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Animals: Picture Books For Kids

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.

Top 10 Books About Animals

The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR! book
#1
The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!
Written and illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.

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?

Lion's Lullaby book
#2
Lion's Lullaby
Written by Mij Kelly and illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-2
Thoughts from 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.

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.

Blue Chicken book
#3
Blue Chicken
Written and illustrated by Deborah Freedman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
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.

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

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
Thoughts from 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 .

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.

Ribbit! book
#5
Ribbit!
Written by Rodrigo Folgueira and illustrated by Poly Bernatene
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

When a pig visits a frog pond, sits on a rock, and says only "Ribbit!", news spreads fast but only the wise old beetle has an explanation.

Chimpanzees for Tea! book
#6
Chimpanzees for Tea!
Written and illustrated by Jo Empson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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.

Cuckoo! book
#7
Cuckoo!
Written and illustrated by Fiona Roberton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from 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!

Cuckoo hatches. And all is well. But when his brothers and sisters sing out Too-too-weet! Too-too-weet! Cuckoo instead chirps Cuckoo! and no one can understand him. When he leaves his nest, Cuckoo still can’t find anyone who speaks his language. He tries to communicate with the other animals—coomooing and buckooing and cabooing along the way—but he doesn’t sound like anyone else out there! Just when he thinks all is lost, Cuckoo finds an unlikely friend who understands him perfectly.

1, 2, 3 Sea Creatures book
#8
1, 2, 3 Sea Creatures
Written and illustrated by Toko Hosoya
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-5
Thoughts from 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!

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!

Alphabet Kingdom book
#9
Alphabet Kingdom
Written and illustrated by Starla Michelle Halfmann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-4
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.

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.

Grumpy Monkey book
#10
Grumpy Monkey
Written by Suzanne Lang and illustrated by Max Lang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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!).

Books About Animals and Bedtime

Lion's Lullaby book
#1
Lion's Lullaby
Written by Mij Kelly and illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-2
Thoughts from 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.

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.

Can't Sleep Without Sheep book
#2
Can't Sleep Without Sheep
Written by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from 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 .

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.

Sleep Like a Tiger book
#3
Sleep Like a Tiger
Written by Mary Logue and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

At bedtime a young girl asks "Does everything in the world go to sleep?"

Honorable Mentions
  1. A Bear Hug at Bedtime - 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.

  2. I Would Tuck You in - Perfect for fans of The Runaway Bunny, this children's bedtime story is filled with baby animals and their mothers: an otter tucks her little one into a kelp forest bed; a family of brown bears snuggle all through the winter; a humpback whale sings a song to soothe her calf. Lovingly illustrated and lyrically written, I Would Tuck You In is written and illustrated by husband-and-wife author and artist team Mitchell Watley and Sarah Asper-Smith.

  3. The Flying Squirrel Stowaways - Follow two flying squirrels who choose the Boston Christmas Tree as their home and accidentally stow away on an international adventure! I t’s wintertime in Nova Scotia, and two flying squirrels are busy exploring the woods around their spruce-tree home. After a busy night of playing and gliding and snacking, they’re ready to settle down and sleep all day. But humans have other plans: the tree is cut down and packed onto a truck bound for Boston, Massachusetts. It turns out their new home has been chosen as Halifax’s annual thank-you gift, the Boston Christmas Tree! The little squirrels have no idea they’re about to embark on a journey across Atlantic Canada and Maine on the way to Boston. Will the accidental stowaways be discovered? And what awaits them in their new American home?

Want to see more children's books about bedtime?

Books About Animals and Making Friends

The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR! book
#1
The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!
Written and illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.

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?

Elwood Bigfoot book
#2
Elwood Bigfoot
Written by Jill Esbaum
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Elwood Bigfoot is big, LOUD . . . and lonely. It's hard for him to make friends especially with the tiny birdies whose chirps and cheerful songs help him feel less alone. But whenever a hopeful Elwood hollers at a birdie to STAY, the scared creature flies away. Will Elwood "ever" find a way to befriend the birdies?"

How to Win Friends and Influence Creatures book
#3
How to Win Friends and Influence Creatures
Written and illustrated by Deborah Zemke
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Friends - A girl from a faraway place begins her first day at school. She doesn’t speak the language and she looks different. She just doesn't fit in. But one day, she makes an unexpected friend—a squirrel! Then a rabbit joins them. Soon the girl’s fuzzy woodland friends are followed by human ones and school becomes more fun! When a surprising new student joins the class, the girl and her new friends know just how to make him feel at home.

  2. Mr. Duck Means Business - Mr. Duck enjoys a quiet morning routine on his private pond every day until other animals mistakenly think he has invited them to join him, in a simple tale that illustrates the importance of friendship.

  3. Bikes for Sale - Maurice rides his bike to his shop every day. Lotta rides her bike to collect sticks every day. Both go about their separate routines, unaware of the friendship that awaits them just a few blocks away. But what happens when a branch and a lemon peel get in the way? This delightful falling-in-like story from acclaimed picture book creators Carter Higgins and Zachariah OHora celebrates the power of coincidence to lead us to the friends we're meant to meet all along.

  4. Polly and Her Duck Costume - Polly and Her Duck Costume tells the true story of Polly, a little blind goat who was rescued by Leanne Lauricella, rescuer of farmyard animals and founder of the immensely popular Instagram account The Goats of Anarchy. Polly has some trouble adapting to her new life until her new mom gives her a warm and fuzzy duck costume, which turns out to be the perfect fit! Follow along with Polly as she finds love with her new family, gains confidence, and makes new friends. The perfect tale to inspire and delight animal lovers, Polly and Her Duck Costume pairs beautiful illustrations with a truly heartwarming tale readers of all ages will adore.

Want to see more children's books about making friends?

Books About Animals and Friendship

Ribbit! book
#1
Ribbit!
Written by Rodrigo Folgueira and illustrated by Poly Bernatene
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

When a pig visits a frog pond, sits on a rock, and says only "Ribbit!", news spreads fast but only the wise old beetle has an explanation.

Goat's Coat book
#2
Goat's Coat
Written by Tom Percival and illustrated by Christine Pym
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

This charmingly illustrated rhyming picture book about Alfonzo, a goat with a very special coat, celebrates the power of kindness and friendship. Let me tell you the tale of Alfonzo the goat, who was terribly proud of his lovely new coat. Alfonzo was happy; he pranced and he skipped. Then he heard a sad noise, croaking out of a ditch. Alfonzo couldn't be happier. He just got an amazing new coat, and he feels like a million dollars. But when he discovers some creatures in need of help, will Alfonzo be able to give up his treasured possession to save the day? This great big hug of a book shows that kindness is definitely the best recipe. Awards for Tom Percival Herman's Letter--A Kids' Indie Next List Pick

You Should, You Should! book
#3
You Should, You Should!
Written and illustrated by Ginny Tilby
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Hippo's morning starts off good, until friends say, “You should! You should!” You should prance! You should sing! Wear this hat! Stretch your wing! Though Hippo wants to be a friend, he wonders when the “shoulds” will end. Hippo and friends will soon find out that being yourself is what life's about.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Friends Stick Together - Rupert is a rhinoceros of refined sensibilities. Levi, the new tickbird in class, is not. He burps the alphabet, tells corny jokes, and does really embarrassing air guitar solos. Worse, he lands right on Rupert and is determined to be Rupert’s symbiotic best pal! Rupert wants him gone. But when Levi finally does bug off, Rupert finds the peace and quiet a little boring. It turns out, Rupert could really use a friend like Levi.

  2. The Very Long Sleep - Bear, Fox, Chipmunk and Marmot are all very good friends. They think it would be wonderful if they all lived in one grat big house. Beat, Chipmunk and Marmot, however, forgot to tell Fox one small thing which makes for a very lonely winter indeed.

  3. Sweety - Sweety is awkward, even for a naked mole rat, but with encouragement from her Aunt Ruth, she begins to see that being herself is the best way to find a friend.

  4. Hey, Dog - A boy cares for, feeds, and helps an abused stray dog to learn to trust humans again.

Want to see 15 more children's books about animals and friendship?

How about children's books about friendship?

Books About Animals and The Ocean

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

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!

Inky's Amazing Escape book
#2
Inky's Amazing Escape
Written by Sy Montgomery and illustrated by Amy Schimler-Safford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Learn all about Inky the Octopus, an international sensation known for escaping from the New Zealand aquarium in April 2016, in this adorable picture book from National Book Award nominee and octopus lover Sy Montgomery. Inky had been at the New Zealand aquarium since 2014 after being taken in by a fisherman who found him at sea. Inky had been getting used to his new environment, but the staff quickly figured out that he had to be kept amused or he would get bored. Then one night in 2016 Inky, about the size of a basketball, decided he’d had enough. He slithered eight feet across the floor and down a drainpipe more than 160 feet long to his home in the sea. Acclaimed author Sy Montogmery reminds readers that Inky didn’t escape—but instead, like the curious animal he is, wanted to explore the rest of the vast ocean he called his home.

Hello, World! Ocean Life book
#3
Hello, World! Ocean Life
Written and illustrated by Jill McDonald
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

All young children love to play in the waves at the beach. Now here’s a Hello, World! board book that teaches them all about oceans and the creatures and plants that live there.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Octopuses One to Ten - "A fascinating counting journey through the amazing and mysterious world of octopuses"--

  2. Who's Hiding at the Beach? - There are lots of creatures at the beach. 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, shells, and seaweed to find out lots of interesting facts about seaside wildlife. This is the perfect introduction to the outdoors.

  3. Aquarium - A girl ventures to the water's edge, dreaming of a new friend. And, just like that, a beguiling red fish leaps into her life. But is friendship a sea these two can navigate together? From debut Argentinian author-illustrator Cynthia Alonso comes a wordless picture book about the timeless beauty of nature, the transcendent power of connection, and the importance of letting go.

  4. Slide-N-Seek Ocean - Explore a new and exciting way to learn about creatures that live in the ocean with this Slide-N-Reveal book. You'll see colorful images appear before your very eyes with the turn of a wheel. Learn fun facts about each creature and discover hidden images throughout each page. Kids will love this fun and interactive format and learn about beautiful creatures along the way.

Want to see more children's books about the ocean?

Books About Animals and Love

I've Loved You Since Forever book
#1
I've Loved You Since Forever
Written by Hoda Kotb and illustrated by Suzie Mason
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lyrical text and illustrations of baby animals and their mothers show the love of a parent.

Beauty and the Beast book
#2
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.

If Animals Said I Love You book
#3
If Animals Said I Love You
Written by Ann Whitford Paul and illustrated by David Walker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

If animals said “I love you” like we do…how would they say it? Whale would make bubbles shoot from her spout. Boa would give her hatchlings a hug. Gorilla would snuggle his child to sleep. And across the animal kingdom, every creature would show love in a special way. Ann Whitford Paul and David Walker are back with If Animals Said I Love You, a sweet imagining of love in the animal world.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Summer - During a hot summer day in the grasslands, the animals race to claim the single spot of shade on the safari. The selfish elephant triumphs over the rest. The animals fight until they are inspired by a selfless act of love to offer shade to one another. With lyrical text, bright and delicate art, and a die-cut surprise, Summer is an introduction to animals and a testament to the power of kindness.

  2. Warts and All - Love isn’t just for the cute, the sweet, and the cuddly. Whether you’re awkward as a baby ostrich, prickly as a tiny hedgehog, or drool like a puppy pug, someone loves you no matter what! This new story from the team that created Next To You features an irresistible array of adorably stinky, grouchy, burpy, and warty animals to drive the point home.

Want to see more children's books about love?

Books About Animals and Nature

Fur, Feather, Fin—All of Us Are Kin book
#1
Fur, Feather, Fin—All of Us Are Kin
Written by Diane Lang and illustrated by Stephanie Laberis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

There are so many wild and wonderful animals in our world. Some have fur, some have feathers, some have fins, but all are connected. This fact-filled rhyming exploration of the diversity of the animal kingdom celebrates mammals, birds, insects, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and more! It’s a perfect match for budding naturalists and animal enthusiasts everywhere.

That Fruit Is Mine! book
#2
That Fruit Is Mine!
Written and illustrated by Anuska Allepuz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Pop-Up Jungle book
#3
Pop-Up Jungle
Written and illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

In another palm-size pop-up book, designer Ingela P. Arrhenius showcases flora, fauna, and other familiar scenes of the jungle with her trademark retro style. Hop aboard a riverboat for a colorful trek into the depths of the jungle with its many wonders. Tree frogs, monkeys, and jewel-toned birds are just a few of the extraordinary creatures that make their home within this lush green forest. Stylish and well-crafted, this miniature pop-up from the illustrator of the oversize hit Animalswill let imaginations go wild.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Hello Hello - 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).

  2. Bush Tracks - What can you see? Follow the clues that landscape, seasons, weather, the stars, the moon and the sun give to navigate bush tracks and find the Australian animal. A lyrical, fun story about tracking animals in the bush featuring vibrant illustrations by Balarinji, Australia's leading Indigenous design studio.

  3. The Secret of the Egg - Discover the delights of nature with zoologist, poet, and top children's book author, Nicola Davies. Follow the young adventurer as she explores eggs of all shapes and sizes, where they may be hiding and what secrets could be held within. The easy rhymes encourage children to join in. With zoologically accurate, bright, and exciting illustrations by Abbie Cameron, this book explores the huge variety of animal and insect eggs and is one in a series of rhyming picture books which entertain and educate on a wide range of animals.

  4. Natural World - A first introduction to the natural world that looks at the myriad ways in which plants and animals have adapted to give themselves the best chance of survival. Natural World explores and explains why living things look and behave the way they do in a series of visually compelling information charts.

Want to see 33 more children's books about animals and nature?

How about children's books about nature?

Books About Animals and Science

Over and Under the Pond book
#1
Over and Under the Pond
Written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In this gorgeous companion to the acclaimed Over and Under the Snow and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal bring to life a secret underwater world. In this book, readers will discover the plants and animals that make up the rich, interconnected ecosystem of a mountain pond. Over the pond, the water is a mirror, reflecting the sky. But under the pond is a hidden world of minnows darting, beavers diving, tadpoles growing. These and many other secrets are waiting to be discovered...over and under the pond.

Me . . . Jane book
#2
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.

Mama Dug a Little Den book
#3
Mama Dug a Little Den
Written by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by Steven Jenkins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

There are so many different kinds of dens that mother animals make for their babies, from desert burrows to snow caves to elaborate underground tunnels. Jennifer Ward introduces young readers to all sorts of animals and the cozy burrows they call home in this bouncy, rhyming picture book, illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Steve Jenkins.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Mama Built a Little Nest - Illustrations and simple, rhyming text introduce different kinds of birds' nests, from the scrapes that falcons build atop high, craggy ledges to the underground nests that burrowing owls dig. Includes brief facts about each kind of bird.

  2. Water Sings Blue - Come down to the shore with this rich and vivid celebration of the ocean! With watercolors gorgeous enough to wade in by award-winning artist Meilo So and playful, moving poems by Kate Coombs, Water Sings Blue evokes the beauty and power, the depth and mystery, and the endless resonance of the sea.

  3. Badir and the Beaver - I t’s Ramadan, a time to focus on good deeds and to fast, and Badir and his brother, Anis, are out for a walk one evening while they wait for their iftar meal. In the park Badir sees a rat. A very, very large rat. He soon learns it’s actually a beaver, an animal that doesn’t live in Tunisia, the country Badir and his family have emigrated from. It turns out that some of the neighbors who enjoy the park think this beaver is a bit of a pest, but Badir thinks it’s wonderful and learns everything he can about the iconic Canadian animal. When a petition is started to remove the beaver, Badir, who knows firsthand how difficult it is to leave your home behind, rallies his classmates to save it. And with a little help from new friends, the kids learn that collaboration and faith can change the way we think about the world.

  4. Butterflies in Room 6 - Kindergarteners raise butterflies from egg to adult in this close-up look at the insect life cycle. Follow a classroom of real kindergartners as they participate in a popular activity: raising butterflies. Astonishing photographs show the life cycle of the painted lady butterfly, from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to adult. Engaging text captures the children's wonder and explains the science behind metamorphosis.

Want to see more children's books about science?

Books About Animals and Problem Solving

The Little Green Hen book
#1
The Little Green Hen
Written and illustrated by Alison Murray
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A timely retelling plays off "The Little Red Hen" with an environmental slant. On top of a hill, inside an old and very fruitful apple tree, lives Little Green Hen. She prunes the tree's branches, rids it of pests, and sows its seeds so that more trees will grow. But soon the work proves too much, and Little Green Hen seeks some help. Dog (who loves sticks), Sparrow (who loves bugs), and Squirrel (who loves burying things) are glad to pitch in. But Peacock, Fox, and Cat have far more important things to do -- until the storms roll in, the rain comes down, and the waters rise. . . . With contemporary flair, Alison Murray offers another engaging adaptation of a traditional children's tale.

What Does an Anteater Eat? book
#2
What Does an Anteater Eat?
Written and illustrated by Ross Collins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Anteater is hungry, but he has completely forgotten what anteaters eat. Baffled, and with his tummy rumbling, he consults the other animals. Sloth is too busy, Toucan is clueless, and Crocodile has his own mouth full. Whatever will Anteater do? It isn't until the ants all run for their lives that Anteater remembers what he should be eating . . . and it's not what you think! A delightfully silly tale that little ones will return to again and again.

Henry's Bright Idea book
#3
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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Giraffe Problems - Can you guess what’s making this giraffe self-conscious? Could it be . . . HIS ENORMOUS NECK?? Yes, it’s exactly that–how on earth did you figure it out? Cyrus the giraffe can’t understand why his neck is as long and bendy and, well, ridiculous as it is. No other animal has a neck this absurd. He’s tried disguising it, dressing it up, strategically hiding it behind bushes–honestly, anything you can think of, he’s tried. Just when he has exhausted his neck-hiding options and is about to throw in the towel, a turtle swoops in (well, ambles in, very slowly) and helps him understand that his neck has a purpose, and looks excellent in a bow tie.

  2. A Ruckus in the Garden - Pettson and Findus are back in this uproarious tale about gardening! When Pettson announces that it’s time to plant seeds in the garden, Findus, his cat, plants a meatball. The hilarity continues as each night their hard work is undone by hungry chickens, then a rogue pig. When cows set up shop, Pettson and Findus must hatch a plan to protect their garden and Findus’s meatballs.

  3. Many: the Diversity of Life on Earth - The more we study the world around us, the more living things we discover every day. The planet is full of millions of species of plants, birds, animals, and microbes, and every single one including us is part of a big, beautiful, complicated pattern. When humans interfere with parts of the pattern, by polluting the air and oceans, taking too much from the sea, and cutting down too many forests, animals and plants begin to disappear. What sort of world would it be if it went from having many types of living things to having just one?

  4. The Seal Garden - When storms roar and orcas are on the prowl, it’s the seal gardens of the Great Bear Sea that provide safety and shelter to sea lions, otters, a variety of seals and other sea mammals. Ian McAllister’s glorious photographs reveal the beauty and mystery of this rarely seen place of refuge. This is the third book in the My Great Bear Rainforest series, following Wolf Island and A Bear’s Life.

Want to see more children's books about problem solving?

Books About Animals and Non-fiction

Beware of the Crocodile book
#1
Beware of the Crocodile
Written by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

You probably know a little about crocodiles already. They’re reptiles, they have an awful lot of teeth, and they’re pretty scary — at least, the big ones are! They’re not very fussy about what they eat, and when it comes to hunting down dinner, crocodiles are very determined . . . and very cunning. But there’s more to crocodiles than just their appetites. They love to nap on warm sandbanks and cool off in calm waters, and crocodile mothers are very gentle with their babies. This fascinating look at one of Earth’s most infamous creatures is full of information for amateur scientists, with back matter that includes an index, notes on species, and suggestions for further reading.

Zoo Day book
#2
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.

Out of Sight book
#3
Out of Sight
Written by Francesco Pittau and illustrated by Bernadette Gervais
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

In this big, beautiful, astonishing book, more than 50 animals are hiding. In elegant drawings and graphic, eye-catching layouts, Out of Sight will enthrall children with the amazing variety of the animal kingdom.

Honorable Mentions
  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. Way Down Below Deep - Swim with the ocean's most secret creatures! What mysteries lurk at the bottom of the ocean? Discover some of the world's most fascinating animals, such as anglerfish, luring prey to a toothy doom with a siren's light; vampire squid, peering forth with red eyes; and sea cucumbers, filtering food from the water passing through their bodies. Follow the lanternfish as he lights the way down to the mysterious deep, where whale worms sprout from bones and all varieties of jellies float free. Children will learn about these bizarre bottom-dwellers through clever rhymes and captivating drawings that bring this sunless land to light. Fun, sometimes silly, facts and images accompany each rhyming marine description.

  3. Bugs Don't Hug - Meet the mamas and papas of the insect world in this fresh and funny nonfiction look at how bugs are like us from popular science author and teacher Heather Montgomery. Most insects don't take care of their young, but some do--in surprising ways. Some bugs clean up after their messy little ones, cater to their picky eaters, and yes--hug their baby bugs. A fun and clever look at parenting in the insect world, perfect for backyard scientists and their own moms and dads.

  4. Terrific Tongues - This fascinating and whimsical nonfiction picture book uses humorous comparisons and playful artwork to teach children the unusual ways that a variety of animals--from woodpeckers to snakes to bats--use their tongues to find food, eat, and clean themselves. In this nonfiction picture book, kids will learn about the woodpecker, which uses its tongue to burrow for insects under tree bark; the okapi, which can wash its face and ears with its tongue; and the octopus, which uses its tongue to drill holes in shells. Through debut illustrator Jia Liu's bright, playful collage artwork, readers can imagine what it would be like to have a tongue like a sword, like a straw, or like a party blower, among many other silly and illuminating comparisons. The back matter expands on each animal tongue's unique abilities and includes information about other fun tongues, too.

Want to see more children's books about non-fiction?

Books About Animals and Adventure

The Way to the Zoo book
#1
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
#2
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.

Night Knight book
#3
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!

Honorable Mentions
  1. When a Tree Grows - When Moose rubs his antlers against the tree where Squirrel built his nest, he sets off a chain of comic catastrophes. The tree falls and wakes Bear, who stumbles into Moose, who causes a truck to swerve. But then Squirrel jumps onto that truck and ends up in the city, all alone. Who will help him get home? A sweet story of friendship, generosity, and how one fun thing leads to another.

  2. Froggy Plays Soccer - 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.

  3. Kitty Alone - Kitty Alone is the latest in a series of captivating picture books, each based on a beloved songtale from the great American folk music heritage. This beautifully illustrated version sets the song in the Appalachian Mountains and uses a bobcat, called a "woods ghost" by locals, as the title character. Like the other titles in the First Steps in Music series, Kitty Alone includes song history and notation, along with a free download link for the song, sung by Jill Trinka.

  4. Carl and the Meaning of Life - From the often Caldecott-buzzed Deborah Freedman, a sweet and funny story about finding your place in the world. Carl is an earthworm. He spends his days happily tunneling in the soil until a field mouse asks him a simple question that stops him short: "Why?" Carl's quest takes him on an adventure to meet all the animals of the forest, each of whom seems to know exactly what they were put on this earth to do, unlike the curious Carl. But it's not until the world around him has changed that Carl begins to realize everyone, no matter how small, makes a big difference just by being themselves.

Want to see more children's books about adventure?

Books About Animals and Imagination

The Gruffalo book
#1
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. . . .

The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse book
#2
The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Every child has an artist inside them, and this vibrant picture book from Eric Carle will help let it out. The artist in this book paints the world as he sees it, just like a child. There’s a red crocodile, an orange elephant, a purple fox and a polka-dotted donkey. More than anything, there’s imagination. Filled with some of the most magnificently colorful animals of Eric Carle’s career, this tribute to the creative life celebrates the power of art.

Ruby's Sword book
#3
Ruby's Sword
Written by Jacqueline Véissid and illustrated by Paola Zakimi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Ruby is always racing after her big brothers. But no matter how hard she tries, she can never catch up. Then one day, she discovers some sticks in the grass. Not just any sticks—swords! And suddenly the world is her kingdom. Readers will cheer on Ruby's perseverance and creativity as they delight in the antics of the adorable animals that join her along the way. Anyone who has ever imagined themselves the star of their own swashbuckling adventure will find this sweet book irresistible.

Honorable Mentions
  1. A Couch for Llama - When the Lago family's new couch accidentally falls off their car, it's found by Llama, who discovers how much fun a couch can be.

  2. Animal City - Nina journeys to a secret jungle city populated by animals, plants, and lost objects. The reason for her visit: story hour, where a book's power holds the wild in thrall. The animals are eager for stories about space, the sea, and other worlds. But their favorite story of all is the one told here: a story about a mysterious place, laden with legend and lore, and now overtaken by nature. Five Pantone colors infuse each illustrated spread with a vibrant, electric energy, making this powerful celebration of nature—and stories—as vivid visually as its narrative is engrossing.

  3. It Starts With a Seed - In gentle rhyme, It Starts With a Seed evocatively explores the growth of a tiny sycamore seed. Taking a journey through the seasons and years, we follow the seed as it transforms from a seedling to a sapling, then a young tree, until it becomes a large tree with its branches and roots filling the page. As the tree grows, it is joined by well-loved woodland creatures – squirrels and rabbits, butterflies and owls – who make it their home. Beautiful and evocative, It Starts With a Seed is a factual story that will touch children with its simple but enchanting message of life and growth.

  4. The Singing Rock and Other Brand-New Fairy Tales - A genie just wants a chance to grant a wish to the frog who accidentally let him out of his lamp—meanwhile, the frog just wants to be left alone. A witch is tormented by the cheerful (and awful) singing of a persistent bard, but when she finally snaps and turns him into a rock, he just keeps on singing —somehow the power of terrible music overcomes all magic. A wizard wants a pet. An ogre just wants to make beautiful art. Four original, wry, and utterly charming fairy tales comprise this new collection for young readers. With deft, lively text from Nathaniel Lachenmeyer and eye-popping, painterly art by Simini Blocker, The Singing Rock is the perfect read for kids who love a good yarn—and good comics!

Want to see more children's books about imagination?

Books About Animals and Bears

The Bear Who Stared book
#1
The Bear Who Stared
Written and illustrated by Duncan Beedie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

There once was a bear who liked to stare... and stare... and STARE. Bear doesn't mean to be rude, he's just curious but too shy to say anything. But nobody likes being stared at and it soon gets Bear into trouble. Luckily a goggly-eyed frog helps Bear realise that sometimes a smile is all you need to turn a stare into a friendly hello.

I Want My Hat Back book
#2
I Want My Hat Back
Written and illustrated by Jon Klassen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The bear’s hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as the bear begins to despond, a deer comes by and asks a simple question that sparks the bear’s memory and renews his search with a vengeance. Told completely in dialogue, this delicious take on the classic repetitive tale plays out in sly illustrations laced with visual humor — and winks at the reader with a wry irreverence that will have kids of all ages thrilled to be in on the joke. A New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of 2011! A picture-book delight by a rising talent tells a cumulative tale with a mischievous twist.

There Are No Bears in This Bakery book
#3
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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Please Please the Bees - 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?

  2. Bizzy Bear: Race Car Driver - Bizzy Bear is ready to win the race in this board book full of things to push and pull. Today, Bizzy Bear is driving in a big race -- ready, set, go! Switch the light to signal the start and help him speed along in his race car and zoom around the track. Then lift the flag as he crosses the finish line! But will he get there first? Another exciting title in this best-selling series, which encourages preschoolers to get involved in the storytelling.

  3. If Polar Bears Disappeared - What would happen if polar bears disappeared from the planet? Find out in this gorgeous, accessible nonfiction picture book that imagines the consequences of a world without polar bears.

  4. 10 Reasons to Love... a Bear - Bears are incredible creatures! Did you know that they can sleep for months on end? Or that they hum when they are happy? Discover ten reasons why bears are amazing and five ways you can show they love them in this gorgeous picture book. A must for any young animal enthusiast and a fantastic introduction to environmental issues.

Want to see more children's books about bears?

Books About Animals and Animal Sounds

Animobiles book
#1
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!

Say What? book
#2
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.

The Loud Book! book
#3
The Loud Book!
Written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Renata Liwska
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

From the blare of an alarm clock in the morning to snores and crickets in the evening, simple text explores the many loud noises one might hear during the course of a day.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Can You Say It, Too? Tweet! Tweet! - Lift the flaps to reveal the animal and learn its noise in this fun and interactive series. Children will love spotting the bird, lifting the flap to reveal the complete creature, and then making its noise in this latest book in the Can You Say It, Too? series. Sturdy flaps and simple text combine with friendly artwork to make a fantastic first book that is great for sharing with children who are just starting to talk.

  2. I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo! - While showing her timid gal pals the wonders of the woods, brave Nadine the cow discovers that she is not entirely fearless.

  3. Boom! Bellow! Bleat! - This playful collection of poems--peppered with an astounding variety of animal sounds--is meant to be read aloud together. These poems for two or more voices explore the myriad sounds animals make--from a frog's jug-o-rum to a fish's boom! to an elephant's bark. Laced with humor, the poems are a delight to read aloud and cover all major classes of animals: mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, even a crustacean! Readers will learn how to estimate the temperature by counting a cricket's chirps and see how creatures make sounds at specific pitches and frequencies, so that they can be heard despite other noise around them. Extensive end notes provide more information on the animals and how and why they make the sounds they do. Written by noted children's poet Georgia Heard, this is an ideal collection for parents and children to share, or for a fun, interactive classroom read-aloud.

Want to see more children's books about animal sounds?

Books About Animals and Farm

Picken book
#1
Picken
Written and illustrated by Mary Murphy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Mix and match the front and back of farm animals to create funny new species! If you could cross a calf with a chicken, would that be a cacken? How on earth do you make a chiglet? Would a kippy satisfy folks who love kittens and puppies? With this inventive book, children are invited to flip the pages to make outlandish creatures with silly hybrid names. Featuring boldly colored, simply shaped animals ready to be mixed up again and again, these sturdy board-book pages open to the left and the right for easy manipulation by little hands.

Who's Hiding on the Farm? book
#2
Who's Hiding on the Farm?
Written by Nosy Crow and illustrated by Katharine McEwen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

There are lots of animals on the farm. 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 behind bushes, hay bales, and barn doors to discover lots of interesting facts about farmyard animals. With spreads that take readers through all four seasons, this is the perfect introduction to the outdoors.

The Very Busy Spider book
#3
The Very Busy Spider
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

A spider, blown by the wind to a fence post near a farm yard, begins to build her web and cannot be distracted from the task at hand–not by the horse, cow, sheep, goat, or dog. But when the rooster asks if she wants to catch a pesky fly, the busy spider is able to catch it in her web immediately!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Maisy's Farm - Maisy takes preschoolers to her pop-up farm for hours of fun! What's more fun than a day on the farm? A day on the farm with Maisy! Maisy's Farm is an amazing three-dimensional pop-up farm full of things to do and animals to love. The sturdy stand-up Maisy figure has arms that move and a tractor to ride in. Children will love to help Maisy milk the cow, collect the eggs, tend to the vegetable patch, and more! With twenty-six full-color press-out pieces and loads of flaps to lift and tabs to pull, there's no end to the fun on Maisy's farm.

  2. Moo - From the creator of the New York Times bestsellers Heads and Dog. Oink, cluck, squeak, moo . . . cock-a-doodle-doo! Ingeniously designed flaps and pull tabs, accompanied by pettable textures, offer a flock of interactive fun in this innovative introduction to seven species of barnyard residents. Toddlers will delight in identifying and imitating each critter!

  3. What the Ladybug Heard - Although much quieter than the farm animals that moo, cluck or oink, a gentle ladybug is instrumental in foiling a plan to steal the farm's prize-winning cow. By the author of The Gruffalo.

  4. Saving Emma the Pig - Welcome to Apricot Lane Farm, a unique world full of true stories about heartwarming animals’ relationships and the special people who care for them. When Emma the pig arrives at the Apricot Lane Farm, she is about to give birth to piglets. But she is also sick, and after her seventeen babies arrive, Emma is unable to care for them. Taking care of seventeen piglets and a sick mama pig are a challenge for Farmer John and his team. But the cure for Emma reminds them what is most important—for pigs and for humans: love and friendship.

Want to see more children's books about farm?

Books About Animals and Birds

Birds book
#1
Birds
Written and illustrated by Carme Lemniscates
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Brilliant graphic illustrations and a gentle, thought-provoking text pay homage to birds and their wonder-inspiring ways. Birds are like thoughts. They come, stay awhile . . . and then fly away. Birds come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They like to chat with one another as they fly high and low in the sky. Birds make music, with songs that are like the loving words of a friend, and we are lucky enough to enjoy those sweet melodies. But best of all, birds are capable of flying wherever they please -- they just let their hearts guide them. And we can do that, too, if we use our imaginations. In a lyrical ode to our winged friends, the creator of Trees turns her eye to a diverse class of creatures that has much to teach about transcending the barriers that lie between us.

The Sheep Who Hatched an Egg book
#2
The Sheep Who Hatched an Egg
Written and illustrated by Gemma Merino
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lola is proud of her amazing wool. After all, everyone on the farm tells her how beautiful she looks. She spends hours brushing her wool to keep it shiny and silky. Until one day when the weather gets hot, and all the sheep have to get haircuts—including Lola! She’s so upset without her wool that she runs away and hides by herself. And when her wool finally grows back, it’s tangled, messy…HORRIBLE! But hiding in Lola’s wool is a wonderful surprise, one that will help her realize that she doesn't have to be pretty or perfect in order to be a friend…or to be extraordinary!

Toucans, Too book
#3
Toucans, Too
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

This hilarious follow-up book to Cockatoo, Too features cockatoos, toucans, two-can stew, and gnus! One can. Two cans. Toucans? Toucans, too. Toucan stew???! The cockatoos are back, and the toucans are too! But the toucans think the cockatoos say "toucan stew" and run away in a toucan canoe, so the cockatoos make them some two-can stew, which attracts the gnus, who ask the reader, "Can gnu?" Bethanie Deeney Murguia's fabulous follow-up to the well-received Cockatoo, Too combines fantastically funny wordplay with lush, vibrant illustrations, making this a humorous read-aloud that both children and parents will love!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Wordy Birdy - Wordy Birdy LOVES to talk. “Hello, sunrise. Hello, pink sky. Hello, orange sky!” But does she love to listen? NOPE. One day, while she’s walking through the forest, her gift of the gab gets her into hot water: “That’s a pretty tree and that’s a pretty tree and that’s a pretty danger sign and that’s a pretty tree… .” Will this inattentive bird walk right into danger? Will her faraway thoughts lead her along a path of doom? It’s up to her long-suffering, heard-it-all-before pals Squirrel, Raccoon, and Rabbit to save their distracted friend. Author Tammi Sauer will have kids and their parents in stitches with this funny, fast-paced, lovable caper about the importance of paying attention—and the importance of standing by your friends through thick and thin.

  2. How the Finch Got His Colors - Many years ago, before the world bloomed in magnificent colors, the Earth lay stark and gray. The animals that graced its skies and roamed its lands were the colors of dirt, clay, and stone . . . . . . until Rainbow descended to bestow her colors on the creatures of the world. Each bird asked for a bright and beautiful color: green for Parrot, red for Cardinal, and yellow for Canary. But will there be any colors left for little Gouldian Finch? He soon learns the power of patience and the beauty of all creatures. Based on a Belgian folktale, this beautifully told and illustrated tale is a timeless treasure for every collection.

  3. Hidden City - A poetic book highlighting everyday nature The perfect blend of science and poetry, Hidden City demonstrates that nature can thrive anywhere, even in highly populated areas. In this graceful collection of poems, skyscrapers serve as perches for falcons, streetlights attract an insect buffet for hungry bats, and an overgrown urban lot offers shelter to both flora and fauna. Hidden City also includes engageing supplementary materials, which provide scientific information about the animals and plants featured in the book. Coupled with beautiful collage illustrations, the poems in Hidden City offer readers the perfect reminder to notice and care about their environment.

Want to see more children's books about birds?

Books About Animals and Fact Filled

Mad about Monkeys book
#1
Mad about Monkeys
Written and illustrated by Owen Davey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Ever wonder what monkeys are and what makes them so special? With over 250 species inhabiting our planet, this book explores the many different types of monkeys from the smallest Pygmy Marmoset to the largest Mandrill as well as providing all the facts you wanted to know and more. Discover where monkeys come from, how they swing from tree to tree and why they fight and play with each other. After reading this beautifully illustrated book by Owen Davey, you’ll soon you’ll be raving mad about monkeys!

What's the Difference? book
#2
What's the Difference?
Written by Emma Strack and illustrated by Guillaume Plantevin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

What distinguishes a mandarin orange from a clementine, an iris from a pupil, a tornado from a cyclone, and a bee from a wasp? The difference is in the details! This content-rich illustrated extravaganza distills the distinctions between an impressive collection of pairs—from animals to food to geography and more—offering enlightening trivia, amusing tidbits, and unforgettable facts in a highly browsable format. Young readers can dip in quickly to feed their curiosity, or delve into the details and stay awhile. With a bold, graphic art style and an accessible, smart text, this miscellany collection will enrich probing minds (or is it "brains"?!).

This Is a Sea Cow book
#3
This Is a Sea Cow
Written and illustrated by Cassandra Federman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

When an imaginative second grader writes a school report about sea cows, the subject is not happy with her portrayal. Sea Cow—or Manatee, as she prefers to be called—comes to life on the pages of the report and decides to defend herself against unflattering comparisons to set the record straight with fascinating facts about manatees.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Who Am I? - Gorgeous nature photography introduces readers to endangered species in this picture book from Tim Flach Who is that peeking through the page? Is it a giant panda munching on bamboo? Or perhaps a yellow-eyed tree frog hiding in a tropical forest? Who Am I? uses clever riddles and stunning images by esteemed photographer Tim Flach (taken from his Abrams adult book Endangered) to introduce ten vital species-at-risk to readers. With its engaging and timely message, this beautifully crafted picture book is perfect for the youngest animal enthusiasts.

  2. 50 Wacky Things Pets Do - Have you ever wondered why your dog chases its tail or how your cat manages to land on its feet every time? 50 Wacky Things Pets Do takes an up-close look at all the weird and funny things our pets do, from dogs snacking on poop and guppies jumping out of tanks, to cats meowing and ferrets dancing happily. Paired with equally wacky illustrations, 50 wild and incredible facts are presented, along with educational information about each animal’s habits and personality quirks. Whether seriously strange or downright silly, these wacky facts are sure to delight kids while they learn all about pets and their peculiarities.

  3. Animal Grossology - 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.

  4. 50 Wacky Things Animals Do - Did you know that giraffes clean their ears with their tongues? Or that food passes through a giant squid's brain before going to its stomach? 50 Wacky Things Animals Do describes 50 unbelievable animals and the things they do that seem too crazy to be true - but are! Whether incredible, funny, or just plain gross, these peculiar and fascinating animal behaviors will surprise and delight fun-fact lovers of all ages.

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How about children's books about fact filled?

Books About Animals and Alphabet (abc's)

Alphabet Kingdom book
#1
Alphabet Kingdom
Written and illustrated by Starla Michelle Halfmann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-4
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.

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.

My First Animal ABC book
#2
My First Animal ABC
Written by A. J. Wood and illustrated by Maurice Pledger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Turn the pages from A to Z to discover this animal ABC! Turn the pages to discover the wonderful world of animals while learning ABCs! In My First Animal ABC by award-winning illustrator Maurice Pledger, kids are introduced to animals from all over the world with letters that start from A to Z. Fold-out pages are included on every page, allowing for even more exploration and discovery. After reaching the letter Z, kids can pin up the included poster for even more animal ABC fun!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Odd Animal Abc's - A is for Alligator, B is for Bear, and so on, right? Not in this book. The odd animals are taking over! It's time to meet Aye-Aye, Fossa, Numbat, Xenops and more curious, yet real animals that are ready for their spotlight. Laugh along as they introduce the letters of the alphabet in their own odd way!

  2. Animalphabet - A wondrous and beautiful A-to-Z guessing game from the bestselling author of Room on the Broom From ant to butterfly to caterpillar . . . to zebra and then back again, Animalphabet is an entertaining puzzle as well as a gorgeous alphabet book to treasure. Who can slither better than a rabbit? A snake! Who can growl better than a snake? A tiger! There are clever hints and peekaboo holes within the artwork that will amaze and delight young children as they learn to use the alphabet. This is a preschool must-have.

  3. Adventures with Barefoot Critters - A seasonal romp through the alphabet features a cast of adorable animal characters who gather honey in the springtime, build cozy campfires in the fall and share other indoor and outdoor activities that correspond with their letters.

  4. The Crab Alphabet Book - With his signature humor and amazing facts, best-selling author Jerry Pallott a offers a decapod for every letter of the alphabet. From A is for Arrow Crab to Z is for Zebra Hermit Crab, young scientists learn about a vast variety of crab species, their body parts, where they live, what they eat, and more. Did you know that the Imocaris is a fossil that scientists believe was the first crab to inhabit the earth?

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Books About Animals and The World

Inside Outside book
#1
Inside Outside
Written by Anne-Margot Ramstein and illustrated by Matthias Aregui
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the creators of Before After comes another striking book of opposites, this time exploring the concepts of within and without with bright, bold graphics. Safe inside its shell, a baby bird prepares to brave the world. A spelunker descends into a wide and glittering cavern while fellow explorers cluster around a crack in the earth. Fire-red ants march busily around their anthill, oblivious of a hungry anteater waiting above. Smart and stylish, this oversize art book takes a unique approach to the concept of inside and outside, offering clever and unexpected examples that will delight readers and spark conversations about context and perspective. Inside Outside is sure to find a place in collections, on coffee tables, in classrooms, and anywhere curious minds can be found.

Wilderness book
#2
Wilderness
Written by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Marcos Navarro
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

This brilliantly illustrated book takes young readers to the planet's wild regions, including forests, jungles, tundras, and deserts to discover the animals that call it home. This captivating book brings the natural world into sharp focus. Beautifully colored and intricately detailed illustrations depict places as exotic and wide-ranging as Senegal's Niokolo-Koba National Park, Russia's Sikhote-Alin mountain range, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka, Daintree National Park in Australia, the Mexican desert, and China's bamboo forests. The animals that live in these remote places, cleverly hidden in the trees, plants, and flowers, create a marvelous challenge for young readers to find and identify. Each spread contains more than twenty different species including birds, snakes, frogs, iguanas, leopards, tigers, gorillas, pandas, and wolves. The back of the book is filled with additional information about the animals and their habitats. Young readers will find much to discover, explore, and learn in this absorbing celebration of our planet and the amazing creatures we share it with.

Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever book
#3
Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever
Written and illustrated by Richard Scarry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Welcome to Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever! Featuring everything from an airport to a grocery store, this fun-filled book has hundreds of objects clearly labeled so that little readers can expand their vocabularies. In print for fifty years, this classic book has sold over 5 million copies around the world and brought billions of new words to little ones across the globe. Learning has never been more fun!

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. One Day a Dot - One Day a Dot explores the age-old question: Where did we come from? Where did everything come from? Starting with one tiny dot and continuing through the Big Bang to the rise of human societies, the story of our universe is told in simple and vivid terms. But the biggest question of all cannot be answered: Where did that one dot come from? One Day a Dot is a beautiful and vibrant picture book that uses the visual motif of circles as to guide young readers through the stages of life on Earth.

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Epilogue

9 books that are just too good to leave off of our animals list.

  1. Blue Chicken - 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.

  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. 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!).

  1. Little Fox and the Missing Moon - Help Fox solve another simple mystery in this bedtime companion to Apples for Little Fox! The mystery-loving fox from Apples for Little Fox returns with a new case! When Fox dreams that the moon is missing, he and his friends go on a quest to find it and return it to the sky. Teamwork and companionship are highlighted in this simple, inviting mystery that allows readers to follow along. The muted palette and clean design will calm overstimulated children at the end of their busy days.

  2. A Crash of Rhinos - Introduces in rhyming text the collective names used for various animal groups.

  3. The Night Gardener - Everyone on Grimloch Lane enjoys the trees and shrubs clipped into animal masterpieces after dark by the Night Gardener, but William, a lonely boy, spots the artist, follows him, and helps with his special work.

  4. Animals - Know someone who loves creatures? Animal lovers will fixate on this giant book presenting thirty-two big, bold images of friendly beasts. From a star of children's design in Sweden comes an exquisite array of animals rendered with whimsy and stylish splendor. Every oversize page highlights a different specimen, from an adorable sheep to an elegant flamingo, from an endearing hippo to a silly-looking snake. Each animal's name appears in a different eye-catching type treatment, making for an attractive graphic keepsake sure to find a prominent place in nurseries and bookshelves everywhere.

  1. The Giraffe That Walked to Paris - Retells the true story of how the first giraffe ever to come to Europe was sent by the Pasha of Egypt to the King of France in 1826, and the giraffe walked from the disembarkation point of Marseilles to Paris to see the King.

Did you enjoy our animals book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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