Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to baby animals. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about baby animals.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about baby animals, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Hatch to popular sellers like Owl Babies to some of our favorite hidden gems like Appleblossom the Possum.
We hope this list of kids books about baby animals can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
Mama has trained up her baby possums in the ways of their breed, and now it’s time for all of them—even little Appleblossom—to make their way in the world. Appleblossom knows the rules: she must never be seen during the day, and she must avoid cars, humans, and the dreaded hairies (sometimes known as dogs). Even so, Appleblossom decides to spy on a human family—and accidentally falls down their chimney! The curious Appleblossom, her faithful brothers—who launch a hilarious rescue mission—and even the little girl in the house have no idea how fascinating the big world can be. But they’re about to find out! With dynamic illustrations, a tight-knit family, and a glimpse at the world from a charming little marsupial’s point of view, this cozy animal story is a perfect read-aloud and a classic in the making.
Can you guess what each egg will hatch?
Read the rhyming clues and let your child guess before they “hatch” each egg by lifting the flap to find out who is inside. This lift-a-flap book has a smart but simple design that will entertain and educate about egg-dwelling baby animals.
Invites young readers to match the sentences on each page with similar sentences featuring opposing terms that appear in a corner of the book that has pages that move independently.
Discover what these baby animals become when they grow up in this sweet board book by award-winning author Douglas Florian. Once I was a pollywog, but now I am a frog. Once I was a piglet, but now I am a hog. In this fun, rhyming story by award-winning author Douglas Florian, meet different baby animals and discover what they become when they grow up! The baby/adult pairs include: pollywog/frog; piglet/hog; cub/bear; leveret/hare; gosling/goose; calf/moose. And at the end, meet a little boy who will always be his mama’s bundle of joy!
Every mother knows that the sweetest way to say “I love you” is with a kiss. This loving book shows that animals know all about a mother’s love, too.
Chuckling Ducklings and Baby Animal Friends - Here’s a puppy, there’s a kitten . . . a yawning fawn and chuckling ducklings The perfect introduction to animal names and animal groups, Chuckling Ducklings features baby animals of every variety. The bouncing text and adorable illustrations will become a favorite with kids as they learn the special baby names that match all the grown-up animals they know and love.
Baby Penguins Everywhere! - Can there be such a thing as too many adorable penguins? One day a penguin sees a most unusual sight: a hat floating in the icy water. Even more unusual? Out of the hat pops a baby penguin. But not just one baby penguin . . . or even two. But a third, and a fourth, and on and on! At first the mama penguin is happy for the company. Until she realizes that taking care of a family is very hard, very tiring work, and what she could really use is just a moment alone. Yet as newcomer Melissa Guion reminds us in her adorable debut picture book, alone time is all well and good, but, it’s family time that’s best of all. Perfect for any mama penguin with a family, or classroom, full of mischievous little ones. And perfect for toddlers who will smile over all the little penguins and the silliness that ensues.
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.
Baby Farm Animals - This deluxe Little Golden Book–sized board book will be a favorite for springtime gift-giving! More than 60 years ago, Garth Williams, illustrator of Charlotte’s Web and the Little House books, wrote and illustrated what became an instant classic, featuring the cutest, fuzziest farm animals. Generations of children have loved Baby Farm Animals ever since.
Baby bunnies go on a spring day adventure in this delightful Classic Board Book from acclaimed artist and author Jorey Hurley. A perfect gift for your little one’s Easter basket!
Listen. Follow. Hide. Snuggle.
A quiet spring day holds unpredictable adventure when a mother rabbit leads her three bunnies out to explore. Their world seems playful at first, but it can suddenly turn dangerous. The natural world holds unpredictable adventures for them at every turn.
Celebrate the beauty of spring with this vibrant Classic Board Book that’s a perfect read-aloud for parents and little ones to share.
Learning about the zoo has never been more fun for parents and kids with this board book, which shows baby lions, elephants, and giraffes in action. Get ready to visit the best part of every zoo with Zoo Babies, a book introducing early readers to the pint-sized versions of their favorite exotic animals. This itty-bitty zoo-on-the-go takes adorable baby animals, stirs in some fun illustrations, and adds easy descriptive sentences—-a recipe for a guaranteed good time. Baby elephants spraying water, lion cubs at play, and tiny giraffes learning to stand will easily capture the hearts of kids and parents alike in Zoo Babies.
When the flowers begin to bloom and the world starts turning green, animals everywhere are born . . . including the noisy ducklings!
From the creator of A Book of Sleep and Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit comes a beautiful book of baby animals. Travel with the curious duck and visit babies around the world on their very first day of life.
The Boston Globe calls Il Sung Na’s art “so joyous, so jubilantly colorful, it feels celebratory and poetic even when the story is simple and spare.”
Featuring spreads with raised, shaped objects that fit into scooped cutouts on their opposite page, these new TouchThinkLearn books offer the youngest learners an opportunity to explore in a hands-on, multisensory way. Seeing the image, tracing its shape, saying its name—these modes of perception combine to stimulate understanding of essential concepts. Discover a polar bear by tracing its raised outline on one side, and the concave shape of its cozy den on the other! Related words on each spread offer a springboard for further conversation to encourage the language skills crucial to later successful learning. In a format unlike any other, these groundbreaking books translate abstract thought into tangible knowledge.
In this photographic board book, readers are introduced to the baby animals born each spring in the Great Bear Rainforest.
And Tango Makes Three - The heartwarming true story of two penguins who create a nontraditional family is now available in a sturdy board book edition. At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo were a little bit different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. And with the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo got the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own.
Just a Duck? - Now that Cat has learned to play games that Duck enjoys, it’s Duck’s turn to try things that Cat likes. However, climbing trees and swatting at leaves prove to be a bit tricky for flat-footed Duck. What’s an unlikely pair of friends to do?
Psst! I Love You - Celebrates the love between parents and children of every species. In lilting rhyme, the book introduces toddlers to an array of super-adorable animal parents and babies—including cows, horses, sheep, cats, owls, ducks, roosters, and, of course humans. What do they all say to each other? I LOVE YOU! This is the perfect read-aloud and goodnight story.
Born in the Wild - What do grizzly bear cubs eat? Where do baby raccoons sleep? And how does a baby otter learn to swim? Every baby mammal, from a tiny harvest mouse “pinky” to a fierce lion cub, needs food, shelter, love, and a family. Filled with illustrations of some of the most adorable babies in the kingdom, this awww-inspiring book looks at the traits that all baby mammals share and proves that, even though they’re born in the wild, they’re not so very different from us, after all!
New York Times bestselling duo Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin’s beloved story about a noisy duckling is now available as a Level 2 Ready-to-Read!
There’s more trouble on the farm, but Duck has nothing to do with it, for once. This time the trouble is a four-ounce puff of fluff who just won’t go to sleep, and whose play-with-me “peeps” are keeping the whole barnyard awake with him.
Peep! Peep! Peep!
How do you get a baby duck to hit the hay? Poor Farmer Brown will find out—and Duck might just find himself in trouble after all…
When three baby owls awake one night to find their mother gone, they can’t help but wonder where she is. Stunning illustrations capture the owls as they worry about their mother: What is she doing? When will she be back? Not surprisingly, a joyous flapping and dancing and bouncing greets her return, lending a celebratory tone to the ending of this comforting tale. Never has the plight of young ones who miss their mother been so simply told or so beautifully rendered.
Presents a series of simple illustrations in black and white of the faces of baby animals, including both domestic animals and such wild creatures as a zebra and a panda.
Sometimes bath time means a roll in the mud, and sometimes it’s a plunge in the snow. Little ones learn how baby animals friends clean up.
A baby is born and the world rejoices!
With a loving mama, a trumpeting herd, curious cousins, and even some dancing peacocks heralding this little one’s arrival, it is apparent that the joy and wonder a new baby brings is shared by all!
Varsha Bajaj’s lilting prose and Eliza Wheeler’s enchanting scenes of a wide-eyed baby elephant and its smitten family celebrate the importance of family and community in every child’s life. Set in the lush wilds of India, this is an endearing, beautifully illustrated tribute to little ones getting their first warm welcome to the world.
Pouch! - Caldecott Honor winner David Ezra Stein’s delightful tale of a baby kangaroo’s first hops toward independence is perfect for board book audiences. Joey wants to go exploring, but at first he isn’t sure he’s ready to leave Mama’s safe, warm pouch. Touching on a universal childhood experience, this sweet tale celebrates trying new things.
Art Barn (Noah's Park) - Welcome to Noah’s Park! From celebrated author and illustrator Sam Williams comes a brand-new board book series for preschoolers about a group of cute, cuddly critters who meet each day for a new adventure. In this first book, it’s time to paint at the Art Barn! A sweet board book series with irresistible art, this book is perfect for preschoolers looking to see their own first experiences mirrored with these new friends.
Homes in the Wild - As informative as it is lovely, Homes in the Wild is an adorable nonfiction picture book from author/illustrator Lita Judge that shows that wild creatures—from beavers to bobcats, and sloths to squirrels—aren’t so different from us after all. Just like us, every baby animal has a home. Some live in complex burrows deep underground, others in simple nests high in the treetops. But all homes, regardless of where they are or how they’re built, serve the same purpose: providing shelter where a baby can eat, sleep, learn, and stay safe while growing up. Animal lovers will delight in this gorgeously illustrated peek inside the homes—from burrows deep underground to nests high in the trees—where baby animals live and grow.
Peek-a-Baby: Ocean - Baby animals are hiding in the ocean! Lift the flaps to help each animal parent find their babies, from playful dolphin pups to a shy whale calf. Peekaboo fans will delight in revealing every adorable baby animal—and learning what special sound they make! With cleverly layered pages and distinctive limited-palette artwork, this is a board book series to treasure.
Quacking ducklings. Bleating lambs. Cheeping chicks. On the Farm offers up a fun, foundational introduction to the sounds of six barnyard animals that are sure to fascinate every preschool learner. Simple, rhythmical text introduces the baby and adult forms of each creature by describing the sounds they make to communicate with one another. Detailed illustrations, meanwhile, provide a colorful backdrop of the developing farm scene. Set within a durable board book format, this is a title all young readers will talk about!
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.
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.
Babies love baby animals, and now they can learn all about them in a book that’s indestructible. This charmingly illustrated menagerie includes some of the fuzziest, wuzziest, cuddliest, and cutest babies in the animal kingdom. With over two million copies in print, Indestructibles are the books built for the way babies read. They are 100 percent baby-proof, chew-proof, rip-proof, and drool-proof. Printed on a unique nontoxic, paperlike material that holds up to anything babies can throw at it—gumming, spilling, dragging across the floor—Indestructibles are the little books that could. They’re indestructible. And if they get dirty, just throw them in the wash.
With simple, rhyming text and lavish illustrations by Charles Fuge, this vibrant board book explores the lives of the cutest critters in the land: baby animals! From baby bears who feel safest up a tree and baby penguins who nest on their daddy’s feet to baby koalas who hitch a ride on their mama’s back, each spread features unlikely pairs of baby animals playing and interacting. Ducks, chimps, elephants, rhinos, meerkats, whales, and even sea horses all make an appearance to bring delight children of all ages.
Love - Join a baby rabbit and its parent as they spend a glorious sunny day together in the meadow. The little rabbit finds love everywhere, but knows that a parent’s love is the best love of all!
Ninita's Big World - “The heart-tugging true story of how YouTube star Ninita—a deaf, orphaned pygmy marmoset (the smallest type of monkey)—found family, friendship, and a forever home! Illustrated in full color. Ninita is the only known deaf pygmy marmoset in the world, but that doesn’t stop her from making friends and chasing her next adventure! Abandoned by her parents and rescued by the RSCF, this tiny, curious monkey loves exploring her habitat. And when she meets Mr. Big—another pygmy marmoset—she has finally found a friend who likes to eat, climb, and play as much as she does. A YouTube celebrity, Ninita’s videos have been viewed nearly 2 million times! “
You Nest Here with Me - Now available in a board book edition, this lyrical bedtime book is an ode to baby birds everywhere and to sleepy children, safe in their beds. As a mother describes how different species of birds nest, secure and cozy with their mama birds, she tucks her own child into bed with the soothing refrain — “you nest here with me” — easing her little one and readers alike to slumber. Accompanied by beautiful artwork by award-winning illustrator Melissa Sweet, mother and daughter Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple have combined their poetry writing and love of birding in this board book that is sure to become a bedtime classic.
Indestructibles: Mama and Baby! - Here is a book babies can really sink their gums into. Built for the way babies read, Indestructibles are printed on an amazing paperlike material that can’t be ripped, torn, or punctured. Indestructibles are 100 percent safe and nontoxic, and if they get too funky, just throw them in the washing machine or dishwasher. They’re made for baby to hold, grab, chew, pull, and bend, and are designed to create an even more special bond between reader and baby. Printed without words, the parent gets to make up the story, or just cuddle with baby while they explore together. Mama and Baby! is about mothers and babies of different species. Kaaren Pixton’s art is bright, swirling with color, and reminiscent of Eric Carle, and it attains an almost 3D richness on the special paperlike stock of the book.
When Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs, she does it on Mr. Seahorse’s belly! She knows he will take good care of them. While he swims waiting for the eggs to hatch, he meets other underwater fathers caring for their babies. Now Eric Carle’s heart-warming New York Times bestseller is finally available in a board book edition, complete with the clear “peek-a-boo” pages that made the original such a hit. Brimming with bright, colorful sea life, this new board book will be irresistable to young children everywhere.
Baby animals are hiding on the farm! Lift the flaps to help each animal parent find their babies, from noisy chicks to messy baby pigs. Peekaboo fans will delight in revealing every adorable baby animal—and learning what special sound they make! With cleverly layered pages and distinctive limited-palette artwork, this is a board book series to treasure.
A poetic text and wonderfully intimate photographs follow a newborn sandhill crane as it takes its first steps into the world. Will my legs hold me? What if I fall? Peek in as a sandhill crane hatchling makes its first wobbly stand and takes its first steps alongside its brother. With their parents close by, they flap their wings and dance before enjoying a buggy treat. Someday they will fly with the majestic cranes overhead, but for now, Mama’s soft feathers beckon. With a lyrical narrative and lovely photo illustrations, this latest venture from an acclaimed creative team makes a perfect new baby gift — and will appeal to bird lovers, too.
Can a kitten and a parrot be friends? Meet some cute—and unlikely—animal pals! Friends come in all diferent shapes, sizes, and colors, and these animals are learning to befriend creatures that don’t quite look like them. With adorable photographs and clever, humorous text, this book helps children learn to embrace diversity.
My First Book of Baby Animals - A sweet tiger cub, padding softly on its paws across the ground. A little lion getting its head nuzzled by mama as they soak in the sun. Two young kangaroos—joeys—at play. An infant chimpanzee, clinging lovingly to its mother’s back. Nothing’s more irresistible than an animal baby, and with these magnificent photos, kids can meet the cutest ones of all, and their families, too. From two fox kits climbing on logs, to an adorable baby bunny, to a trio of polar bears huddling close to stay warm, to penguins, polar bears, eaglets, and foals, these precious creatures will fascinate human “cubs”—and entice them to look at the pictures over and over again.
How to Be a Cat - In this tender board book, a kitten practices the basics of feline behavior over the course of a day. A single word of text per spread teaches readers “how to be a cat”—how to stretch, clean, pounce, feast—while the striking paper cuts illustrate the kitten’s attempts to imitate an adult cat’s mastery of each skill. At times, the kitten triumphantly succeeds, and at other times the kitten struggles, in vignettes that range from whimsical to profound. A celebration of all things feline, How to Be a Cat also tells a universal story of mastering life skills, and of the loving relationship between parent and child.
Counting Sheep: Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet - In rural Texas in 1901, thirteen-year-old Callie nurses a butterfly with a broken wing and delivers a baby lamb, despite her mother’s disapproval of Callie’s “unladylike behavior.”
Next to You - When it comes to new babies, friends, or other loved ones, we should remind them of just how darling they are. But are they cuter than a piglet in a sweater? A basket of baby chicks? An elephant calf taking a bath? Of course! Sweet, funny, irreverent, but above all, cute, this keepsake-size book is perfect for both gift-giving and cuddly story times.
With bright photographs of adorable puppies and soft, furry textures to feel, P is for Puppy is the perfect first book to share with your baby. Each cuddly puppy is accompanied with gentle, rhyming text which will engage your little one as you share the book together. Every page also features a soft, furry, touch-and-feel texture for baby to explore—great for stimulating your little one’s senses and developing early motor skills.
Meet a menagerie of the animal kingdom’s most adorable and beloved creatures - babies! Award-winning illustrator Charles Fuge pairs unlikely baby animal friends-big, small, slimy, and furry-to show what makes our favorite stars of the natural world unique. Along with vibrant illustrations, Fuge presents silly, funny, laugh-out-loud rhymes to stir a child’s fascination with animals. Learn what makes each amazing animal baby unique and what they all have in common. This enchanting picture book is guaranteed to delight children of all ages.
Cozy up with this cuddly Level 1 Ready-to-Read about baby zoo animals that’s perfect for emerging readers!
What do koala bears, panda bears, sea otters, snow leopards, and people have in common? They all love to snuggle! Nestle up with your little ones and the ZooBorn babies in this sweet Level 1 Ready-to-Read that’s perfect for even the youngest animal lover!
A graphically gorgeous book about how different animals live and the lively, loving relationships they have with their babies.
Chicks! - When a family brings home chicks from a local farm, they must do everything they can to make sure their feathered friends thrive in their new environment. With the help of their knowledgeable parents, the children provide the baby chicks with food, water, warmth, and proper shelter. Young readers will chirp along happily page after page, learning to read as they watch the fuzzy little chicks grow into downy adult chickens, who will eventually lay eggs of their own!
ZigZag ZooBorns! - Get to know a whole new herd of zoo babies in this darling picture book about colors and patterns from the creators of ZooBorns.com. Calling all animal enthusiasts! It’s time to learn about colors and patterns with a crew of irresistible zoo babies. Featuring adorable animal photos, zippy text, and a fact-filled glossary, this just might be the cutest concept book ever to hit the shelves!
Baby Animals Take a Nap - Some baby animals get rest standing up, and others get sleepy while swimming. Sleepy little humans will be lulled by animal friends getting cozy.
Bath Time! - A photographic book for when your little one says: I don’t want to take a bath! Entice your reluctant bather to the tub with this irresistible book of adorable animal photographs! Each one of these cute creatures—from a muddy piglet (“I’m not that dirty, am I?”) to a resistant raccoon—says no to bathing. But there’s no way around it; they must get squeaky clean. By the end, everyone concludes that baths aren’t so bad after all!
What’s a baby otter called? Or a baby duck? In this collection of river creatures and their young, Julia Groves’ distinctive art style captures each animal’s unique beauty.
How does Baby Duck dry off after a swim? Follow along with this cute baby animal as it experiences its world, from playtime to bedtime. The simple, comforting stories in this go-to baby gift series have made it a multimillion seller. Featuring a permanently attached plush finger puppet, each volume offers parents and children a fun, interactive way to play and read as they build a lifelong love of books together.
Great for fans of the Little Bear series, this collection of four sweet stories of friendship and discovery makes a perfect new baby gift. This collection of simple, short, and irresistibly sweet stories about Baby Bear finding things—and figuring out what to do with them—includes “Baby Bear Finds a Book,” “Baby Bear Finds a Flower,” “Baby Bear Finds a Baby Bird,” and “Baby Bear Finds a Friend.” Charmingly written and illustrated by celebrated artist David McPhail, the impeccably classic feel of the text and art will take readers back to Sendak’s Little Bear and Lobel’s Frog and Toad books.
There’s no place like home in this warm and cozy lift-the-flap board book from bestselling author Karen Katz! The day is ending and everyone in the neighborhood is taking a good night walk. But where is baby bird’s home? And where is baby deer’s home? In this interactive book from Karen Katz, little ones can lift the sturdy, easy-to-lift flaps on each page to look for each baby’s perfect home—a place full of warmth and love. Filled with bright, striking art, and adorable baby animals, this sweet book proves that there’s no place like home.
What’s a baby goat called? Or a baby panda? In this collection of mountain creatures and their young, Julia Groves’ distinctive art style captures each animal’s unique beauty.
Snow Babies - This delightful book—now in board—introduces kids to those wide-eyed, furry, and irresistible animal babies that live in the snow. They’re soft, fluffy, cuddly, and cute—and they all love snowy places. Time to meet the snow babies! From roly-poly polar bear cubs happy at play to seal pups snuggling and penguin chicks waddling, there’s nothing more adorable than these baby animals. Toddlers will love Laura Ellen Anderson’s bold pictures.
Wake Up, Sleepy Head! - A collection of short poems that capture the thoughts and feelings of young animals as their mothers try to wake them up.