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.

A Dog Is a Dog book
#101
A Dog Is a Dog
Written and illustrated by Stephen Shaskan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A dog is a dog, right? Not so fast! From debut author-illustrator Stephen Shaskan comes this lively picture book that will keep young readers guessing (and giggling!) from beginning to end. With its wacky illustrations, bouncy text, and spot-on humor, A Dog Is a Dog is a fantastic read-aloud that kids will clamor to hear again and again.

In the Wild You Might See... book
#102
In the Wild You Might See...
Written and illustrated by Lisa M. Gardiner
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

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

Zoo Babies book
#103
Zoo Babies
Written and illustrated by Andrews McMeel Publishing
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Learning about the zoo has never been more fun for parents and kids with this board book, which shows baby lions, elephants, and giraffes in action. Get ready to visit the best part of every zoo with Zoo Babies, a book introducing early readers to the pint-sized versions of their favorite exotic animals. This itty-bitty zoo-on-the-go takes adorable baby animals, stirs in some fun illustrations, and adds easy descriptive sentences---a recipe for a guaranteed good time. Baby elephants spraying water, lion cubs at play, and tiny giraffes learning to stand will easily capture the hearts of kids and parents alike in Zoo Babies.

Rock-a-Bye Farm book
#104
Rock-a-Bye Farm
Written by Diane Johnston Hamm and illustrated by Alexi Natchev
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

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

Push Puzzles: In the Woods book
#105
Push Puzzles: In the Woods
Written by and illustrated by Nastja Holtfreter
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Little ones will love solving the puzzles to form forest animals in this cute concept book complete with sliding pieces that move back and forth! In this book, kids can slide board pieces back and forth to solve the animal puzzles! There are three pieces on each spread, and each piece has a part of the animal on them. Little ones will love sliding the pieces back and forth to either make the correct cute forest animal or make a funny new animal instead! Animals included are a fox, hedgehog, owl, and deer.

Me . . . Jane book
#106
Me . . . Jane
Written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In his characteristic heartwarming style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of the young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. As the young Jane observes the natural world around her with wonder, she dreams of "a life living with and helping all animals," until one day she finds that her dream has come true. One of the world's most inspiring women, Dr. Jane Goodall is a renowned humanitarian, conservationist, animal activist, environmentalist, and United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 1977 she founded the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), a global nonprofit organization that empowers people to make a difference for all living things. With anecdotes taken directly from Jane Goodall's autobiography, McDonnell makes this very true story accessible for the very young--and young at heart.

Owl & Friends book
#107
Owl & Friends
Written and illustrated by Joyce Wan
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

I play with the squirrels, sing with the birds, and have a picnic with the deer. What am I? Children are asked to figure out just who does all these things in this delightful, bright board book. By opening the gatefold at the end, they discover it's a big, strong tree.

The Reindeer Dance book
#108
The Reindeer Dance
Written by Christianne C. Jones and illustrated by Emma Randall
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

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!

Who Is Coming to Our House? book
#109
Who Is Coming to Our House?
Written by Joseph Slate and illustrated by Ashley Wolff
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A modern Christmas classic about how the animals prepare a cozy welcome for the baby Jesus. “Who is coming to our house? Someone, someone,” says Mouse. As Pig makes room, Lamb cleans up, Goose stacks the hay, and Duck lines the crib with eiderdown, Mary and Joseph are on their way by donkey. All the animals are eager to welcome the baby Jesus to their home.

Say What? book
#110
Say What?
Written by Angela DiTerlizzi and illustrated by Joey Chou
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

With an interactive text and bright, playful illustrations, explore what baby animals really mean when they make their adorable baby animal sounds. When a lion says ROAR, does he really mean MORE? When a cow says MOO, does she really mean YOU? How do we know what animals say when they say what they say with their sounds everyday? With an interactive text and bright, playful illustrations, Angela DiTerlizzi and Joey Chou explore what baby animals really mean when they make their adorable baby animal sounds.

Planes, Trains, and Animobiles book
#111
Planes, Trains, and Animobiles
Written and illustrated by Lizzy Doyle
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

Soar in a BEARplane, take a ride in a taxiCRAB, and enjoy more animal and vehicle puns in Planes, Trains, and Animobiles!

We All Went on Safari book
#112
We All Went on Safari
Written by Laurie Krebs and illustrated by Julie Cairns
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Follows a Tanzanian family through the African grasslands as they count the animals they see, from one leopard to 10 elephants, and includes information about Tanzania and Swahili names and numbers. Reprint.

The Great Race book
#113
The Great Race
Written by Dawn Casey and illustrated by Anne Wilson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Discover how 12 animals competed in a madcap swimming race to help create the lunar calendar! Includes facts about Chinese festivals, the lunar calendar and the animals that rule each year.

Tree book
#114
Tree
Written and illustrated by Britta Teckentrup
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Through a hole in the book’s cover, an owl invites you inside to meet a majestic tree and all its forest inhabitants during the changing seasons. With clever peekaboo holes throughout, each page reveals a new set of animals playing and living in the tree—baby bears frolicking in the spring, bees buzzing around apples in the summer, squirrels storing nuts in the fall, and finally the lone owl keeping warm during the winter chill—until another year begins… . Children will love seeing a new set of animals appear and then disappear as each page is turned, and along the way they’ll learn about the seasons and how a forest and its inhabitants change throughout the year.

Crowds of Creatures book
#115
Crowds of Creatures
Written by Kate Riggs and illustrated by Dogi Fiammetta
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

In rhyming couplets, Crowds of Creatures offers up a fun, foundational introduction to the family groups of six types of animals that are sure to fascinate every preschool learner. Simple, rhythmical text identifies a common name used in defining what a group of each creature is called. Detailed illustrations, meanwhile, bring the animals to life in their natural habitats. Set within a durable board book format, this is a title all kinds of families can share!

A Loud Winter's Nap book
#116
A Loud Winter's Nap
Written and illustrated by Katy Hudson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Unmoved by his friends' attempts draw him out with singing classes and snowball fights, Tortoise tries to settle down for his annual winter nap and instead stumbles into a wonderfully icy experience.

A Is for Angry book
#117
A Is for Angry
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

C is for Classic! This all-new hardcover edition of the beloved Sandra Boynton alphabet book pairs every letter from A to Z with a favorite animal and an adjective with big personality. This ABC book introduces toddlers and young children to an Angry Anteater, an Energetic Elephant, a Hungry Hippo, some Merry Mice, a Rotund Rhinoceros, and more. It's a smarter, quirkier, funnier alphabet book, completely redrawn for a new generation of children.

Babies of the Great Bear Rainforest book
#118
Babies of the Great Bear Rainforest
Written by and illustrated by Ian McAllister
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

In this photographic board book, readers are introduced to the baby animals born each spring in the Great Bear Rainforest.

A to Z book
#119
A to Z
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

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.

Little Owl's Snow book
#120
Little Owl's Snow
Written and illustrated by Divya Srinivasan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Little Owl experiences his first snow and first winter in this perfect follow-up to Little Owl’s Night and Little Owl’s Day! “Winter’s almost here!” says Little Owl, as he observes leaves falling, animal friends hibernating, and a chill from his feathers to his feet. And just as he and his friend racoon are watching their breath make fog in the cold air, it happens: Snow! Here is the perfect follow-up to Little Owl’s Night and Little Owl’s Day, and a wonderful introduction to the changing of the seasons!

Tractor Mac Farm Days book
#121
Tractor Mac Farm Days
Written and illustrated by Billy Steers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Tractor Mac wakes up eager to start the day. Plow, plant, scoop, mow--there's always a new chore for him and his animal and vehicle friends to do at the farm. When the day is done, he washes up and goes to bed, excited to see what the next day will bring.

From Head to Toe Board Book book
#122
From Head to Toe Board Book
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

What does an elephant do? It stomps its foot. Can you? From the creator of such beloved classics as The Grouchy Ladybug and The Mixed-Up Chameleon comes this interactive story that invites kids to imitate animal movements. Watching giraffes bend their necks or monkeys wave their arms is fun, but nothing could be better than joining in. From their heads down to their toes, kids will be wriggling, jiggling, and giggling as they try to keep up with these animals!Alligators wiggle, elephants stop, gorillas thump, and giraffes bend. Can you do it? ‘ I can do it!’ is the confidence-building message of this fun-filled interactive picture book. A variety of familiar animals invite young children to copy their antics, and as they play, they will learn such important skills as careful listening, focusing attention, and following instructions. Just as alphabet books introduce the very young child to letters and simple words, From Head to Toe introduces the basic body parts and simple body movements. And in the same way that children progress from understanding simple words to reading and writing sentences and stories, so they will progress from simple body movements to dancing, gymnastics, and other sports and activities, with confidence and pleasure. Eric Carle's colorful collages have delighted children for more than a generation. Each book provides hours of fun while encouraging them to stretch their imaginations. His matchless words and illustrations now send out a new challenge: Are you ready? Here we go! Move yourself From Head to Toe. A Main Selection of the Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club

Froggy Plays Soccer book
#123
Froggy Plays Soccer
Written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

It’s the day of the big game, and Froggy is ready. His soccer team is playing the Wild Things for the City Cup. All Froggy has to do is remember the rule: “Head it! Boot it! Knee it! Shoot it! BUT DON’T USE YOUR HANDS!” But Froggy’s busy doing cartwheels and picking daisies. Uh oh, Froggy! Here comes the ball! Budding soccer players and Froggy’s many fans will welcome Froggy’s latest hilarious adventure.

Peekaboo! In the Ocean! book
#124
Peekaboo! In the Ocean!
Written and illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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

Grumpy Pants book
#125
Grumpy Pants
Written and illustrated by Claire Messer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Have you ever had a grumpy day and not known why? Penguin is having a grumpy day like that. No matter what he does, he just can't shake it! Sometimes the only thing left to do is wash the grumpy day away and start over. The simple text and lively illustrations are the perfect cure for even the grumpiest of days.

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