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.

Baby Loves to Party! book
#76
Baby Loves to Party!
Written and illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Have a blast with baby in this party-time companion to the hit board books Baby Loves to Rock! and Baby Loves to Boogie! The baboons blow up the balloons, and the lemurs hang the streamers. The snake bakes a cake, and the pheasants wrap some presents. But who is ready to party? With playful illustrations, funny puns, and rhymes about a crew of critters bringing down the house, this energetic and adorable story from the rock star creator of Baby Loves to Rock! and Baby Loves to Boogie! is sure to please party animals of all ages!

Animal Noises book
#77
Animal Noises
Written and illustrated by Thomas Flintham
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

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

The Gruffalo book
#78
The Gruffalo
Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A mouse is taking a stroll through the deep, dark wood when along comes a hungry fox, then an owl, and then a snake. The mouse is good enough to eat but smart enough to know this, so he invents . . . the gruffalo! As Mouse explains, the gruffalo is a creature with terrible claws, and terrible tusks in its terrible jaws, and knobbly knees and turned-out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of its nose. But Mouse has no worry to show. After all, there’s no such thing as a gruffalo. . . .

Let's Dance, Little Pookie book
#79
Let's Dance, Little Pookie
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Let’s do the Pookie Shimmy (Oh, yeah!) in this toe-tapping board book from the beloved and bestselling Sandra Boynton. Say hey, Little Pookie! You’re a wonder to see. Come on, my little Pookie, Won’t you dance with me? Are you ready to do the piggy-piggy shake? Then put on your snazzy sneakers and join the dance party as Little Pookie boogies to a Pookie-Pookie beat. With Sandra Boynton’s signature charm and piggy pizzazz, this fabulous story proves that every Little Pookie loves to shimmy!

What's That Noise? Toot! Toot! book
#80
What's That Noise? Toot! Toot!
Written and illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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

Big Hugs, Little Hugs book
#81
Big Hugs, Little Hugs
Written and illustrated by Felicia Bond
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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

There Are No Bears in This Bakery book
#82
There Are No Bears in This Bakery
Written and illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The creator of the "New York Times"-bestselling "The Bear Ate Your Sandwich" delivers another sly story of a hungry bear and a smooth-talking narrator: a tough gumshoe of a cat named Muffin. Full color.

But Not the Armadillo book
#83
But Not the Armadillo
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

For more than thirty-five years, readers have wondered what happens to the mystery armadillo on the last page of Sandra Boynton’s classic board book, But Not the Hippopotamus. Now, at last, comes the long-awaited sequel. Behold the armadillo, a cute and curious creature who follows his nose wherever it goes. Join him as he quietly travels the less-traveled road: he picks cranberries, stops and smells the flowers, takes a nap in the meadow, searches out the source of a beautiful melody, and at day’s end passes an overeager hippo sprinting the other direction. Told with Boynton’s signature charm and unpredictability, But Not the Armadillo is a gentle and worthy companion book to But Not the Hippopotamus—perfect for curious little kids and grown-ups alike. And for everyone who has ever been concerned about the armadillo: Don’t worry. He’s completely fine just the way he is.

Oliver's Tree book
#84
Oliver's Tree
Written and illustrated by Kit Chase
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star book
#85
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
Written by and illustrated by Sylvia Long
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-12

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

Peekaboo! in the Jungle! book
#86
Peekaboo! in the Jungle!
Written and illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Peekaboo! Who's hiding in the jungle? Lift the flap to find out!Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills – and simply joining in!

The Way to the Zoo book
#87
The Way to the Zoo
Written and illustrated by John Burningham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Discovering a magical door in her bedroom that leads her to the zoo, a little girl is tempted to bring just one little bear back to her room, and then a menagerie of smaller animals, and then an irresistible medley of big animals, until pandemonium ensues.

Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion book
#88
Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion
Written and illustrated by Alex T. Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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

What's Up Tiger?: Food book
#89
What's Up Tiger?: Food
Written and illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

What are the animals up to? There are lots of clues to help us decide, and we can lift the flap to see if we’re right.

Night Knight book
#90
Night Knight
Written and illustrated by Owen Davey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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

Little Owl's Night book
#91
Little Owl's Night
Written and illustrated by Divya Srinivasan
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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

Chomp Goes the Alligator book
#92
Chomp Goes the Alligator
Written and illustrated by Matthew Van Fleet
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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

Zoo Day book
#93
Zoo Day
Written by Anne Rockwell and illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Beloved author Anne Rockwell celebrates animals of all kinds with a gorgeous new picture book about a child’s first visit to the zoo! A young boy and his family visit the zoo for the very first time. From gorillas to lions, polar bears to parrots, Anne Rockwell and her daughter, artist Lizzy Rockwell, celebrate a day he will never forget. With simple, lyrical text and bright illustrations that jump off the page, Zoo Day brings the joys of visiting the zoo vividly to life.

Henry's Bright Idea book
#94
Henry's Bright Idea
Written by Lauren Bradshaw and illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

Please Please the Bees book
#95
Please Please the Bees
Written and illustrated by Gerald Kelley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

Happy Birthday, Little Pookie book
#96
Happy Birthday, Little Pookie
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Wake up and celebrate Little Pookie’s big day in this way-too-early board book from the beloved and bestselling Sandra Boynton. Is that you, little Pookie? It’s not even light. You ought to be sleeping. Look outside. It’s still night. But it’s my birthday! Birthday! Birthday! Pookie can’t wait to celebrate! There’s only one problem: It’s still nighttime and everyone is asleep. With Sandra Boynton’s signature charm and piggy pizzazz, this surprising (yawn) story proves that every Little Pookie loves birthdays…even before daybreak!

But Not the Hippopotamus book
#97
But Not the Hippopotamus
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-2

A shy hippo makes a big impact in this Sandra Boynton classic. Serious silliness for all ages. Artist Sandra Boynton is back and better than ever with completely redrawn versions of her multi-million selling board books. These whimsical and hilarious books, featuring nontraditional texts and her famous animal characters, have been printed on thick board pages, and are sure to educate and entertain children of all ages.

Animobiles book
#98
Animobiles
Written and illustrated by Maddie Frost
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Some vehicles go VROOM! Some animals say ROAR! Put them both together and find out what's in store Imagine a different kind of hybrid on wheels: animalvehicle! The subway-snake slithers for commuters, the cowcars stop to graze in the field, the bear-bus scoots to the den for hibernation. What could be better than a mash-up of two of the best things: animals and things that go vroom!

Animal Patterns book
#99
Animal Patterns
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

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

On the Farm book
#100
On the Farm
Written by Kate Riggs and illustrated by Fiammetta Dogi
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Quacking ducklings. Bleating lambs. Cheeping chicks. On the Farm offers up a fun, foundational introduction to the sounds of six barnyard animals that are sure to fascinate every preschool learner. Simple, rhythmical text introduces the baby and adult forms of each creature by describing the sounds they make to communicate with one another. Detailed illustrations, meanwhile, provide a colorful backdrop of the developing farm scene. Set within a durable board book format, this is a title all young readers will talk about!

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.