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82+ Adorable Books About Animals

Searching for a list of the best kids books about animals or animal characters?

Children’s literature has a long history of stories about animals or with animal characters. Whether you look back to ancient tales like Aesop’s Fables, to modern classics, or to current bestsellers, you’ll find stories of animals. In this list we’ve collected the best kids books about animals or with animal characters.

The books on the list cover a variety of topics. Because so many books are about animals or include animal characters, we’ve included a table of content feature you can use to jump to specific topics. For example, there are animal books about friendship, animal books about adventure, rhyming animal books, and bedtime animal stories. There are also fact filled, nonfiction animal books with information about animals and their habitats, their environments, and endangered animals.

We include three types of books on the list: board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books contain many great animal stories and animal characters and are best for babies and toddlers. Picture books are fun to read aloud with preschool age toddlers and for young, elementary school age readers. Chapter books are great for young elementary and middle school age readers learning to read on their own. You can see the whole list or filter it by book type.

We hope this is a helpful resource for parents, kids, and teachers. Let us know what you would add to the list!

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Top 10 Books About Animals

#1
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A Boy Called Bat
Written by Elana K. Arnold & illustrated by Charles Santoso
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!
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

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).

#2
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Eyes
Written by Michael E. Smith
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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A children’s book about animal eyes. Have you ever noticed the uniqueness of animal eyes. The range and beauty is astounding. This book features 10 close ups of animal faces, honing in on their eyes. Use it as a tool to teach animal sounds and expose your little ones to the beauty in the world around us.

#3
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Where the Red Fern Grows
Written by Wilson Rawls
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.
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“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.”

#4
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Stuart Little
Written & 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?

#5
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The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!
Written & illustrated by Rob Biddulph
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.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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?

#6
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Gotta Go, Buffalo
Written by Kevin Meyers and Haily Meyers & illustrated by Haily Meyers
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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

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!”

#7
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This Little Hamster
Written & illustrated by Kass Reich
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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

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.

#8
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The Trumpet of the Swan
Written by E.B. White
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!
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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?

#9
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Bears Are Big
Written by Douglas Florian & illustrated by Barbara Bakos
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).
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

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.

#10
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Flamingos Fly
Written by Douglas Florian & illustrated by Barbara Bakos
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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

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.

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Animals and...

Books About Animals and Bears

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The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!
Written & illustrated by Rob Biddulph
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.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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?

Add to list
Bears Are Big
Written by Douglas Florian & illustrated by Barbara Bakos
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).
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

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.

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Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Written by Bill Martin Jr & illustrated by Eric Carle
Thoughts from 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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-2

A big happy frog, a plump purple cat, a handsome blue horse, and a soft yellow duck— all parade across the pages of this delightful classic children’s book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Children will immediately respond to Eric Carle’s flat, boldly colored collages. Combined with Bill Martin’s singsong text, they create unforgettable images of these endearing animals.

Honorable Mentions
The Best Bear in All the World book
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Xander's Panda Party book
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Lola Dutch book
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Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh book
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  1. The Best Bear in All the World - For the 90th anniversary of Winnie-the-Pooh, a sequel featuring new stories and a new character from the Hundred Acre Wood. Now a New York Times Bestseller. The Trustees of the Pooh Properties have commissioned four authors to write in the timeless style of A.A. Milne to create a quartet of charming new adventures for Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, and their friends. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall: take a trip back to the Hundred Acre Wood with a collection of tales sure to delight year-round. One story finds Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet on a quest to discover the “Sauce of the Nile” (they suspect it’s apple). And in another, all the animals rally around poor Eeyore when he thinks he sees another donkey eyeing his clover. The winter story features a new penguin character, based on a stuffed toy owned by Christopher Robin Milne himself. Readers of all ages will love rediscovering old friends and making new ones in this essential new volume of Pooh stories. The book feature beautiful color artwork in the style of Ernest H. Shepard by Mark Burgess.

  2. Xander's Panda Party - Xander’s plan to host a panda party falls through, since he is the only panda at the zoo, but when he extends the invitation to all the bears, complications ensue. Includes an author’s note about the international effort to save pandas from extinction. 40,000 first printing.

  3. Lola Dutch - Meet Lola Dutch, a delightfully creative girl who is bursting with grand ideas. From the best ways to serve breakfast — an elegant feast! — to the ideal sleeping spot — a majestic blanket fort, of course! — Lola is inspired all day long. Her dear companion Bear sometimes says she is just too much, but Lola is rich with imagination and originality, which even Bear will agree is AMAZING.The unstoppable Lola Dutch is about to show you how to make every day grand and full of fun. You’ll love her so much! Inspired by their own four gorgeously feisty children, Sarah Jane and Kenneth Wright are thrilled to introduce the unstoppable Lola Dutch and her fresh, fun, commercial, character-driven series.

  4. Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh - Who could care for a bear? When Harry Colebourn saw a baby bear for sale at the train station, he knew he could care for it. Harry was a veterinarian. But he was also a soldier in training for World War I. Harry named the bear Winnie, short for Winnipeg, his company’s home town, and he brought her along to the training camp in England. Winnie followed Harry everywhere and slept under his cot every night. Before long, she became the regiment’s much-loved mascot. But who could care for the bear when Harry had to go to the battleground in France? Harry found just the right place for Winnie while he was away — the London Zoo. There a little boy named Christopher Robin came along and played with Winnie — he could care for this bear too! Sally Walker’s heartwarming story, paired with Jonathan Voss’s evocative illustrations, brings to life the story of the real bear who inspired Winnie the Pooh.

Want to see books about bears?

Books About Animals and Parents

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A Boy Called Bat
Written by Elana K. Arnold & illustrated by Charles Santoso
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!
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

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).

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If Animals Kissed Good Night
Written by Ann Whitford Paul & illustrated by David Walker
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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

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

New York Times #1 Bestseller!

I’ve Loved You Since Forever is a celebratory and poetic testament to the timeless love felt between parent and child. This beautiful picture book is inspired by Today show co-anchor Hoda Kotb’s heartwarming adoption of her baby girl, Haley Joy.

With Kotb’s lyrical text and stunning pictures by Suzie Mason, young ones and parents will want to snuggle up and read the pages of this book together, over and over again.

“In the universe,

there was you and

there was me,

waiting for the day our

stars would meet. . .”

Honorable Mentions
Three Little Words book
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I Heart You book
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Hugs and Kisses book
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I'll Never Let You Go book
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  1. Three Little Words - Perfect for Valentine’s Day, graduation, birthdays, or anytime a hug is required, this beautiful book lets children know their parents will always be there for them! What are the three little words that make everything better? I Love You! Preschoolers will love snuggling with their families and counting all the ways that the three little words “I love you” can solve most every childhood concern. With warm, cuddly, reassuring illustrations of adorable animal families, this book lets children know that their parents will always be there with lots of hugs and kisses. “Each time the phrase I love you is introduced, Pearce describes it with a different adjective, such as mighty, friendly, or winning, which emphasizes the myriad ways unconditional love can rescue upsetting moments…. The bouncy rhythm makes it fun to read aloud, especially since little ones will easily catch on to the repeated refrain. Great for any time a kiddo needs a boost of confidence.”—Booklist

  2. I Heart You - This tender, rhyming picture book is a lively celebration of love. Little ones adore being independent and trying new things. But they also need Mom and Dad’s reassurance and snuggles. With her spare, lyrical text, debut author Meg Fleming captures the exuberance, the affection, and the tender push-and-pull of life with a child. And illustrator Sarah Jane Wright’s evocative illustrations infuse the story with generous helpings of warmth and love.

  3. Hugs and Kisses - From the bestselling illustrator of The Perfect Hug and The Biggest Kiss, comes an adorable board book full of hugs and kisses! This sweet board book features the same cast of adorable animals from The Biggest Kiss and The Perfect Hug by bestselling illustrator Judi Abbot. Only this time, all the friends are in a brand-new story that proves everyone needs hugs AND kisses!

  4. I'll Never Let You Go - When you love someone, you stand by them no matter what happens. In good times . . . When you’re excited, the world joins with you, You bounce all about—look, I’m bouncing, too! In bad times . . . When you are sad and troubled with fears, I hold you close and dry all your tears. And all the times in between. When you are high and when you are low, I’ll be holding your hand . . . and I’ll never let go. Share this beautiful celebration of unconditional love with someone special in your life.

Want to see books about parents?

Books About Animals and Alphabet (abcs)

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All the Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep
Written by Crescent Dragonwagon & illustrated by David McPhail
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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

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.

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Arf! Buzz! Cluck! A Rather Noisy Alphabet
Written by Eric Seltzer & illustrated by David Creighton-Pester
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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

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!

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Alphabet Kingdom
Written & illustrated by Starla Michelle Halfmann
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.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

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.

Honorable Mentions
Jane Foster's ABC book
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Alphaprints: ABC book
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Animal Homes book
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Mrs. Peanuckle's Bug Alphabet book
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  1. Jane Foster's ABC - 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.

  2. Alphaprints: ABC - A new take on an ABC book, Roger Priddy’s Alphaprints: ABC is a charming and creative book which will delight children and parents alike. All of the letters of the alphabet are illustrated using colored finger and thumb prints, turned into animals with the addition of simple illustration. The pictures are described using imaginative, rhythmic text which is fun to read and to listen to. A clever and engaging way to teach babies and toddlers their ABCs.

  3. Animal Homes - 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!

  4. Mrs. Peanuckle's Bug Alphabet - 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 Teamwork

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Duncan the Story Dragon
Written & illustrated by Amanda Driscoll
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Duncan the Dragon loves to read. When he reads a story, his imagination catches fire! Unfortunately . . . so does his book.

Fire breath is great for roasting marshmallows, but it’s not so great for reading. Duncan just wants to get to those two wonderful words, like the last sip of a chocolate milk shake: The End. Will he ever find out how the story ends?

This bright, warm tale champions determination, friendship, and a love for books. And milk shakes!

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A Tail of Camelot
Written by Julie Leung & illustrated by Lindsey Carr
Thoughts from 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!
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

An epic new middle grade series in the tradition of Redwall and Poppy, based on Arthurian legend and told from the perspective of Camelot’s most humble creatures: mice Young mouse Calib Christopher aspires to be a Knight of the Round Table. For generations, his family has valiantly led the mice who live just out of sight of the humans, defending Camelot from enemies both big and small. But when a new threat arises—one that could catch even the Two-Leggers off guard—it’s up to Calib and his friend Cecily to unmask the real enemy, unite their forces, and save the castle they all call home. With the sweeping adventure of New York Times bestselling series like Wings of Fire and Warriors, Mice of the Round Table brings to life a legendary world of animals and magic that kids will want to return to again and again.

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Appleblossom the Possum
Written by Holly Goldberg Sloan & illustrated by Gary A. Rosen
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!
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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.

Honorable Mentions
Sheep in a Jeep book
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The Almost Impossible Thing book
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Maisy's Field Day book
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  1. Sheep in a Jeep - Out for a drive in the country, Nancy Shaw and Margot Apple’s well-known and beloved sheep run into some mishaps with their sturdy red jeep.

  2. The Almost Impossible Thing - Nothing is so impossible that it shouldn’t be tried. Even if you’re a bunny hoping to fly. A tribute to teamwork, big dreams, perseverance, and those who don’t listen when others say their goals are unreachable. The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.—Chinese Proverb Most of us want to fly—even if we know we’re rooted to the ground. Especially if we know we’re rooted to the ground! So when a rabbit spots a bird soaring in beautiful, colorful loop-de-loops, a dream is born. Though her friends tell her “You can’t do that!” our rabbit is undeterred. Through comical ski jumps, trampoline bounces, swings on the trapeze, and experiments with kites . . . somehow, some way, there must be a way to fly. And there is! Teamwork. Debut author/illustrator Basak Agaoglu delivers a story of faith, persistence, and humor—along with some of the most adorable, child-friendly art ever seen. For fans of Extremely Cute Animals Operating Heavy Machinery.

  3. Maisy's Field Day - When Maisy and friends have a special day for races and competitions, it’s not about winning or losing — the fun is in playing the games. Join Maisy and her pals for Field Day! First is the egg-and-spoon race (oops, Eddie’s egg is a little too wobbly). No problem, there are lots more games to play — a wheelbarrow race, a three-legged race, and even a get-dressed-up-silly race. When it’s time to play ringtoss, Eddie’s trunk comes in handy, and in the relay race, Maisy and Charley run as fast as they can. Last of all comes a great big game of tug-of-war, where both teams fall down laughing at the end!

Want to see books about teamwork?

Books About Animals and Domestic Animals

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Blue Chicken
Written & illustrated by Deborah Freedman
Thoughts from 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.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

An enterprising chicken attempts to help an artist paint the barnyard and accidentally turns the whole picture blue.

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Little Blue Truck
Written by Alice Schertle & illustrated by Jill McElmurry
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Beep! Beep! Beep! Meet Blue. A muddy country road is no match for this little pick up—that is, until he gets stuck while pushing a dump truck out of the muck. Luckily, Blue has made a pack of farm animal friends along his route. And they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get their pal back on the road. With a text full of truck sounds and animal noises to read aloud, here is a rollicking homage to the power of friendship and the rewards of helping others.

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Open the Barn Door
Written by & illustrated by Christopher Santoro
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-3

From the creator of OPEN THE GARAGE DOOR comes the hit lift-the-flap board book all about your favorite farm animals!

Spend a day on the farm and explore all the animal sights and sounds! Featuring 10 lift-the-flaps and a variety of barnyard favorites, including horses, chickens, cows, and pigs, this board book is a fun-filled introduction to life on the farm.

Honorable Mentions
Business Pig book
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Barnyard Dance! book
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Tiny Farm book
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Animal Families: Farm book
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  1. Business Pig - Right from the start, everyone at the barnyard knew Jasper was different: “What we have here is a gen-u-WINE Business Pig!” No playing in the mud for him; Jasper preferred bookkeeping and charts. Most of all, he longs for a forever home. But no matter how many resumes Jasper hands out, no one adopts him. Can this business pig find that special person who means business, too?

  2. Barnyard Dance! - Everybody sing along—because it’s time to do-si-do in the barnyard with a high-spirited animal crew! From Boynton on Board, the bestselling series of board books, here is BARNYARD DANCE, with Sandra Boynton’s twirling pigs, fiddle-playing cows, and other unforgettable animals. Extra-big, extra-fat, and extra-fun, BARNYARD DANCE features lively rhyming text and a die-cut cover that reveals the wacky characters inside. Guaranteed to get kids and adults stomping their feet. The “Barnyard Dance! song, performed by John Stey, is available for download.

  3. Tiny Farm - Embark on a Tiny Tour! These adorable shaped board books take young readers on a tour through a teeny world with every turn of the page. Die-cuts on each page lead to the next adventure, finally ending in the comforts of home. Toddlers will delight in guessing what comes next while learning essential prediction skills. Shaped like buildings and featuring neon accents throughout, these cute books have great value and will prove irresistible to children eager to create their own tiny world.

  4. Animal Families: Farm - Find out the different names for mother and father animals on the farm — and then lift the flap to find the babies and learn what they are called. This striking, satisfying introduction to animal families features screen-printed artwork and bold neon ink to capture the attention and imagination of babies and toddlers.

Books About Animals and Forest Animals

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Who's at Home?
Written by Jane E. Gerver & illustrated by Kathryn Lynn Davis
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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

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.

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The Snatchabook
Written by Helen Docherty & illustrated by Thomas Docherty
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Where have all the bedtime stories gone? A delightful addition to the picture book canon about the love of reading One dark, dark night in Burrow Down, a rabbit named Eliza Brown found a book and settled down…when a Snatchabook flew into town. It’s bedtime in the woods of Burrow Down, and all the animals are ready for their bedtime story. But books are mysteriously disappearing. Eliza Brown decides to to stay awake and catch the book thief. It turns out to be a little creature called the Snatchabook who has no one to read him a bedtime story. All turns out well when the books are returned and the animals take turns reading bedtime stories to the Snatchabook.

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Greta and the Giants: inspired by Greta Thunberg's stand to save the world
Written by Zoe Tucker & illustrated by Zoe Persico
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

This inspiring picture book retells the story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg—the Swedish teenager who has led a global movement to raise awareness about the world’s climate crisis—using allegory to make this important topic accessible to young children. Greta is a little girl who lives in a beautiful forest threatened by Giants. When the Giants first came to the forest, they chopped down trees to make houses. Then they chopped down more trees and made even bigger homes. The houses grew into towns and the towns grew into cities, until now there is hardly any forest left. Greta knows she has to help the animals who live in the forest, but how? Luckily, Greta has an idea… A section at the back explains that, in reality, the fight against the “giants” isn’t over and explains how you can help Greta in her fight. This book has been printed sustainably in the US on 100% recycled paper. By buying a copy of this book, you are making a donation of 3% of the cover price to 350.org.

Honorable Mentions
The Tea Party in the Woods book
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A True Home book
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Little Tree book
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Meddy Teddy book
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  1. The Tea Party in the Woods - Kikko sets out after her father with a forgotten pie for Grandma. When she arrives at a strange house in the wintry woods, a peek in the window reveals that the footprints Kikko had been following did not belong to her father at all, but to a bear in a long coat and hat! Alice in Wonderland meets Little Red Riding Hood in this charmed tale.

  2. A True Home - When Mona the Mouse stumbles across the wondrous world of the Heartwood Hotel in the middle of a storm, she desperately hopes they’ll let her stay. As it turns out, Mona is precisely the maid they need at the grandest hotel in Fernwood Forest, where animals come from far and wide for safety, luxury, and comfort. But the Heartwood Hotel is not all acorn soufflé and soft moss-lined beds. Danger lurks, and as it approaches, Mona finds that this hotel is more than a warm place to spend the night. It might also be a home. This delightfully enticing start of a new chapter book series tells a tale of friendship, courage, and community, with exquisite black-and-white illustrations throughout. Praise for the Magical Animal Adoption Agency series “[This] gentle tale of magic and self-reliance will entertain confident new independent readers. Clover’s sweet story is a good next step for lovers of the Magic Tree House.” -Kirkus Reviews “Readers will be envious of the world of magic that Clover becomes ensconced in and eager to read future installments.” -Publishers Weekly “[A] charming story, delicately written, with a winning heroine. . . [and] a conclusion that will satisfy young readers.” -Booklist Online “Graduates of sparkly chapter-book series will be right at home and looking for the next installment posthaste.” -Kirkus Reviews “[T]he gentle but intrepid Clover continues to charm.” -Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

  3. Little Tree - For graduates, for their parents, for anyone facing change, here is a gorgeously illustrated and stunningly heartfelt ode to the challenges of growing up and letting go. A story of the seasons and stepping stones as poignant for parents as for their kids, from the creator of Otis the tractor and illustrator of Love by Matt de la Pena. “Long’s gentle but powerful story about a young tree who holds tight to his leaves, even as everyone else lets theirs drop, takes on nothing less than the pain and sorrow of growing up. . . . As in Long’s unaccountably profound books about Otis the tractor, a pure white background somehow adds to the depth.”—The New York Times Book Review In the middle of a little forest, there lives a Little Tree who loves his life and the splendid leaves that keep him cool in the heat of long summer days. Life is perfect just the way it is. Autumn arrives, and with it the cool winds that ruffle Little Tree’s leaves. One by one the other trees drop their leaves, facing the cold of winter head on. But not Little Tree—he hugs his leaves as tightly as he can. Year after year Little Tree remains unchanged, despite words of encouragement from a squirrel, a fawn, and a fox, his leaves having long since turned brown and withered. As Little Tree sits in the shadow of the other trees, now grown sturdy and tall as though to touch the sun, he remembers when they were all the same size. And he knows he has an important decision to make.

  4. Meddy Teddy - Say namaste to Meddy Teddy, a rising star in the yogi world, in his debut picture book! Media and social media sensation Meddy Teddy is a cuddly, yoga pant-clad, completely poseable plush bear that introduces meditation and mindfulness practices to little yogis. In this first-ever companion book, Meddy encourages readers to try yoga poses as he comes out of hibernation, greets the springtime, and teaches his forest friends how to mindfully get through a variety of situations. On each page, Meddy shows how to execute a pose, including downward-facing dog, tree pose, the Warrior, and more. The youngest yogis, and their families and friends, will rejoice as they master each one, and work up to completing the whole sequence! Yoga and mindfulness have proven benefits for kids: they help them become aware of their own bodies, and deal with feelings like anxiety, frustration, confusion, fear, and sadness in a healthy way. Meddy Teddy is perfect for introducing kids (and grown ups) of all ages to the practice of yoga.

Books About Animals and Whales

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The Whale in My Swimming Pool
Written & illustrated by Joyce Wan
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.
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

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!

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The Blue Whale
Written & illustrated by Jenni Desmond
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An introduction to the world of the giant blue whale combines engaging facts with evocative illustrations that compare the whale’s enormous size to objects in the everyday world.

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Yellow Kayak
Written by Nina Laden & illustrated by Melissa Castrillón
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A child and his beloved best friend go on a grand sea adventure in this magical picture book by the author and artist who created If I Had a Little Dream.

You just never know what a new day will hold if you are brave enough to find out. On one quiet afternoon, a boy and his special friend’s unexpected adventure bring joy and excitement and sights never imagined. And the best part of any adventure is returning home with stories to tell and you best friend at your side.

Honorable Mentions
Moby-Dick book
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The Storm Whale in Winter book
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I Won a What? book
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Ocean book
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  1. Moby-Dick - 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.

  2. The Storm Whale in Winter - In this sequel to The Storm Whale, the boy, Noi, is caught in a storm at sea and his whale friend comes to his rescue. When Noi’s dad sails out on one last fishing trip before winter, Noi waits for him at home. But as the storm worsens and his dad does not return, Noi decides to go looking for his dad. But the storm is powerful and dangerous, and soon Noi, too, is stuck in the icy sea. When it seems that all hope is lost, a friend comes to help Noi and his father. Poignant and evocative, this is a beautiful celebration of friendship and family, and the special bond between a father and son.

  3. I Won a What? - The hilarious and heartwarming story of a boy who tries to win a goldfish and winds up with FAR more than he bargained for . . . A young boy wins a humongous new pet at the carnival, and before long, they become fast friends. But his parents are skeptical. After all, Nuncio doesn’t even fit in the house! Will the gargantuan goldfish have to go? Or will the family find a way to give him the home he deserves? Fans of Sparky will flip for this whale of a tale from Audrey Vernick, author of Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? and featuring illustrations from Wow! City! illustrator Robert Neubecker.

  4. Ocean - How do fish breathe? Why is the ocean salty? Why is a whale not a fish? Find out the answers to these and many more questions in this brilliant interactive lift-the-flap fact book. Embark on an epic journey under the sea looking for fish and other ocean creatures beneath the waves, learn what shells are for, find out which sea creatures are the most dangerous, and take a closer look at a coral reef. This fascinating fact-filled book is the perfect introduction to life under the sea.

Want to see books about whales?

Books About Animals and Love

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The Trumpet of the Swan
Written by E.B. White
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!
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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?

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I'll Love You Till the Cows Come Home
Written by Kathryn Cristaldi & 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.

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Mommy's Best Kisses
Written by Margaret Anastas & illustrated by Susan Winter
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

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.

Honorable Mentions
Beauty and the Beast book
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Through with the Zoo book
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  1. 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.

  2. Through with the Zoo - Goat has always dreamed of having his very own space. But Goat lives in a petting zoo, surrounded by hugs and rubs and grabby little hands. Determined to find his perfect alone space, Goat escapes into the big zoo. But space is not an easy thing to find, in this humorous picture book from Jacob Grant, Through with the Zoo.

Want to see 7 more books about animals and love ?

How about books about love?

Books About Animals and Gorillas

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The One and Only Ivan
Written by Katherine Applegate & 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!

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Gorilla Loves Vanilla
Written by Chae Strathie & illustrated by Nicola O'Byrne
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

When five animals dash through the door of the local ice cream shop, they’re looking for the ice cream treat of their dreams. The flavors are wildly imaginative—but everyone else thinks they’re just plain crazy. That is, until Gorilla walks in and asks for the most surprising choice of all.

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Look!
Written & illustrated by Jeff Mack
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Everyone needs a little attention from time to time. Just ask our gorilla who will stop at nothing to be noticed by the boy with his eyes glued to the TV set. But for the gorilla, it’s going to take more than a quiet nudge to steal away the boy’s attention. When his usual antics fail to catch the boy’s eye-Look Out!The gorilla has some other tricks up his sleeve. Using only two words-Look and Out-Jeff Mack relates an adorably hilarious story about an attention-loving gorilla, a television-loving boy, and a friendship that develops over books. Simple in construct yet richly creative, this interactive and colorful tale will leave children laughing and loving books for years to come. Perfect for fans of It’s a Book and Officer Buckle and Gloria.

Honorable Mentions
No Fits, Nilson! book
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Second Banana book
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Gorilla Dawn book
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Gorilla book
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  1. No Fits, Nilson! - Nilson and Amelia do everything together. But if one little thing goes wrong, Nilson throws the biggest, most house shaking-est fit ever! Amelia helps Nilson control his gorilla-sized temper by promising him banana ice cream and letting him play with her froggy coin purse. But, sometimes, Amelia needs to be calmed down, too. Inspired by Ohora’s own “negotiations” with his two sons, No Fits, Nilson! is a hilarious preschool pick for kids and parents navigating the treacherous tantrum phase.

  2. Second Banana - “A picture book about Oop, a gorilla, who is second banana to The Amazing Mr. Bubbles, a monkey, until one day, Mr. Bubbles finds himself in trouble and Oop has to save the day”—

  3. Gorilla Dawn - “It is time, Imara. Imara left the shadows and stepped into the pool of moonlight, listening to the demon as he paced inside her mind. It is time, Imara. The men are waiting for you. They are waiting for your power to protect them. She knelt down and poured the contents of her water bottle into the ashes of last night’s fire, stirring with her fingers, working the mixture into a gritty paste. All around her, the forest was dark and still, wrapped in silence. Nothing moved. High above in the canopy, a pale mist clung to the leaves. Thin tendrils of vapor hung in the air, as if the trees were holding their breath, waiting for the dawn. The Black Mamba and his men were folded into the deep moon-shadows. Only the cold light catching the metal of their rifles told they were not of this place. Come on, Imara, hissed the demon. They’re watching you. Imara’s hands hovered over the ash paste and trembled. Stupid girl. Don’t show your fear. You know what they’ll do if they see your fear. Imara breathed in deeply, filling her lungs with the cool night air. She tried to block her mind from the purpose of her task. She hummed softly, trying to ignore the demon and scooped the ash paste into her hand. Hurry, Imara. They want to see their spirit child.”

  4. Gorilla - Celebrate thirty years of a classic picture book by one of today’s most celebrated author-illustrators! A special anniversary edition. Hannah loves gorillas and longs to see a real one. Unfortunately, her father is always too busy — or too tired — to take her to the zoo. But on the night before her birthday, something extraordinary happens and Hannah’s wish finally comes true. Anthony Browne’s classic story of a girl’s moonlit night of adventure, courtesy of a surprising and kindly friend, returns in a larger trim size with striking cover art by the artist for the book’s thirtieth anniversary.

Want to see books about gorillas?

Books About Animals and Making Friends

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Blue Chameleon
Written & illustrated by Emily Gravett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Chameleon can turn himself into anything and appear to fit in anywhere, but it seems that neither the swirly snail, the green grasshopper nor the striped sock want to be friends. Will he ever find someone to talk to? Someone just like him?

With a subtle and witty interplay between words and illustrations this introduction to colors and shapes (and chameleons!) is sure to delight kids of all ages.

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Spike, the Mixed-up Monster
Written by Susan Hood & illustrated by Melissa Sweet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Meet Spike, a lovable monster—and a real-life salamander—who’s looking for friends in this lively picture book that includes Spanish vocabulary. Spike is a scary-looking salamander who keeps trying to frighten other animals—until he finds that using fear is not the best way to make friends. And since Spike lives in Mexico (he is an endangered species called the axolotl), this story is peppered with easy-to-understand Spanish words. In addition to a charming tale of friendship, this picture book contains nonfiction information about the axolotl and a Spanish/English glossary.

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Ruff!: And the Wonderfully Amazing Busy Day
Written & illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Meet Ruff the Dog, star of the picture book Ruff! And the Wonderfully Amazing Busy Day. He’s an adorable new animal character created by bestselling illustrator Caroline Jayne Church. What Ruff wants most is to make some friends. He accidentally digs up the house of a little grey mouse named Hubble. By the time Ruff helps Hubble make a new home, he has a friend. Then he and Hubble decide to help Lottie, a duck who has also lost her home. And soon Ruff has a second friend! Caroline Jayne Chruch’s full-color illustrations bring all the animals in her charming story to life.

Honorable Mentions
Animal Inn 3-Books-in-1! book
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Do You Want To Be My Friend book
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How to Win Friends and Influence Creatures book
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Finding François: A Story about the Healing Power of Friendship book
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  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. Do You Want To Be My Friend - Do you want to be my friend? asks the little mouse, and hopefully follows a tail, finding at the end of it a rather unfriendly horse. But there’s another tail, and another, and a strange, long, green one, too, that follows the mouse on his quest for a friend. Each page of this ingenious picture book contains a surprise. Its only text is on the first page, but the exciting pursuit of a friend for the little mouse lends itself to improvisation by both the reader and the young child — another brilliant idea from Eric Carle, the creator of The Secret Birthday Message and The Mixed-Up Chameleon.

  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. Finding François: A Story about the Healing Power of Friendship - For fans of Philip and Erin Stead and I Walk with Vanessa comes a tender, gently adventurous gem, with a reassuring message about the power of friends to soothe aches big and small. Alice wanted a sister, or even a brother, but what she needed was a friend. And when she found him . . . she found so much more. In this exquisite, gently funny, and reassuring tale, the lucky and lovely friendship between Alice and François spans the length of the River Seine and the loss of a loved one. Award-winning author and artist Gus Gordon captures the highs and lows of being little, and tenderly shepherds kids through the tough parts of childhood. With charm and compassion, Finding François acknowledges the grief children feel, revels in life’s fantastic possibilities, and celebrates the affirming, healing power of friendship.

Books About Animals and Big Cats (lions, Tigers, Leopard, Etc.)

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Crazy about Cats
Written & illustrated by Owen Davey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Did you know that the fishing cat has partially webbed paws for catching fish? Or that pumas can leap up over 5 metres into trees? There are roughly 38 species of cats today, each one superbly adapted to their environment – whether that be in the rainforest or the desert!

This captivating and stunningly illustrated guide will teach you everything you need to know about our feline friends.

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Augustus and His Smile
Written & illustrated by Catherine Rayner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Augustus the tiger was sad. He had lost his smile. So he did a HUGE tigery stretch, and set off to find it. Stunning illustrations celebrate the beauty of the world and the simple happiness it brings to us. An imaginative book for children who love to explore the world around them.

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Snow Leopard: Ghost of the Mountains
Written by Justin Anderson & illustrated by Patrick Benson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Look! A line of paw prints in the snow. Follow the tracks to see the rare and utterly majestic snow leopard and visit her secret world.

The people who live among the high peaks of the Himalayas tell stories of a mysterious animal called the gray ghost. To see one, you’d have to be very lucky indeed. Join a zoologist in the Himalayan mountains as he searches for the elusive creature. With her pale gold and silver-gray coat painted with black rosettes, she blends so well into the boulders, it’s no wonder she’s thought of as a ghost of the mountains. But the fortunate few who spot her are rewarded with a sight they will never forget. Written by an expert with firsthand experience, beautifully illustrated, and interwoven with fascinating facts, this vicarious look at a breathtaking animal includes an end note suggesting resources to explore.

Honorable Mentions
Sleep Like a Tiger book
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Dandelion's Dream book
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This Is MY Room! book
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Where Is Our Library? book
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  1. Sleep Like a Tiger - 2013 Randolph Caldecott Honor Award In this magical bedtime story, the lyrical narrative echoes a Runaway Bunny – like cadence: “Does everything in the world go to sleep?” the little girl asks. In sincere and imaginative dialogue between a not-at-all sleepy child and understanding parents, the little girl decides “in a cocoon of sheets, a nest of blankets,” she is ready to sleep, warm and strong, just like a tiger. The Caldecott Honor artist Pamela Zagarenski’s rich, luminous mixed-media paintings effervesce with odd, charming details that nonsleepy children could examine for hours. A rare gem.

  2. Dandelion's Dream - What if a dandelion became a real lion? With enchanting, ethereal art, this wordless story shares a world where reality can be transfigured by imagination. In a meadow filled with dandelion buds just about to flower, one dandelion blooms into a real lion. Roots and leaves unfurl into four tiny paws and a long tail with a fluffy yellow tuft. What a great, wide world there is to explore when you have paws instead of roots: there are fast trains to ride, regal ships to sail, and cities with lights as bright as Dandelion’s field in full bloom. But will a real lion ever be content to go back to being a rooted dandelion? Yoko Tanaka’s exquisite illustrations take us on an adventure where even the smallest seeds contain cosmic dreams.

  3. This Is MY Room! - Jojo’s ready for her first night all alone in her very own room, but a menagerie of animals have other ideas in this charming and fun picture book. Jojo can’t wait to spend the night in her very own bed in her very own room. She doesn’t care what her big sister Margaret says, she’s NOT afraid and she WON’T be back to the bedroom they used to share. There’s just one problem though—there are intruders in her new room! A lion, a bear, and a very persistent tiger seem to think this is THEIR room, not Jojo’s. Is Margaret right? Is Jojo not quite ready to spend the night on her own? Or can Jojo find a way to show that trespassing tiger just who’s boss in HER room?

  4. Where Is Our Library? - Curious Patience and steadfast Fortitude wait every morning to greet visitors of the New York Public Library―and slip away every night to read in the Children’s Center. But one day, Patience and Fortitude find the Children’s Center empty! The two lions set out into the city to locate their missing books and encounter some literary landmarks along the way. Josh Funk’s clever rhymes and Stevie Lewis’s vibrant art take young readers into the heart of New York City in this latest adventure.

Books About Animals and Nature

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You Belong Here
Written & illustrated by M. H. Clark
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“The stars belong in the deep night sky, and the moon belongs there too, and the winds belong in each place they blow by, and I belong here with you. So begins this classic bedtime book, richly illustrated by award-winning artist Isabelle Arsenault. The pages journey around the world, observing plants and animals everywhere, and reminding children that they are right where they belong. A beautiful title for new babies, adoptive families, and children of all ages. —————- You are a dream that the world once dreamt, And now you are part of its song. That’s why you are here, in the place where you’re meant, For this is right where you belong.”

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My Love is For You
Written by Susan Musgrave & 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.

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The Nature Girls
Written & illustrated by Aki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Aki’s The Nature Girls is a picture book starring an adorable troupe of girls exploring different biomes—the ocean, the desert, the tundra, the grasslands, the forest—and meeting all the cute animals that inhabit them.

Honorable Mentions
Sunrise, Moonrise book
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Don't Let Them Disappear book
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That Fruit Is Mine! book
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Magnolia's Magnificent Map book
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  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. Don't Let Them Disappear - From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted comes a beautiful book about the animals who share our planet—and what we can do to help them survive. Did you know that blue whales are the largest animals in the world? Or that sea otters wash their paws after every meal? The world is filled with millions of animal species, and all of them are unique and special. Many are on the path to extinction. In this book, Chelsea Clinton introduces young readers to a selection of endangered animals, sharing what makes them special, and also what threatens them. Taking readers through the course of a day, Don’t Let Them Disappear talks about rhinos, tigers, whales, pandas and more, and provides helpful tips on what we all can do to help prevent these animals from disappearing from our world entirely. With warm and engaging art by Gianna Marino, this book is the perfect read for animal-lovers and anyone who cares about our planet.

  3. That Fruit Is Mine! - 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.

  4. Magnolia's Magnificent Map - ?In this second book in the Walnut Animal Society series, following Henry’s Bright Idea—Magnolia the Bunny explores the grove with her friends Margaux the Kitty and Chester the Raccoon, looking for that elusive, special place that will complete her map. 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. The Walnut Animal Society is busy preparing for a very special event. The Society Soiree comes just once a month, when the night is clear and the stars are bright. Tonight it is Magnolia the Bunny’s turn to share. Everyone is excited. Everyone but Magnolia, that is. It has taken her months of exploring and sketching and picture-snapping to create her latest map—a map of the walnut grove. There’s just one problem. Her map isn’t finished. Magnolia’s map is missing a spot. Will she finish it in time?

Want to see books about nature?

Books About Animals and Infancy

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Bunny Roo, I Love You
Written by Melissa Marr & illustrated by Teagan White
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

A warm and tender welcome to the world!

In a gorgeous picture book that’s playfully sweet and visually captivating, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr and talented new illustrator Teagan White celebrate the many ways parents make their new babies feel at home.

The world can seem like a big, bewildering place for new babies—fortunately, their mamas know just how to soothe and comfort them. Through enchanting scenes portraying all kinds of mama animals looking out for their little ones, the mother in this story reassures her baby, and young children everywhere, that their caretakers will always love them and keep them safe. This beautiful picture book has the feel of a classic and its heartwarming premise should make it a family favorite.

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Max and Bird
Written & illustrated by Ed Vere
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Max, a kitten, and Bird, a very young bird, want to be friends but Max also wants to eat Bird, so they strike a deal.

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Cat Nap
Written by Toni Yuly
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

A kitten doesn’t want to take a nap in this book about opposites by the author of Early Bird. It’s naptime, and Cat is ready for Kitten to settle down. But Kitten has other ideas!In this book filled with opposites (big and little, black and white, sleepy and awake) Toni Yuly proves once again -as she did with Early Bird and Night Owl - that simple concepts come alive for the youngest readers through bold art and charming language.

Honorable Mentions
Cat Nap book
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Once I Was a Pollywog book
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Cheetah Can't Lose book
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Gus book
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  1. Cat Nap - A kitten doesn’t want to take a nap in this book about opposites by the author of Early Bird. It’s naptime, and Cat is ready for Kitten to settle down. But Kitten has other ideas!In this book filled with opposites (big and little, black and white, sleepy and awake) Toni Yuly proves once again -as she did with Early Bird and Night Owl - that simple concepts come alive for the youngest readers through bold art and charming language.

  2. 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!

  3. Cheetah Can't Lose - An overly confident cheetah challenges a pack of clever kittens to a race.

  4. Gus - Gus loves to be by himself. He explores the whole barnyard, taking in the world around him all on his own. Until he finds three small eggs. His perfect companions might be inside! How long will they take to hatch? The latest character to join Olivier Dunrea’s growing gaggle of adorable goslings has a self-assured independence that preschoolers are sure to identify with!

Want to see books about infancy?

Books About Animals and Holidays

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Bernice Gets Carried Away
Written & illustrated by Hannah Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Perfect for a new generation of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day readers, this charming story about a grumpy cat gently shows how far a little sharing can go.

Bernice is having a truly rotten time at her friend’s birthday party. First, everyone else gets a piece of cake with a frosting rose. But not Bernice. Then, everyone else gets strawberry-melon soda. Bernice gets the prune-grapefruit juice. And it’s warm. The last straw is the one lousy (squished) candy she gets from the piñata. So when the balloons arrive, Bernice knows just what she has to do: grab them all. And then, poor cross Bernice gets carried up, up, and away. Luckily, she figures out just how to make her way back down to the party…and she brightens lots of other animals’ days on her way.

Hannah Harrison’s gorgeous animal paintings come alive in her second picture book. Her “exceptionally polished” debut, Extraordinary Jane, received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and School Library Journal.

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Wombat Divine
Written by Mem Fox & illustrated by Kerry Argent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Wombat loves everything about Christmas—especially the Nativity play. He’s wanted to be in it for as long as he can remember. At last he’s old enough to try out. But at the auditions, the first part goes to someone else. So does the next. And the next . . . Will there be a part left for Wombat?

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E Is for Easter
Written & illustrated by Greg Paprocki
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Introduce your brilliant baby to the ABCs with this colorfully illustrated primer about the joys of Easter. In the latest alphabet primer from artist Greg Paprocki, Easter and the rites of spring are celebrated with Paprocki’s wonderful colorful and vintage-looking illustrations. Your toddlers can enjoy illustrations of such things as the Easter Bunny, baskets overflowing with candy, children decorating Easter eggs, an Easter egg hunt, and beautiful springtime flowers. Part of the BabyLit Alphabet Series. Greg Paprocki works full-time as an illustrator and book designer. In addition to illustrating several Curious George books, he’s provided illustrations for a number of books for Gibbs Smith, including A Is for Atom, S Is for Santa, B Is for Boo, S Is for School, and The Big Book of Superheroes. He began his career as an advertising art director after studying fine art and graphic design at the University of Nebraska. He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Honorable Mentions
Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale book
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Land Shark book
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Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree book
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  1. Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale - That cold winter’s night, beneath the star’s light… …a Little One came for the world.

  2. Land Shark - The only thing Bobby wants for his birthday is a pet shark. So you can imagine his disappointment when his parents get him…a puppy. Everyone knows shark lovers can never become dog lovers. Or can they? Full of humor and heart, this book explores the idea that sometimes, getting exactly what you don’t want turns out to be exactly what you need.

  3. Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree - A classic picture book celebrating all the joy a Christmas tree can bring. Christmas is here and Mr. Willowby’s tree has arrived. There’s just one big problem: The tree is too tall for his parlor. He cuts off the top so it will fit, and soon the top of that tree is passed along again and again to bring holiday cheer to all the animals in the forest. Kids will love watching the tree move from home to home, and families will appreciate the subtle message of conservation and recycling, as the tree top spreads joy to so many of the forest dwellers. This heartwarming story is the perfect way to start your yuletide season, and a warm addition to your family’s festive holiday traditions.

Want to see books about holidays?

Books About Animals and Reindeer

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Olive, the Other Reindeer
Written by Vivian Walsh & illustrated by J.otto Seibold
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Olive is merrily preparing for Christmas when suddenly she realizes “Olive… the other Reindeer… I thought I was a dog. Hmmm, I must be a Reindeer!” So she quickly hops aboard the polar express and heads to the North Pole. And while Santa and the other reindeer are a bit surprised that a dog wants to join the their team, in the end Olive and her unusual reindeer skills are just what Santa and his veteran reindeer team need. Colorful graphic illustrations accompany this zany dog story from the well-known author and artist team, Vivian and J.otto Seibold. Adorable Olive and her hilarious adventures are sure to make anyone’s Christmas merry.

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Dasher
Written & illustrated by Matt Tavares
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the celebrated creator of Red and Lulu comes the story of a brave little doe who meets Santa and changes Christmas forever. Dasher is an adventurous young reindeer with a wish in her heart. She spends her days with her family under the hot sun in a traveling circus, but she longs for a different life — one where there is snow beneath her hooves and the North Star above her head. One day, when the opportunity arises, Dasher seizes her destiny and takes off in pursuit of the life she wants to live. It’s not long before she meets a nice man in a red suit with a horse-drawn sleigh — a man named Santa. And soon, with the help of a powerful Christmas wish, nothing will be the same.

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The Little Reindeer
Written & illustrated by Nicola Killen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“An original and entertaining Christmas story with its own understated charm.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A quietly magical tale of holiday miracles and nighttime adventure.” —Publishers Weekly

“Killen works magic through simplicity in this understated holiday story…A perfect bedtime read; little ones will cozy up to this sweet book and drift off on their own reindeer-fueled flights of fancy.” —Booklist

“An elegant book that has a calming effect; a perfect holiday bedtime story.” —School Library Journal

A HORN BOOK HOLIDAY HIGH NOTE

An enchanting Christmas story about a magical yet unlikely friendship between a little girl and a lost reindeer sure to be a Christmas classic lovingly told and illustrated with red foil highlights and interactive die cuts.

When a jingling sound wakes her from her sleep, a little girl’s dreams come true when she meets a lost reindeer in the forest. They set off on a magical adventure and it becomes a Christmas never to forget. Nicola Killen’s evocative illustrations are sure to enchant in this beautiful book with die cut pages, foil, and flashes of festive red.

Honorable Mentions
The Reindeer Dance book
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The Itsy Bitsy Reindeer book
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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer book
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The Wild Christmas Reindeer book
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  1. The Reindeer Dance - Move those hooves and dance and prance like a reindeer in this interactive holiday board book. Fresh art and rhyming text will inspire both children and adults to get up and move during the cold winter days!

  2. The Itsy Bitsy Reindeer - A merry Christmas twist on the favorite nursery rhyme “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”! The itsy bitsy reindeer worked up in Santa’s shop, helping the elves to do their Christmas job. Building the toys and singing songs of joy, as they wrapped all of the presents for every girl and boy. The itsy bitsy reindeer spreads holiday cheer as he helps Santa’s Workshop get ready for Christmas. Little ones will love this fresh holiday spin on the classic nursery rhyme, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”!

  3. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Celebrate Christmas with this Classic Board Book edition of Robert L. May’s famous Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Every year at Christmastime, everyone—young and old alike—has one catchy, joy-inspiring song stuck in their heads: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!” Now fans of the most famous reindeer of all-time will fall in love with the original story, written by Robert L. May in 1939. Rudolph, a youthful reindeer buck who possesses an unusual luminous red nose, is teased and excluded by his peers because of this trait. One particularly stormy Christmas Eve, Rudolph manages to prove himself after Santa Claus catches sight of his nose and asks him to lead his sleigh for the evening. Rudolph agrees, saving Christmas, and is finally treated the way he deserves by his fellow reindeer!

  4. The Wild Christmas Reindeer - After a few false starts, Teeka discovers the best way to get Santa’s reindeer ready for Christmas Eve.

Want to see books about reindeer?

Books About Animals and Migration

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Little Home Bird
Written & illustrated by Jo Empson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Little Bird loves everything about his home. He’s surrounded by his favourite branch, his favourite food, his favourite view and his favourite music. Why on earth would he ever want to change, even when his brother tells him that they must? Discover how Little Bird ends up finding happiness in his new home from home in this beautifully illustrated picture book. Perfect for all children who love home, however many they may have.

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Overground Railroad
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome & illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

**A window into a child’s experience of the Great Migration from the award-winning creators of Before She Was Harriet and Finding Langston**.**

As she climbs aboard the New York bound Silver Meteor train, Ruth Ellen embarks upon a journey toward a new life up North— one she can’t begin to imagine. Stop by stop, the perceptive young narrator tells her journey in poems, leaving behind the cotton fields and distant Blue Ridge mountains.

Each leg of the trip brings new revelations as scenes out the window of folks working in fields give way to the Delaware River, the curtain that separates the colored car is removed, and glimpses of the freedom and opportunity the family hopes to find come into view. As they travel, Ruth Ellen reads from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, reflecting on how her journey mirrors her own— until finally the train arrives at its last stop, New York’s Penn Station, and the family heads out into a night filled with bright lights, glimmering stars, and new possiblity.

James Ransome’s mixed-media illustrations are full of bold color and texture, bringing Ruth Ellen’s journey to life, from sprawling cotton fields to cramped train cars, the wary glances of other passengers and the dark forest through which Frederick Douglass traveled towards freedom. Overground Railroad is, as Lesa notes, a story “of people who were running from and running to at the same time,” and it’s a story that will stay with readers long after the final pages.

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Praise for Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome’s Before She Was Harriet**, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and winner of the Christopher Award**

* “Ransome’s lavishly detailed and expansive double-page spreads situate young readers in each time and place as the text takes them further into the past.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

* “a powerful reminder of how all children carry within them the potential for greatness.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

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Señorita Mariposa
Written by Ben Gundersheimer & illustrated by Marcos Almada Rivero
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A captivating and child-friendly look at the extraordinary journey that monarch butterflies take each year from Canada to Mexico; with a text in both English and Spanish.

Rhyming text and lively illustrations showcase the epic trip taken by the monarch butterflies. At the end of each summer, these international travelers leave Canada to fly south to Mexico for the winter–and now readers can come along for the ride! Over mountains capped with snow, to the deserts down below. Children will be delighted to share in the fascinating journey of the monarchs and be introduced to the people and places they pass before they finally arrive in the forests that their ancestors called home.

Honorable Mentions
Migration book
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Orange for the Sunsets book
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Belle's Journey book
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Galapagos George book
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  1. Migration - Twenty incredible stories of animal migration - with art from New York Times Best Illustrated honoree Jenni Desmond.Animals of all shapes and sizes make epic journeys through harsh weather, avoiding hungry predators, in their efforts to survive. This collection of 20 migration stories features animals from across the globe. Follow emperor penguin through snow, ice and bitter temperatures; watch as the great white shark swim over 6,000 miles in search of seals; track huge herds of elephants, on their yearly hunt for water; and be amazed at the millions of red crabs, migrating across Christmas Island. Fascinating text from a renowned travel writer is paired with stunning art from acclaimed illustrator Jenni Desmond to tell the stories of these creatures.

  2. Orange for the Sunsets - From debut author Tina Athaide comes a soaring tale of empathy, hope, and resilience, as two best friends living under Ugandan President Amin’s divisive rule must examine where—and who—they call home. Perfect for fans of Half from the East and Inside Out and Back Again. Asha and her best friend, Yesofu, never cared about the differences between them: Indian. African. Girl. Boy. Short. Tall. But when Idi Amin announces that Indians have ninety days to leave the country, suddenly those differences are the only things that people in Entebbe can see—not the shared after-school samosas or Asha cheering for Yesofu at every cricket game. Determined for her life to stay the same, Asha clings to her world tighter than ever before. But Yesofu is torn, pulled between his friends, his family, and a promise of a better future. Now as neighbors leave and soldiers line the streets, the two friends find that nothing seems sure—not even their friendship. Tensions between Indians and Africans intensify and the deadline to leave is fast approaching. Could the bravest thing of all be to let each other go?

  3. Belle's Journey - For over sixteen years, Dr. Rob Bierregaard (Dr. B. to his students) has tracked osprey migration using small radio transmitters. This is the story of one of Dr. B.’s ospreys, Belle, who each spring flies 4,000 miles from her winter home in Brazil to her spring nest on Martha’s Vineyard to meet her mate and start a new family. Besides the long distance, Belle must find food, weather storms, and face other dangers. Dr. B. and his companions follow Belle’s journey via her transmitter. This mostly true story is based on information garnered through twenty years of research by Dr. B.

  4. Galapagos George - This is the story of the famous Lonesome George, a giant tortoise who was the last of his species, lived to be one hundred years old, and became known as the rarest creature in the world. His story gives us a glimpse of the amazing creatures inhabiting the ever-fascinating Galápagos Islands. Renowned naturalist and bestselling author of the Newbery Medal-winning Julie of the Wolves and the critically acclaimed Everglades Jean Craighead George once again introduces children to the wonders of the natural world in this incredible evolution story set in the Galápagos Islands. The back matter features key terms, a timeline, and further resources for research. Supports the Common Core State Standards.

Want to see books about migration?

Books About Animals and Deer, Moose And Caribou

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It's a Moose!
Written by Meg Rosoff & illustrated by David Ercolini
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From award-winning author Meg Rosoff comes this clever, laugh-out-loud picture book about a family’s surprising newest member—a moose!

When he first arrives, everyone is expecting the usual kind of baby. But right away, his family notices there’s something different about this one. Instead of two feet, he has four hooves. Instead of drinking milk, he eats twigs and weeds. Instead of a tiny human, they bring home a moose baby! With his long legs, silky ears, and sturdy antlers, the moose baby is admired everywhere he goes. Everyone wishes they had a moose baby too. But what will happen when he starts to outgrow their little home?

Here’s a delightfully quirky and completely irresistible new sibling picture book about the true meaning of family and the power of love to transcend any difference.

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The Only Child
Written & illustrated by Guojing
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-9

Like Shaun Tan’s The Arrival and Raymond Briggs’s The Snowman, this gorgeous and imaginative 100-page graphic picture book is utterly transporting and original. A little girl—lost and alone—follows a mysterious stag deep into the woods, and, like Alice down the rabbit hole, she finds herself in a strange and wondrous world. But . . . home and family are very far away. How will she get back there? In this magnificently illustrated—and wordless—masterpiece, debut artist Guojing brilliantly captures the rich and deeply-felt emotional life of a child, filled with loneliness and longing as well as love and joy.

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Good Night Moose
Written by Adam Gamble & illustrated by Mark Jasper
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Good Night Moose highlights the moose life cycle, moose calves, yearlings, adult moose, bull moose and cows, antlers, fur, moose hooves, a typical moose meal, moose tracks, moose in different habitats, and more! Welcome to the wonderful world of the moose! This book is part of the Good Night Our World Series, which includes hundred of titles exploring iconic locations and exciting themes. Young moose lovers will treasure this educational board book filled with exciting facts and colorful art!

Honorable Mentions
Who's Hiding in the Woods? book
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Where's the Bear? book
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Babies in the Forest book
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Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too book
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  1. Who's Hiding in the Woods? - There are lots of creatures in the woods. Where are they hiding and what are they doing? Innovative lift-the-flap pages are packed with adorable animals for little ones to find and name. There are lots of creatures in the woods. 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 and logs to learn lots of interesting facts about the forest. This is a perfect introduction to the outdoors.

  2. Where's the Bear? - Five beautifully illustrated spreads show a series of friendly animals hiding behind bright felt flaps. A mirror on the final spread makes for a satisfying ending to the book’s search-and-find inquiries. (Where are you? There you are!) A perfect book to share with very little ones.

  3. Babies in the Forest - Meet forest animals with Rusty and Ruby! This sturdy board book has especially thick flaps for baby to lift and grasp.Illustrations include lots of details to hold baby’s attention.

  4. Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too - Drawing. Reading. Building. Painting. These are things Nelly loves to do…but they’re always better with Daddy Gnu! With fun-to-read rhyme, a little silliness, and a lot of warmth, Anna Dewdney—the creator of the beloved llama llama books—tells the story of a daughter and her daddy and their wonderful day together.

Books About Animals and Sloths

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Sloth Slept on
Written & illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Who’s that sleeping in our tree? When a group of kids finds an animal happily napping in their backyard, they set out to discover what it is and where it belongs. As they search and search—never noticing the posters and articles about a sloth that’s fled the zoo—they finally discover the identity of the snoozing creature. When sloth wakes up, it’s in for a BIG surprise!

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Cruising for a Snoozing
Written by Marcie Colleen & illustrated by Steve James
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The eighth book in a funny chapter book series filled with full-color illustrations and adorable animals!

A group of sloths arrives at the Grumpy River for a synchronized swimming competition, and the Super Happy Party Bears are thrilled. They throw a party to celebrate their team, but the sloths just…sleep.

The residents of the Grumpy Woods can’t help but notice the giant pile of snoozing sloths, and Mayor Quill plots to get rid of them by shutting down the competition…until he unexpectedly gets the opportunity to show off his swimming moves.

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The Sloth Who Slowed Us Down
Written by Margaret Wild & illustrated by Vivienne To
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

When the speediest family in the world finds a sweet, slow sloth on their doorstep, they take him in. But, little do they know, their new pet has quite a bit to teach them. For Amy’s family, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Mom rushes through her work. Dad rushes through his chores. Even little Amy rushes through dinner. But Sloth does things slowly. He likes to take long, leisurely baths with lots and lots of bubbles. He plays drawn-out, imaginative games. He eats his food slowly, enjoying one small bite at a time. After a few weeks of caring for their new pet, Amy’s family finds that they actually do have enough time to tell one another stories or go for long walks together after dinner—so long as they stop rushing around so much. The Sloth Who Slowed Us Down is a celebration of slowing down and remembering the important things in life.

Honorable Mentions
Jasper & Ollie book
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Smile, Breathe, and Go Slowly: Slumby the Sloth Goes to School book
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"Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," said the Sloth book
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Sloth at the Zoom book
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  1. Jasper & Ollie - Jasper, an impatient fox, and Ollie, a slow-moving sloth, head to the pool on a summer day, each taking their own unique path.

  2. Smile, Breathe, and Go Slowly: Slumby the Sloth Goes to School - It’s Slumby the sloth’s first day of school in the rainforest. Can he keep up with everyone and still be himself? Everyone loves Slumby; he’s kind, he’s most always happy, and butterflies follow him everywhere. Slumby knows that the other students at school like him, except that he moves…so…very…slowly. When he is too slow to compete in the turtle race, or play boa rope, or play armadillo ball, what is he to do? It can be hard to be left out. Then again, when one of his classmates is in danger, Slumby might be the only one who can help. Acclaimed Italian duo author Chiara Carminati and illustrator Roberta Angaramo work together to create a sweet, heartfelt story about how people have different strengths.

  3. "Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," said the Sloth - Slowly, slowly, slowly . . . that’s the way the sloth moves. Slowly, it eats and then, slowly, it falls asleep. “What strange kind of creature is this?” the other animals wonder. Why doesn’t it run or fly or play or hunt like the rest of us? “Why are you so slow?” the howler monkey inquires. But the sloth doesn’t answer any questions until the jaguar asks, “Why are you so lazy?” Anyone who has ever felt too busy will appreciate the sloth’s peaceful lifestyle and realize that it’s okay to take time to enjoy life. Eric Carle’ s dazzling collage illustrations introduce readers to the exotic beauty of the Amazon rain forest and the many unusual animals living there.

  4. Sloth at the Zoom - One day, a sloth accidentally gets delivered to the Zoom! She was supposed to be dropped off at the Zzzzzoo, a much more laid-back, slow-paced place. She had been looking forward to long, languorous naps while the sun gently warmed her belly. But at the Zoom, the zebras gallop so fast they leave their stripes in puddles. The monkeys climb so fast they forget to stop at the treetops. And the parrots fly so fast their tails draw rainbows across the sky. When the sloth tries to make friends, nobody has any time—until the sloth meets a creature who’s a little more her speed, and everyone stops to notice. This is a surprising, delightful, and funny picture book about slowing down to enjoy the little things and making time for what matters.

Want to see books about sloths?

Books About Animals and Otters

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Milton & Odie and the Bigger-than- Bigmouth Bass
Written & illustrated by Mary Ann Fraser
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When faced with a challenge—or a super cold morning—Milton grumbles and Odie sees the bright side. Whiling away the hours at their respective fishing holes, neither Milton nor Odie get even the tiniest nibble . . . until Milton snags Odie’s pole. But does that mean fishing is over? On facing pages, Milton and Odie approach life with contrasting attitudes. Milton’s sure there isn’t a fish for miles, but Odie embraces the joy of anticipation, imagining that a bigmouth bass will be along any minute. Sweetly simple illustrations reveal the ups and downs of patience and expectation in this fish story about the one that didn’t get away.

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Martha Doesn't Share
Written by Samantha Berger & illustrated by Bruce Whatley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Martha has officially mastered apologizing. Unfortunately, she still has a lot to work on when it comes to sharing. And while she doesn’t learn to love it, she does discover that having her toys to herself means having to play with them all by herself, too. Not so fun! This hilarious follow-up to Martha doesn’t say sorry! shows readers that sharing isn’t all that bad when you take it one (small) toy at a time—like Martha does. It gets easier every day. Well, almost every day.

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The Eel Question
Written by Nicola Davies & illustrated by Beth Holland
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Bound to serve a cruel master, Nant’s curiosity never fails to get her into trouble. Some questions she had learned it was best not to ask, but every autumn the silver eels return, and so do her questions. Where do they come from? And where do they go? Be ready to feel a little bit of magic, and perhaps a few shivers down the spine.

Honorable Mentions
Otter: I Love Books! book
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Together book
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On a un Problème Avec Lilou la Loutre book
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Taggerung book
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  1. Otter: I Love Books! - On her next adventure, Otter—the irrepressible character sure to be adored by fans of Llama Llama—discovers a love for books and reading. Otter: I Love Books! is a My First I Can Read book, which means it’s perfect for shared reading with a child.

  2. Together - This little sea otter loves spending time with its parent — learning new things, playing together, or even just holding hands. Every day is special when they are together.

  3. On a un Problème Avec Lilou la Loutre - Lilou la loutre est mignonne, agile et enjouée. Le problème, c’est qu’elle aime un peu trop glisser… La seule et unique mission de cet album ? Faire rire ! Argumentaire • Un album résolument drôle, où la folie prend le dessus. • Une histoire racontée d’abord et avant tout par les illustrations, où chaque mot est choisi. • Orbie, une illustratrice aimée et reconnue, qui fait ici ses premiers pas comme auteure.

  4. Taggerung - Years ago, the vermin clan of Sawney Rath kidnapped one of Redwall’s own-a baby otter, destined to become their “Taggerung,” a warrior hero of ancient legend. But as young Tagg grows, he rebels against his destiny. The young otter journeys in search of his birthplace, a member of Sawney’s clan always near, out to destroy the deserter. With the feisty mouse Nimbalo, Tagg fends off the avenging vermin, but can he find his way back to the Redwall family from whom he was separated so long ago? Here is all of the excitement and adventure a Redwall fan could wish for!

Want to see books about otters?

Books About Animals and Donkeys

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Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
Written & illustrated by William Steig
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

On a rainy day, Sylvester finds a magic pebble that can make wishes come true. But when a lion frightens him on his way home, Sylvester makes a wish that brings unexpected results. How Sylvester is eventually reunited with his loving family and restored to his true self makes a story that is beautifully tender and filled with true magic. Illustrated with William Steig’s glowing pictures, this is a modern classic beloved by children everywhere. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble is a winner of the Caldecott Medal.

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The Wonky Donkey
Written by Craig Smith & illustrated by Katz Cowley
Select type book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Kids will love this cumulative and hysterical read-aloud!

“I was walking down the road and I saw . . .
A donkey,
Hee Haw!
And he only had three legs!
He was a wonky donkey.”

Children will be in fits of laughter with this perfect read-aloud tale of an endearing donkey. By the book’s final page, readers end up with a spunky, hanky-panky, cranky, stinky, dinky, lanky, honky-tonky, winky wonky donkey!

Thank you!

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Mary's Little Donkey
Written by Gunhild Sehlin & illustrated by Helene Muller
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

“Muller’s richly detailed illustrations emphasize Mary’s humility and serenity.”-Publisher’s Weekly A long time ago in the Holy Land lived a scruffy little donkey who hated hard work. And then he met gentle, kind Mary, and his world changed forever. When Mary and Joseph have to travel the long journey to Bethlehem, who can they rely on to get them there safely? This is a unique version of the traditional nativity story, told from the child-friendly perspective of the little donkey, who grows in confidence and pride as Mary and Joseph place their trust in him. The story ends with the wonder of the birth of Jesus, and the little donkey’s promise to keep looking after his new family. Adapted for younger children from Gunhild Sehlin’s classic chapter book, this Christmas story is sumptuously illustrated by Hélène Muller, with marvellous details of the Holy Land.

Honorable Mentions
An Angel Came to Nazareth book
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Lulu & Pip book
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The Dinky Donkey book
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I Yam a Donkey! book
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  1. An Angel Came to Nazareth - As the first Christmas draws near, four travelers must make their way from Nazareth to Bethlehem. An angel asks four animals to choose which traveler they would like to carry. The horse chooses the brave soldier; the camel, the wise king; the ox, the good Samaritan. But the donkey, who chooses the poor woman with child, discovers that his humble-looking passenger is the one carrying the greatest of them all. With its simple rhymes, lavish illustrations and eye-catching foil throughout, this book conveys the very special spirit of the Christmas season.

  2. Lulu & Pip - Lulu takes her doll Pip on a camping trip, where they make friends with an old donkey, build a tent, eat dessert over a campfire, and fall asleep underneath the stars.

  3. The Dinky Donkey - The Wonky Donkey has a daughter in this hilarious sequel to the runaway hit!
    Wonky Donkey had a child,
    it was a little girl.
    Hee Haw!
    The laugh-out-loud follow-up to the viral sensation The Wonky Donkey is finally here! Featuring playful verses by Craig Smith and charming illustrations by Katz Cowley, The Dinky Donkey follows the same formula that made its predecessor a worldwide hit. Readers will love the antics of this stinky punky plinky-plonky winky-tinky pinky funky blinky dinky donkey!

  4. I Yam a Donkey! - Even frustrated grammarians will giggle at the who’s-on-first routine that begins with a donkey’s excited announcement, “I yam a donkey!” Unfortunately the donkey’s audience happens to be a yam, and one who is particular about sloppy pronunciation and poor grammar. An escalating series of misunderstandings leaves the yam furious and the clueless donkey bewildered by the yam’s growing (and amusing) frustration. The yam finally gets his point across, but regrettably, he’s made the situation a little bit too clear . . . and the story ends with a dark and outrageously funny twist.

Want to see books about donkeys?

Books About Animals and Wolves

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A Wolf Called Wander
Written & illustrated by Rosanne Parry
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

This gripping novel about survival and family is based on the real story of one wolf’s incredible journey to find a safe place to call home. Illustrated throughout, this irresistible tale by award-winning author Rosanne Parry is for fans of Sara Pennypacker’s Pax and Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan.

Swift, a young wolf cub, lives with his pack in the mountains learning to hunt, competing with his brothers and sisters for hierarchy, and watching over a new litter of cubs. Then a rival pack attacks, and Swift and his family scatter.

Alone and scared, Swift must flee and find a new home. His journey takes him a remarkable one thousand miles across the Pacific Northwest. The trip is full of peril, and Swift encounters forest fires, hunters, highways, and hunger before he finds his new home.

Inspired by the extraordinary true story of a wolf named OR-7 (or Journey), this irresistible tale of survival invites readers to experience and imagine what it would be like to be one of the most misunderstood animals on earth. This gripping and appealing novel about family, courage, loyalty, and the natural world is for fans of Fred Gipson’s Old Yeller and Katherine Applegate’s Endling.

Includes black-and-white illustrations throughout and a map as well as information about the real wolf who inspired the novel.

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Lone Wolf (Wolves of the Beyond, Book 1)
Written by Kathryn Lasky
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Bestselling author Kathryn Lasky’s Wolves of the Beyond, the stunning new spinoff from the legendary Guardians of Ga’hoole, is now in paperback!

A wolf mother has given birth, but the warm bundle snuffling next to her brings only anguish. The pup, otherwise healthy, has a twisted paw, and the mother knows what the harsh code of the pack demands. Her pup will be taken from her and abandoned on a desolate hill. The pack cannot have weakness - the wolf mother knows that her pup is condemned to die.

But alone in the wilderness, the pup, Faolan, does not perish. This his story - a story of survival, of courage, and of love triumphant. This is Faolan’s story, the wolf pup who rose up to change forevever the Wolves of the Beyond.

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Wolf Won't Bite
Written by Emily Gravett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

can stand him on a stool! I can dress him in a bow… I can ride him like a horse but WOLF WON’T BITE!

Come along on a wild circus adventure about three little pigs who have captured a wild wolf. They can make him do all sorts of tricks, but don’t worry—he would NEVER bite.

From award-winning and beloved creator Emily Gravett, Wolf Won’t Bite! contains charming text that begs to be read aloud, and quirky humor fills every page of this playful take on “The Three Little Pigs.”

Honorable Mentions
Lon Po Po book
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Little Red Riding Hood book
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Little Wise Wolf book
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Little Red Riding Hood book
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  1. Lon Po Po - WINNER OF THE RANDOLPH CALDECOTT MEDAL, AWARDED TO THE ARTIST OF THE MOST DISTINGUISHED AMERICAN PICTURE BOOK OF THE YEAR “(Young’s) command of page composition and his sensitive use of color give the book a visual force that matches the strength of the story and stands as one of the illustrator’s best efforts.” —Booklist “Absolutely splendid.” — Kirkus Reviews. “An extraordinary and powerful book.” — Publisher’s Weekly The now-classic Chinese retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, and one of the most celebrated picture books of our time.

  2. Little Red Riding Hood - Gennady Spirin, in his adaptation of the Brother Grimms’ earliest version of “Little Red Cap”, tells the story of a young girl in a red hood who takes a cake to her sick grandmother. Along the way, she meets a wicked wolf who tricks her into thinking he’s her granny. Sumptuous illustrations, inspired by the golden age of Dutch painting in the 17th century and Renaissance, capture the charm and spirit of a tale that has remained steadfast in oral and written versions throughout the centuries. An Author’s note about the tale’s history is included.

  3. Little Wise Wolf - Books have taught Little Wise Wolf many things. But perhaps he’s not quite as wise as he thinks he is. A small wolf spends all his time reading big books and discovering new stars. Because he knows so much, everyone calls him Little Wise Wolf, and many of his neighbors come to him with questions. However, with so many big books still to read, he simply does not have time to answer them. Then, one day, he is summoned by the king’s crow: the king is gravely ill, and only Little Wise Wolf can heal him. It is a long way to the king’s castle, and Little Wise Wolf finds he is unprepared for the arduous journey. Tired and hungry, he begins to doubt how wise he really is, as there are many things he does not know about the world. Things the other animals know all about it. But will they help him? In this big story disguised as a small one, Gijs van der Hammen deftly explores the value of relationships and the interconnectedness of us all. It highlights for young children the important life lesson that everyone has unique skills and knowledge, so everyone in a community matters —- and we all need the help of others sometimes. Beautifully told and richly illustrated by Hanneke Siemensma, this engaging read-aloud has the timeless appeal of a folktale. It would be an excellent choice to begin conversations about the social studies concept of community and the character education topics of kindness and empathy.

  4. Little Red Riding Hood - Grandma, what big TEETH you have! When Little Red Riding Hood sets off through the woods with a basket of goodies for Grandma, who should she run into but a big, bad wicked wolf? The dilly-dallying girl says goodbye thinking that’s the last she’ll see of him—but she’s in for a big surprise. This charming retelling of a timeless favorite is especially designed for reading to young children, with simple language and appealing, amusing illustrations.

Want to see books about wolves?

Books About Animals and Lizards

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Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles
Written by Patricia Valdez & illustrated by Felicita Sala
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Back in the days of long skirts and afternoon teas, young Joan Procter entertained the most unusual party guests: slithery and scaly ones, who turned over teacups and crawled past the crumpets…. While other girls played with dolls, Joan preferred the company of reptiles. She carried her favorite lizard with her everywhere—she even brought a crocodile to school!

When Joan grew older, she became the Curator of Reptiles at the British Museum. She went on to design the Reptile House at the London Zoo, including a home for the rumored-to-be-vicious komodo dragons. There, just like when she was a little girl, Joan hosted children’s tea parties—with her komodo dragon as the guest of honor.

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Mary Had a Little Lizard
Written & illustrated by Kayla Harren
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A modern take on “Mary Had a Little Lamb” featuring hilarious antics as Lizard sneaks into Mary’s backpack and causes nothing but mayhem in her Kindergarten class. He eats someone’s lunch, makes a mess in the painting corner, and scares the teacher silly during story time before being sent to the principal’s office to wait for Mary’s mom to pick him up. It’s no fun being alone. But when Mary finally comes home from school, Lizard knows he’ll always have his very best friend. Rendered in a combination of traditional and digital color, Mary Had a Little Lizard is a silly, satisfying celebration of new experiences and friendships that can never be broken.

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How to Properly Dispose of Planet Earth
Written & illustrated by Paul Noth
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Popular New Yorker cartoonist Paul Noth continues his illustrated middle grade series about a boy, his wacky family, and an out-of-this-world adventure in this laugh-out-loud sequel to How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens. Happy Conklin Jr. is still the only 10-year-old who has to shave three times a day, thanks to being tested on by his inventor father. And it’s safe to say Hap is the only 10-year-old who accidentally sold his entire family to aliens. The good news is that Hap managed to save his family—including his tyrannical Grandma—but now the Conklins face a problem that might put the whole world in danger . . . Hap wants a girl in his sixth-grade science class to be his lab partner but lacks the courage to even talk to her. Through the mysterious powers of Squeep! the lizard, he finds a way to overcome this fear but also, unfortunately, opens a black hole in his middle school that will swallow the solar system unless he’s able to stop it. In his race against time to save everything, he’s helped by his sister Kayla, greatly hindered by his sister Alice, and uncovers the truth about Grandma’s plan to take over the Galaxy.

Honorable Mentions
Leyla book
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Like a Lizard book
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Gecko book
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  1. Leyla - Leyla is sick of her big, loud, overbearing family. They are always chatting, snuggling, and grooming each other (ew!), and—for Leyla—there’s no escape from their attention. So, she decides to run away until she can’t hear (or smell) her baboon troop anymore. In the middle of her desert habitat, she finds a lizard sunning himself. Unlike her family, the lizard loves to sit alone, be quiet, and do absolutely nothing at all. Leyla joins the lizard, and after soaking up some quiet time, she feels recharged and ready to return home to her large, ever-doting family. Now that she knows where she can always find a little peace, Leyla can embrace the chaos and the kisses with open arms. From the celebrated author-illustrator of I Am a Cat, Leyla shows kids how to appreciate both the wild and the mild.

  2. Like a Lizard - The attributes of 28 different lizards are revealed in this STEM nonfiction picture book, while the story provides a subtle message encouraging children to be true to their own nature. The actions of 28 lizard species—the flying dragon that swoops through the air, the shingleback that sticks out its blue tongue to scare predators, the basilisk that can race across the surface of water—invite readers to act like a lizard themselves. The text by noted author April Pulley Sayre asks: “Can you run like a lizard? Sun like a lizard? Bob your head like a lizard?” Featuring brilliantly colorful, textured artwork by illustrator Stephanie Laberis, the book also includes extensive back matter with further information about the featured lizard species—their size, geographical range, why they perform the various actions introduced in the text—as well as details about lizards in general.

  3. Gecko - The creators of the award-winning “Flight of the Honey Bee” team up once again for this wonderful introduction to one of the coolest lizards on the planet: the gecko. Full color.

Want to see books about lizards?

Epilogue

32 books that are just too good to leave off of our animals list.
Dear Zoo book
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The Tale of Despereaux book
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Hide and Seek book
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Lion's Lullaby book
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  1. Dear Zoo - 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.

  2. The Tale of Despereaux - A brave mouse, a covetous rat, a wishful serving girl, and a princess named Pea come together in Kate DiCamillo’s Newbery Medal–winning tale. Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other’s lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out. With black-and-white illustrations and a refreshed cover by Timothy Basil Ering.

  3. 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).

  4. Lion's Lullaby - 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.

Tacky the Penguin book
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Little Friends: Big and Small book
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Giraffes Can't Dance book
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Can't Sleep Without Sheep book
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  1. Tacky the Penguin - Tacky’s perfect friends find him annoying until his odd behavior saves the day.

  2. Little Friends: Big and Small - 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!

  3. 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!

  4. Can't Sleep Without Sheep - 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 .

Ribbit! book
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Hatch book
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The Chicken Squad book
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Little Alphaprints: Animals book
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  1. Ribbit! - A group of frogs are living happily in a peaceful pond, until they discover a surprise visitor: a little pink pig. Sitting contentedly on a rock in the middle of their pond, the pig opens his mouth and says: RIBBIT! The frogs are bewildered at first, and then a bit annoyed—“What did that little pig just say?”, “Does he think he’s a frog?”, “Is he making fun of us?” Soon the pig draws the attention of all the nearby animals; everyone is curious to know what he wants! After much guessing (and shouting) and a visit to the wise old beetle, the animals realize that perhaps the pig was not there to mock them afterall—maybe he just wanted to make new friends! But is it too late? This is a warm, funny, and beautifully illustrated story of friendship, with boisterous RIBBIT!s throughout—perfect for reading aloud

  2. Hatch - 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!

  3. 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!

  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!

Animal Numbers book
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Chimpanzees for Tea! book
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Cuckoo! book
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1, 2, 3 Sea Creatures book
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  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. Chimpanzees for Tea! - 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.

  3. Cuckoo! - B is for Bookworm -

    The illustrations in this book are amazing and delightful! This sweet story about a bird that speaks differently and goes on an adventure to find someone he can understand, tries to learn other's languages, and finally finds someone he can talk to is fun and entertaining, and this book is so fun to read aloud with all of the "cuckoos" and other animal noises!

  4. 1, 2, 3 Sea Creatures - 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!

Sam the Man & The Chicken Plan book
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Grumpy Monkey book
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Because of Winn-Dixie book
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The Cricket in Times Square book
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  1. Sam the Man & The Chicken Plan - 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!

  2. Grumpy Monkey - A hilarious picture book about dealing with unexplained feelings…and the danger in suppressing them! Jim the chimpanzee is in a terrible mood for no good reason. His friends can’t understand it—how can he be in a bad mood when it’s SUCH a beautiful day? They encourage him not to hunch, to smile, and to do things that make THEM happy. But Jim can’t take all the advice…and has a BIT of a meltdown. Could it be that he just needs a day to feel grumpy? Suzanne and Max Lang bring hilarity and levity to this very important lesson. This picture book is an excellent case study in the dangers of putting on a happy face and demonstrates to kids that they are allowed to feel their feelings (though they should be careful of hurting others in the process!).

  3. Because of Winn-Dixie - One summer’s day, ten-year-old India Opal Buloni goes down to the local supermarket for some groceries – and comes home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog. It’s because of Winn-Dixie that Opal begins to make friends. And it’s because of Winn-Dixie that she finally dares to ask her father about her mother, who left when Opal was three. In fact, as Opal admits, just about everything that happens that summer is because of Winn-Dixie. Featuring a new cover illustration by E. B. Lewis.

  4. The Cricket in Times Square - Tucker is a streetwise city mouse. He thought he’d seen it all. But he’s never met a cricket before, which really isn’t surprising, because, along with his friend Harry Cat, Tucker lives in the very heart of New York City—the Times Square subway station. Chester Cricket never intended to leave his Connecticut meadow. He’d be there still if he hadn’t followed the entrancing aroma of liverwurst right into someone’s picnic basket. Now, like any tourist in the city, he wants to look around. And he could not have found two better guides—and friends—than Tucker and Harry. The trio have many adventures—from taking in the sights and sounds of Broadway to escaping a smoky fire. Chester makes a third friend, too. It is a boy, Mario, who rescues Chester from a dusty corner of the subway station and brings him to live in the safety of his parents’ newsstand. He hopes at first to keep Chester as a pet, but Mario soon understands that the cricket is more than that. Because Chester has a hidden talent and no one—not even Chester himself—realizes that the little country cricket may just be able to teach even the toughest New Yorkers a thing or two. The Cricket in Times Square is a 1961 Newbery Honor Book.

Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum book
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The Wheel on the School book
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The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear book
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Charlotte's Web book
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  1. Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum - This #1 New York Times bestseller is the perfect gift for the young artist in your life! A never-before-published Dr. Seuss non-fiction book about creating and looking at art! Based on an unrhymed manuscript and sketches discovered in 2013, this book is like a visit to a museum—with a horse as your guide! Explore how different artists have seen horses, and maybe even find a new way of looking at them yourself. Discover full-color photographic art reproductions of pieces by Picasso, George Stubbs, Rosa Bonheur, Alexander Calder, Jacob Lawrence, Deborah Butterfield, Franz Marc, Jackson Pollock, and many others—all of which feature a horse! Young readers will find themselves delightfully transported by the engaging equines as they learn about the creative process and how to see art in new ways. Taking inspiration from Dr. Seuss’s original sketches, acclaimed illustrator Andrew Joyner has created a look that is both subtly Seussian and wholly his own. His whimsical illustrations are combined throughout with “real-life” art. Cameo appearances by classic Dr. Seuss characters (among them the Cat in the Hat, the Grinch, and Horton the Elephant) make Dr. Seuss’s Horse Museum a playful picture book that is totally unique. Ideal for home or classroom use, it encourages critical thinking and makes a great gift for Seuss fans, artists, and horse lovers of all ages. Publisher’s Notes discuss the discovery of the manuscript and sketches, Dr. Seuss’s interest in understanding modern art, the process of creating the book, and information about each of the artists and art reproductions in the book.

  2. The Wheel on the School - Why do the storks no longer come to the little Dutch fishing village of Shora to nest? It was Lina, one of the six schoolchildren who first asked the question, and she set the others to wondering. And sometimes when you begin to wonder, you begin to make things happen. So the children set out to bring the storks back to Shora. The force of their vision put the whole village to work until at last the dream began to come true. Winner, 1955 Newbery Medal Notable Children’s Books of 1940–1970 (ALA) 1963 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award

  3. The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear - First published in 1984, a picture book in which the Little Mouse will do all he can to save his strawberry from the Big, Hungry Bear, even if it means sharing it with the reader. The Little Mouse and the Big Hungry Bear are known and loved by millions of children around the world. Little Mouse loves strawberries, but so does the bear…How will Little Mouse stop the bear from eating his freshly picked, red, ripe strawberry.

  4. Charlotte's Web - Sixty years ago, on October 15, 1952, E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web was published. It’s gone on to become one of the most beloved children’s books of all time. To celebrate this milestone, the renowned Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo has written a heartfelt and poignant tribute to the book that is itself a beautiful translation of White’s own view of the world—of the joy he took in the change of seasons, in farm life, in the miracles of life and death, and, in short, the glory of everything. We are proud to include Kate DiCamillo’s foreword in the 60th anniversary editions of this cherished classic. Charlotte’s Web is the story of a little girl named Fern who loved a little pig named Wilbur—and of Wilbur’s dear friend Charlotte A. Cavatica, a beautiful large grey spider who lived with Wilbur in the barn. With the help of Templeton, the rat who never did anything for anybody unless there was something in it for him, and by a wonderfully clever plan of her own, Charlotte saved the life of Wilbur, who by this time had grown up to quite a pig. How all this comes about is Mr. White’s story. It is a story of the magic of childhood on the farm. The thousands of children who loved Stuart Little, the heroic little city mouse, will be entranced with Charlotte the spider, Wilbur the pig, and Fern, the little girl who understood their language. The forty-seven black-and-white drawings by Garth Williams have all the wonderful detail and warmhearted appeal that children love in his work. Incomparably matched to E.B. White’s marvelous story, they speak to each new generation, softly and irresistibly.

Old Yeller book
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Shiloh book
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The Mouse and the Motorcycle book
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Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse book
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  1. Old Yeller - When a novel like Huckleberry Finn, or The Yearling, comes along it defies customary adjectives because of the intensity of the respouse it evokes in the reader. Such a book, we submit, is Old Yeller; to read this eloIquently simple story of a boy and his dog in the Texas hill country is an unforgettable and deeply moving experience. The big, ugly, yellow dog showed up out of nowhere one night and stole a whole side of hanging pork, and when Travis went for him the next morning that dog started yelling like a baby before he was touched. Then he got into the spring water with five-year-old Arliss, Travis took an easy hate to Old Yeller, as they started to call him; in fact, he would have driven him off or killed him if it hadn’t been for brother Arliss’ loud and violent protests, So Yeller stayed, and Travis soon found he couldn’t have got along without him. Pa and Ma and Travis and Arliss lived on Birdsong Creek in the Texas hill country. It wasn’t an easy life, but they had a snug cabin that Pa had built himself, and they had their own hogs and their own cattle, and they grew most of what else they needed. The only thing they and the rest of the settlers lacked that year in the late 1860’s was cash, so the men decided to get together and drive all the cattle up to the new market in Abilene, Kansas, more than six hundred miles away. Travis was only fourteen, but he was proud of his new role as man of the family and determined to live up to his responsibility. It was hard work, too, plowing until his legs ached, chopping wood until his hands were raw and his head was spinning, weeding the garden in the hot sun, toting the heavy buckets tip from the spring, and trying to keep his mischievous little brother in line. But there were pleasant moments, too: his Ma treating him like a man, and deer hunting in the early-morning stillness, and hot summer nights out in the corn patch under the stars with Old Yeller, trying to keep the coons and skunks out of the winter food supply. And there was plenty of excitement, like the fight between the two bulls, and the time Arliss nearly got mauled by the bear, and trying to catch and mark the new hogs. Here the suspense and excitement reach a peak, only to be topped a few pages later when the crazy-sick loafer wolf goes for Ma. Both times it is Yeller who saves them, only the second time it is not lucky for Yeller, as Travis comes to find out. And in finding out, Travis learns just how much he has come to love that big ugly dog, and he learns something about the pain of life, too. Old Yeller is a story that will be read and treasured by many thousands for years to come. In a shorter form, this has appeared as a three-part serial in Collier’s.

  2. Shiloh - Marty will do anything to save his new friend Shiloh in this Newbery Medal–winning novel from Phillis Reynolds Naylor. When Marty Preston comes across a young beagle in the hills behind his home, it’s love at first sight—and also big trouble. It turns out the dog, which Marty names Shiloh, belongs to Judd Travers, who drinks too much and has a gun—and abuses his dogs. So when Shiloh runs away from Judd to Marty, Marty just has to hide him and protect him from Judd. But Marty’s secret becomes too big for him to keep to himself, and it exposes his entire family to Judd’s anger. How far will Marty have to go to make Shiloh his?

  3. The Mouse and the Motorcycle - “Boy!” said Ralph to himself, his whiskers quivering with excitement. “Boy, oh boy!” Feeling that this was an important moment in his life, he took hold of the handgrips. They felt good and solid beneath his paws. Yes, this motorcycle was a good machine all right. Ralph the mouse ventures out from behind the piney knothole in the wall of his hotel-room home, scrambles up the telephone wire to the end table, and climbs aboard the toy motorcycle left there by a young guest. His thrill ride does not last long. The ringing telephone startles Ralph, and he and the motorcycle take a terrible fall - right to the bottom of a metal wastebasket. Luckily, Keith, the owner of the motorcycle, returns to find his toy. Keith rescues Ralph and teaches him how to ride the bike. Thus begins a great friendship and many awesome adventures. Once a mouse can ride a motorcyle … almost anything can happen!

  4. Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse - A classic in the making, this heartwarming story about empathy and imagination is one that families will treasure for years to come. Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse—the best and most beautiful horse anywhere. But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse? The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier Chloe gets. But when she calls him out at school and even complains about him to her mom, Chloe doesn’t get the vindication she craves. She gets something far more important. Written with tenderness and poignancy and gorgeously illustrated, this book will show readers that kindness is always rewarding, understanding is sweeter than judgment, and friendship is the best gift one can give.

Hello, Mr. Dodo! book
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The Perfect Sofa book
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Wherever You Go book
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To the Sea book
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  1. Hello, Mr. Dodo! - Martha loves birds, so one day when she meets and makes friends with a Dodo, a species supposed to be extinct, in the woods behind her house, she resolves to keep him secret to keep him safe—but sometimes it is hard to keep a big secret.

  2. The Perfect Sofa - Penguin and Panda decide it’s time for a new sofa—but they are overwhelmed by the options. Will they find what they’re looking for? When Penguin and Panda decide their tired sofa is in need of replacement, they set out to find the perfect one. But none of the options are quite right and no sofa can seem to match the comfort of the one they already have. Is what they’re looking for closer than they think?

  3. Wherever You Go - Roads give you chances to seek and explore. Want an adventure? Just open your door. Join an adventurous rabbit and his animal friends as they journey over steep mountain peaks, through bustling cityscapes, and down long, winding roads to discover the magical worlds that await them just outside their doors. Award-winning author Pat Zietlow Miller’s lilting rhyme and bestselling illustrator Eliza Wheeler’s enchanting, lush landscapes celebrate the possibilities that lie beyond the next bend in the road—the same road that will always lead you home again.

  4. To the Sea - Sometimes Tim feels invisible at school-until one day, when Tim meets Sam. But Sam isn’t just any new friend: he’s a blue whale, and he can’t find his way home! Returning Sam to the sea is hard work, but Tim is determined to help. After all, it’s not every day you meet a new friend! This picture book about the power of friendship by new talent Cale Atkinson is brought to life by charming, dynamic illustrations.

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