Best Kids Books About Animals

84+ Kids Books About Animals

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Lion's Lullaby book
#1
Lion's Lullaby
Written by Mij Kelly and illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

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

Animal Numbers book
#2
Animal Numbers
Written and illustrated by Thomas Flintham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Join Thomas Flintham on a vibrantly colorful animal adventure that will have the littlest readers counting from one to ten. This friendly whale is number one. He leaps up high, and then he's gone. Four elephants stomp in a row, Marching high and marching low! Filled with bright colors and eye-catching artwork, the critters in Animal Numbers are running, swimming, splashing, dashing, and counting up a storm!

Beauty and the Beast book
#3
Beauty and the Beast
Written and illustrated by Jan Brett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Can't Sleep Without Sheep book
#4
Can't Sleep Without Sheep
Written by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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

Say What? book
#5
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.

Alphabet Kingdom book
#6
Alphabet Kingdom
Written and illustrated by Starla Michelle Halfmann
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.

1, 2, 3 Sea Creatures book
#7
1, 2, 3 Sea Creatures
Written and illustrated by Toko Hosoya
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-5

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

Henry's Bright Idea book
#8
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.

A Dog Is a Dog book
#9
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.

A Loud Winter's Nap book
#10
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.

The Great Race book
#11
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.

Hello Hello book
#12
Hello Hello
Written and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A new picture book from Brendan Wenzel, the New York Times bestselling and Caldecott Honor-winning author of They All Saw a Cat! Hello, Hello! Beginning with two cats, one black and one white, a chain of animals appears before the reader, linked together by at least one common trait. From simple colors and shapes to more complex and abstract associations, each unexpected encounter celebrates the magnificent diversity of our world—and ultimately paints a story of connection. Brendan Wenzel's joyous, rhythmic text and exuberant art encourage readers to delight in nature's infinite differences and to look for—and marvel at—its gorgeous similarities. It all starts with a simple "Hello." The book includes: • An afterword from author Brendan Wenzel about the importance of conservation and protecting the wildlife on our planet. • A glossary of the animals featured in the book and a notation on their status (Near Threatened, Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically Endangered).

Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? book
#13
Who Ate All the Cookie Dough?
Written by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Kanga and her friends try to discover who ate all of her cookie dough.

Today Is Monday book
#14
Today Is Monday
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Learn the days of the week with bestselling author/illustrator Eric Carle through song! String beans, spaghetti, ZOOOOP, roast beef, fresh fish, chicken and ice cream are the delicious fare during the week in this popular children’s song. Until Sunday. Then, all the world’s children are invited to come together and share in the meal. Celebrated artist Eric Carle brings new energy to these much-loved verses as lively animals parade across the page, munching on favorite dishes, and introducing young readers to the names of the days of the week. Both art and song invite children to join in the procession and sing along.

How Are You?/ Cómo Estás book
#15
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.

Crunch! book
#16
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 Gruffalo book
#17
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. . . .

A Tower of Giraffes book
#18
A Tower of Giraffes
Written and illustrated by Anna Wright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A drove of pigs, a romp of otters, an ostentation of peacocks, and a tower of giraffes. . . . This clever book introduces young readers to some of the words we use to refer to animals in a group. The ink, watercolor, and fabric collage art is brightly colored and uniquely sets this fun book apart from the crowd. Each page presents information about an animal and its group behavior, such as how geese fly in a V-shape and honk to encourage the leaders, and that sometimes tens of thousand of flamingos meet up in one location. Young readers will have a great time and create a wellspring of new vocabulary words.

Hello, Little Egg! book
#19
Hello, Little Egg!
Written and illustrated by Penguin Young Readers Licenses
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Welcome to Puffin Rock—home to two young puffins, Oona and Baba. Join them on their adventures from the Netflix series, Puffin Rock. Oona, Baba, and Mossy are out playing when they discover a mysterious egg. It’s a race against time as they try to find the parents before it hatches!

A Mighty Bitey Creature book
#20
A Mighty Bitey Creature
Written by Ronda Armitage and illustrated by Nikki Dyson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

All is quiet in the jungle. But not for long! “Who bit my lovely green bottom?” shouts Frog. He rushes to tell King Lion, who will surely know just what to do. But soon Monkey (eek-eek-eek! ) and Zebra (ya-a-a hooo! ) encounter something mighty and bitey, too. Can the King of the Jungle save them all? What kind of creature would test its super-sharp teeth on everything it meets? Vivid illustrations, rhythmic language, and a surprise perpetrator combine for a rollicking read.

I Just Want to Say Good Night book
#21
I Just Want to Say Good Night
Written and illustrated by Rachel Isadora
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Caldecott Honor-winner Rachel Isadora’s stunning oil paintings illustrate this delightful bedtime tale, set on the African plains. The sun has set and the moon is rising, and that means it’s bedtime. But not if Lala has a say—because she’s not ready to go to sleep! First she needs to say good night to the cat. And the goat. And the chickens. And, and, and . . . Lala’s adorable stalling strategy will ring true for all parents whose little ones aren’t ready to say goodbye to the day—and all will appreciate the wonderful culmination to the bedtime ritual.

Elephants Walk Together book
#22
Elephants Walk Together
Written by Cheryl Lawton Malone and illustrated by Bistra Masseva
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

As calves, Asian elephants Precious and Baba roam the wild together, curious and proud. But when they get captured and are split up, their time together seems like a distant memory. Still, separated by many miles and over many years, their friendship remains, and there’s hope they will once again roam wide open spaces together.

Animal Grossology book
#23
Animal Grossology
Written by Sylvia Branzei and illustrated by Jack Keely
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Author Sylvia Branzei and illustrator Jack Keely prove once again that they know what fascinates&150and completely disgusts&150kids of all ages. Learn about slimy creatures, vomit-munchers, bloodsuckers, and unforgettable animal poops. It’s an icky concoction of information, but it contains a heaping helping of real and memorable scientific facts. With a perfect-bound spine and all new covers, Animal Grossology is easy to read! And it is perfect timeing, as the Grossology Museum Tour begins this summer.

A Bear Hug at Bedtime book
#24
A Bear Hug at Bedtime
Written by Jana Novotny Hunter and illustrated by Kay Widdowson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

On my way to bed, I play with a tiger, a lobster and a bear – and lots of other creatures too. But why are they so familiar? In this celebration of imaginative play, a young child is surrounded and enriched by an extended and diverse family. Inclusive and playful, this is the ideal bedtime read.

If I Were a Kangaroo book
#25
If I Were a Kangaroo
Written by Mylisa Larsen and illustrated by Anna Raff
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

If I were a kangaroo, I’d pick you up and carry you In my pocket, sleepyhead, And hop you gently off to bed. It’s time for sleep, and this fun-to-read rhyming tale envisions the bedtime rituals of animals from whales to otters, squirrels to gorillas. So curl up, imagine your favorite animal, and…zzzzzzzzzzz.

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