosaur story. It's very unique. I love the irony of a Tyrannosaurus Rex being a guest at a tea party. Fortunately the hostess is most gracious and accommodating. Molly Idle's talent really shines through in this fun story.

  2. Happy - B is for Bookworm - I love that this book goes through all the different emotions, showing them through each illustrated fish on the page. :) It's a really simple, beautiful, and fun book, and I felt like this one had a lot more emotions than just "happy" and "sad." I actually found this one in a bookstore and paid full price for the last copy that had a dent on the cover because I wanted it in my home library. :)

  3. Augustus and His Smile - B is for Bookworm - I love this sweet, meaningful book about a tiger who finds that there is joy all around him and that he can find happiness just by choosing to be aware! Such a good reminder for the reader. He goes on a fun adventure to learn this lesson, and I love the illustrations of this book, too!

  4. Blue Chicken - Grammy - This book is one beautiful image after another combined with deceptively spare text. Loaded with barnyard fun, it is a delight to read, exploring every page for the action and antics of the animals.

  1. Baby Bear Sees Blue - B is for Bookworm - I love this book about colors! It's so sweet, and I love that there's a storyline, following baby bear throughout his day to see what colors he finds all around him. So sweet, and the illustrations are just as beautiful!

  2. Blueberries for Sal - What happens when Sal and her mother meet a mother bear and her cub? A beloved classic is born! Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk! Sal and her mother a picking blueberries to can for the winter. But when Sal wanders to the other side of Blueberry Hill, she discovers a mama bear preparing for her own long winter. Meanwhile Sal’s mother is being followed by a small bear with a big appetite for berries! Will each mother go home with the right little one? With its expressive line drawings and charming story, Blueberries for Sal has won readers’ hearts since its first publication in 1948.

  3. Corduroy - Corduroy was first introduced to readers in 1968, and in the fifty years since, his adventures have never stopped. Corduroy has been on the department store shelf for a long time. Yet as soon as Lisa sees him, she knows that he’s the bear for her. Her mother, though, thinks he’s a little shopworn—he’s even missing a button! Still, Corduroy knows that with a bit of work he can tidy himself up and be just the bear for Lisa. And where better to start than with a nighttime adventure through the department store, searching for a new button! Celebrate 50 years of this irresistible childhood classic, a heartwarming story about a little bear and a little girl finding the friend they have always wanted in each other.

  4. Cat Nap - B is for Bookworm - This hide and seek book is so much fun! It took me a few pages in to realize, but I love that there is a mouse on each page, adding to the "hide and seek" appeal. :) I love how simple and bold the illustrations are, and especially love the personality you see in the cat's expressions!

  1. Officer Buckle and Gloria - Grammy - It has been easily more than a decade since I read this book aloud and yet whenever someone brings up the book Officer Buckle and Gloria, I immediately think, "Always stick with your buddy." Officer Buckle is a roundish, straightish, serious police officer who makes a career of giving school presentations on safety tips. Once Gloria, a precocious and animated K-9, becomes his partner, their presentations get really entertaining. While the tips themselves are a little droll in their obviousness, Gloria's charades and Peggy Rathman's imaginative illustrations will have them laughing in the aisles. Officer Buckle and Gloria are much better together than singly; they learn how important it is to stick together.

  2. The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs - You thought you knew the story of the “The Three Little Pigs”… You thought wrong. In this hysterical and clever fracture fairy tale picture book that twists point of view and perspective, young readers will finally hear the other side of the story of “The Three Little Pigs.” “In this humorous story, Alexander T. Wolf tells his own outlandish version of what really happens during his encounter with the three pigs…. Smith's simplistic and wacky illustrations add to the effectiveness of this fractured fairy tale.” —Children’s Literature “Older kids (and adults) will find very funny.” —School Library Journal

  3. Room for Bear - The Book Snob Mom - This adorable blended family (ducks + a bear) absolutely has my heart. I love the charming watercolor illustrations and the message that home is when you're all together.

  4. Little Alphaprints: Animals - B is for Bookworm - This book is so cute! I love that the animals are made up out of fingerprints as well as other objects. It makes it fun to go through each image and see what you recognize and how they made certain objects look like the animal. Plus, the illustrations are made with raised embossing, so there's a fun texture/feeling experience. Very cute!

  1. We're Going on a Bear Hunt - Grammy - More than 30 years old and in both paper and board book editions, We're Going on a Bear Hunt is a classic for children of all ages. Helen Oxenbury's beautiful watercolor illustrations alternate with black/white pencil drawings and contain lovely details; they are a perfect complement to the text. The text repeats and builds suspense as the adventurous family continues their quest to find and then avoid the bear. It's predictability makes it especially fun for young readers to hear again and again.

  2. Bear Is Not Tired - Bear and his duck family do everything together. That is, until winter arrives. Bear is supposed to hibernate this time of year, but he doesn’t want to miss out on any of the fun. But can Bear really stay awake all winter long? Gentle humor and endearing illustrations bring a delightful twist to a bedtime routine that children and their parents will easily recognize.

  3. Miss Spider's Tea Party - The Book Snob Mom - Filled with delightful rhymes and Miss Spider's charming manners, this tale of one misunderstood spider and her troubles finding guests for her tea parties is a great read! It introduces you to a whole host of bugs and just a smidge of tea party lingo, bringing hopes that despite your reputation (deserved or not) by being kind and caring you can create meaningful friendships who people who know you for your true colors.

  4. The Very Busy Spider - The Book Snob Mom - This one is a classic that is deserving of its status. While it's a simple story showcasing one spider's diligence in creating her web despite a myriad of invitations from animals to do other things, it's also great for reinforcing other animal noises and favorite activities, and of course, Eric Carle's signature illustrations are delightful.

Did you enjoy our animals book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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