Best Children's Books About Animals

The Best 84+ Books About Animals

Updated Apr. 10, 2019

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

Froggy Goes to the Library book
#151
Froggy Goes to the Library
Written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Froggy loves the library! When Froggy and Mom and Pollywogilina set out for the library, Froggy brings a wheelbarrow to hold all the books he plans to borrow. There are so many to choose from: Dinosaur books! Books about Space Frog! Froggy is so excited that he forgets to use his indoor voice. Readers enjoy Froggy’s antics, and so does Miss Otterbottom, the librarian. “Come again soon, Froggy,” she says.

Crunch! book
#152
Crunch!
Written and illustrated by Carolina Rabei
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Crunch the guinea pig loves his food, so it’s just as well there’s plenty of it, especially when a hungry little mouse wants a share.So why does Crunch refuse?Later, Crunch can’t settle to his feast for worrying about the mouse. Although he’s never stepped outside his hutch before, Crunch sets off to look for him. Will he find the little mouse, and if so, what else might he discover?

The Animals of Chinese New Year book
#153
The Animals of Chinese New Year
Written by Jen Sookfong Lee
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Drawing on the myth of the Chinese zodiac, The Animals of Chinese New Year follows twelve animals as they speed across a river, competing to represent the imminent new year in a race held by the Jade Emperor,the most powerful Chinese god. Each animal competes in its own unique way.The ox works hard, the tiger is brave, the dog smiles kindly, but who will win? Bright photographs of babies demonstrating the same traits as the animals in the text, complemented by traditional Chinese graphic elements, accompany Sookfong Lee’s lively text. Orca Book Publishers is pleased to offer this book as a dual-language (English/Simplified Chinese) edition.

Rabbityness book
#154
Rabbityness
Written and illustrated by Jo Empson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Tells the story of a rabbit whose love of music and art inspires other rabbits even after he disappears.

Who Can? book
#155
Who Can?
Written by Charles Ghigna and illustrated by Vlasta van Kampen
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Tongue-twisty teasers lead the reader through a miscellany of animals in this brilliantly illustrated hint-and-reveal book. Careful clues invite the child to guess what's coming next, and rhythm and repetition invite early readers to try out this little riddle book on their own. From toucan to centipede, all will delight in Vlasta van Kampen's colorful art and Charles Ghigna's whimsical words.

My First Shapes Book book
#156
My First Shapes Book
Written and illustrated by Flowerpot Press
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-6

Introduces readers to shapes, including circles, rectangles, and octagons.

How Are You?/ Cómo Estás book
#157
How Are You?/ Cómo Estás
Written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

When two giraffe friends find a baby ostrich, they have some questions. Is baby ostrich hungry? Shy? Tired? Ostrich saysno! So how does she feel? Friendship awaits in this book about feelings, expressed both in English and in Spanish.

How to Catch a Turkey book
#158
How to Catch a Turkey
Written by Adam Wallace and illustrated by Andy Elkerton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10

A turkey is running loose in a school right before a Thanksgiving play. Can YOU help catch it? Fun and chaos ensue as students turn their school upside down trying to catch the turkey, ending with a twist that ensures no turkeys are harmed (or eaten!).

I Love You, Little Pookie book
#159
I Love You, Little Pookie
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-5

From the beloved and bestselling Sandra Boynton, here is I Love You, Little Pookie, a sweet and simple board book that offers a declaration of unwavering love from Mom to her wonderful child. I Love You, Little Pookie is an affectionate and heartfelt celebration—for Valentine’s Day and every day—enlivened with those funny and captivating Boynton drawings. And Pookie’s Mom wisely knows that the best way to say I love you is simply to say it: Through the days, through the nights, come rain or come shine, I love you, little Pookie. You’ll always be mine.

Don't Lick the Dog book
#160
Don't Lick the Dog
Written and illustrated by Wendy Wahman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Meeting a new dog is exciting, but it can also be scary. This humorous how-to manual shows kids the best ways to interact with unfamiliar dogs, providing helpful tips about all sorts of dog behavior. Children often don't understand what dogs' actions mean and can misinterpret a threatening signal for a friendly one and vice versa. Kids and parents will return to Wendy Wahman's playful illustrations again and again for useful reminders: Slow Down. Stay very still. And remember, don't lick the dog!

Froggy Bakes a Cake book
#161
Froggy Bakes a Cake
Written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s Froggy’s mother’s birthday, and Froggy wants to bake her birthday cake all by himself. He gathers the chocolate, the sugar, the eggs, the flour, and pretty soon, Froggy has all the ingredients he needs to make?a big mess! Jonathan London and Frank Remkiewicz have collaborated on the six previous Froggy books, and they’ve cooked up another winner here, sweetened with generous helpings of Froggy humor and charm.

Bobo the Sailor Man! book
#162
Bobo the Sailor Man!
Written by Eileen Rosenthal and illustrated by Marc Rosenthal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Willie finds all sorts of interesting things while he and Bobo the stuffed monkey are exploring, including a bucket that would be a perfect boat for Bobo, but before he knows it, Bobo and the "boat" have disappeared.

Moby-Dick book
#163
Moby-Dick
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

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

One Big Pair of Underwear book
#164
One Big Pair of Underwear
Written by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Count and share with…underwear! Come along on a zany adventure with hilarious pictures from the New York Times bestselling illustrator of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. What’s one thing that two bears, three yaks, four goats, and six cats have in common? They hate to share. But look out—here comes a pack of twenty pigs ready to prove that sharing makes everything twice as fun!

Hello, Bumblebee Bat book
#165
Hello, Bumblebee Bat
Written by Darrin Lunde and illustrated by Patricia J Wynne
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A series of questions and answers introduce children to the life and habitat of the exotic and endangered Bumblebee Bats.

The Jungle Book book
#166
The Jungle Book
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Venture deep into the jungle on an animal-naming safari in The Jungle Book: A BabyLit® Animals Primer. Spy a sneaky snake, a lazy bear, and a proud panther before roaring like a tiger into the night. Jennifer Adam’s carefully curated quotations provide the best of Rudyard Kipling’s descriptions of Kaa, Baloo, Bagheera, Shere Khan and more while teaching little ones the characteristics of these colorful jungle animals.

Hamsters Don't Fight Fires! book
#167
Hamsters Don't Fight Fires!
Written by Andrew Root and illustrated by Jessica Olien
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Meet Hugo, a tiny hamster with huge personality, who dreams of becoming a firefighter! Andrew Root’s debut is a sweet, funny tale for the youngest readers, who know that being little can be the biggest advantage of all. With fun-filled illustrations from Jessica Olien, author/artist of The Blobfish Book, Shark Detective!, and Adrift, Hugo proves once and for all that great things come in small packages. For Hugo isn’t just a hamster. He’s also a great cook, a fast runner, a slow eater, and a fantastic dancer. However, what Hugo wants most of all is to be a firefighter. And even though Hugo worries that he’s too small to fight fires, he learns that just because something is difficult, it doesn’t mean he won’t try his hardest to achieve his dream. Perfect for fans of Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri and Dream Big Little Pig by Kristi Yamaguchi and Tim Bowers.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle book
#168
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Written by Beverly Cleary
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

"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!

Stuart Little 60th Anniversary Edition book
#169
Stuart Little 60th Anniversary Edition
Written and illustrated by E. B White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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

Charlotte's Web book
#170
Charlotte's Web
Written by E. B White and illustrated by Garth Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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
#171
Old Yeller
Written by Fred Gipson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

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.

Because of Winn-Dixie book
#172
Because of Winn-Dixie
Written and illustrated by Kate DiCamillo
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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.

The One and Only Ivan book
#173
The One and Only Ivan
Written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Patricia Castelao
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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

Shiloh book
#174
Shiloh
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When he finds a lost beagle in the hills behind his West Virginia home, Marty tries to hide it from his family and the dog's real owner, a mean-spirited man known to shoot deer out of season and to mistreat his dogs.

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