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Big Cats (lions, Tigers, Leopard, Etc.): Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about big cats (lions, tigers, leopard, etc.)?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to big cats (lions, tigers, leopard, etc.). To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about big cats (lions, tigers, leopard, etc.).

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, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about big cats (lions, tigers, leopard, etc.), there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Tiger who Came to Tea to popular sellers like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to some of our favorite hidden gems like Library Lion.

We hope this list of kids books about big cats (lions, tigers, leopard, etc.) 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.

Top 10 Books About Big Cats (lions, Tigers, Leopard, Etc.)

Chuckling Ducklings and Baby Animal Friends book
#1
Chuckling Ducklings and Baby Animal Friends
Written & illustrated by Aaron Zenz
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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.

When I Grow Up, I'll Be a Tiger book
#2
When I Grow Up, I'll Be a Tiger
Written by Amy Hammond & illustrated by Charr Floyd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Follow a young Tiger around the campus of Louisiana State University as he dreams about becoming a student at LSU. A book for LSU fans of all ages.

Zoe and Zak and the Tiger Temple book
#3
Zoe and Zak and the Tiger Temple
Written by Lars Guignard
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Zoe and Zak have learned some things since their first semester at Moonstock Himalayan Academy in India: #1 Don’t trust the parrots. #2 Don’t eat the food. #3 And most importantly . . . don’t stick around if something crawls out of the lava hole beneath your school. Last semester, Zoe and Zak returned the first lost Noble Truth to its rightful home. Now, the seventh graders are back in India for their second semester at Moonstock, their boarding school high in the Himalayan mountains where impossible things seem to happen on a regular basis. School kicks off with the Activity Week Challenge in the tiny mountain kingdom of Bhutan where the students must deliver medical supplies. Things take a turn for the worse when Zak becomes deathly ill after an encounter with a strange floating bubble. On returning to Moonstock, Zoe and Zak discover that a creature has come through the lava hole far below their dormitory. When Zoe and Zak follow the creature, they soon learn what they must do. They have been tasked with finding the second lost Noble Truth—the Tiger Eye of Justice. Finding the Tiger Eye sounds like an impossible mission, and it’s only made more confusing when Zak discovers that he has been given a powerful gift to help with the task. But Zak’s new gift is a double-edged sword, and if Zoe and Zak don’t find the Tiger Eye quickly, Zak’s time will run out. The Tiger Temple takes Zoe and Zak deep into an exotic world of magical enchantment and heart-pounding action. It promises to be the most thrilling Zoe and Zak adventure yet.

Jungle Animals book
#4
Jungle Animals
Written & illustrated by Max and Sid
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

The Tiny Touch board books series teaches concepts to little ones in a stimulating and interactive manner! Little ones will love learning about jungle animals in this interactive board book! Embossed pages create a tactile experience for tiny hands.

The Tiger Prowls: A Pop-up Book of Wild Animals book
#5
The Tiger Prowls: A Pop-up Book of Wild Animals
Written by Maggie Bateson & illustrated by Sebastien Braun
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

This beautiful pop-up features a range of stunningly illustrated wild animals. With lyrical text, stylish images and inventive pop-ups, it will be a beautiful addition to any child’s shelf and a gorgeous introduction to some of the world’s most iconic creatures, featuring Maggie Bateson’s eye-catching paper engineering. Sebastien Braun’s rich and recognisable illustration introduces children to a zoo and a half’s worth of animals and, of course, the prowling tiger.

Hello, Animals! book
#6
Hello, Animals!
Written & illustrated by Smriti Prasadam-Halls
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Introduces young readers to ten best-loved animals, including a dog, penguin, panda, cow, and giraffe. On board pages.

The Jungle Book book
#7
The Jungle Book
Written by Rudyard Kipling
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Rudyard Kipling’s beloved collection of short stories about a boy raised by wolves who learns the Laws of the Jungle. Mowgli, lost in the deep jungle as a child, is adopted into a family of wolves. Hunted by Shere Khan, the Bengal tiger, Mowgli is allowed to run with the wolf pack under the protection of Bagheera, the black panther, and Baloo, the brown bear who teaches wolf cubs the Laws of the Jungle.

One Happy Tiger book
#8
One Happy Tiger
Written & illustrated by Catherine Rayner
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

One tiger sits all alone, feeling sad. Then he finds two bright bugs, three colorful birds, and more, and soon he isn’t sad anymore. Children will learn to count from 1 to 10 as they travel with the tiger to each new adventure in this beautiful book of friendship.

Leo the Late Bloomer book
#9
Leo the Late Bloomer
Written by Robert Kraus & illustrated by Jose Aruego
Thoughts from The Goodfather

Leo the Late Bloomer is a nice reminder to be patient, avoid comparing our children to others, and give children space to bloom in their own time.

picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Leo isn’t reading, or writing, or drawing, or even speaking, and his father is concerned. But Leo’s mother isn’t. She knows her son will do all those things, and more, when he’s ready. ‘Reassuring for other late bloomers, this book is illustrated with beguiling pictures.’ — Saturday Review.

Little Black Sambo book
#10
Little Black Sambo
Written by Helen Bannerman & illustrated by Florence White Williams
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10

The Story of Little Black Sambo is a children’s book written and illustrated by Helen Bannerman, and first published by Grant Richards in October 1899 as one in a series of small-format books called The Dumpy Books for Children. The story was a children’s favorite for half a century until the word sambo was deemed a racial slur in some countries and the illustrations considered reminiscent of “darky iconography.” Both text and illustrations have undergone considerable revision since. Sambo is a South Indian boy who lives with his father and mother, named Black Jumbo and Black Mambo, respectively. Sambo encounters four hungry tigers, and surrenders his colourful new clothes, shoes, and umbrella so they will not eat him. The tigers are vain and each thinks he is better dressed than the others. They chase each other around a tree until they are reduced to a pool of melted butter. Sambo then recovers his clothes and his mother, Black Mambo, makes pancakes out of the butter.

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Big Cats (lions, Tigers, Leopard, Etc.) and...

Books About Big Cats (lions, Tigers, Leopard, Etc.) and Tigers

Chuckling Ducklings and Baby Animal Friends
Written & illustrated by Aaron Zenz
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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.

When I Grow Up, I'll Be a Tiger
Written by Amy Hammond & illustrated by Charr Floyd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Follow a young Tiger around the campus of Louisiana State University as he dreams about becoming a student at LSU. A book for LSU fans of all ages.

Zoe and Zak and the Tiger Temple
Written by Lars Guignard
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Zoe and Zak have learned some things since their first semester at Moonstock Himalayan Academy in India: #1 Don’t trust the parrots. #2 Don’t eat the food. #3 And most importantly . . . don’t stick around if something crawls out of the lava hole beneath your school. Last semester, Zoe and Zak returned the first lost Noble Truth to its rightful home. Now, the seventh graders are back in India for their second semester at Moonstock, their boarding school high in the Himalayan mountains where impossible things seem to happen on a regular basis. School kicks off with the Activity Week Challenge in the tiny mountain kingdom of Bhutan where the students must deliver medical supplies. Things take a turn for the worse when Zak becomes deathly ill after an encounter with a strange floating bubble. On returning to Moonstock, Zoe and Zak discover that a creature has come through the lava hole far below their dormitory. When Zoe and Zak follow the creature, they soon learn what they must do. They have been tasked with finding the second lost Noble Truth—the Tiger Eye of Justice. Finding the Tiger Eye sounds like an impossible mission, and it’s only made more confusing when Zak discovers that he has been given a powerful gift to help with the task. But Zak’s new gift is a double-edged sword, and if Zoe and Zak don’t find the Tiger Eye quickly, Zak’s time will run out. The Tiger Temple takes Zoe and Zak deep into an exotic world of magical enchantment and heart-pounding action. It promises to be the most thrilling Zoe and Zak adventure yet.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Jungle Animals - The Tiny Touch board books series teaches concepts to little ones in a stimulating and interactive manner! Little ones will love learning about jungle animals in this interactive board book! Embossed pages create a tactile experience for tiny hands.

  2. The Tiger Prowls: A Pop-up Book of Wild Animals - This beautiful pop-up features a range of stunningly illustrated wild animals. With lyrical text, stylish images and inventive pop-ups, it will be a beautiful addition to any child’s shelf and a gorgeous introduction to some of the world’s most iconic creatures, featuring Maggie Bateson’s eye-catching paper engineering. Sebastien Braun’s rich and recognisable illustration introduces children to a zoo and a half’s worth of animals and, of course, the prowling tiger.

  3. Hello, Animals! - Introduces young readers to ten best-loved animals, including a dog, penguin, panda, cow, and giraffe. On board pages.

  4. The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling’s beloved collection of short stories about a boy raised by wolves who learns the Laws of the Jungle. Mowgli, lost in the deep jungle as a child, is adopted into a family of wolves. Hunted by Shere Khan, the Bengal tiger, Mowgli is allowed to run with the wolf pack under the protection of Bagheera, the black panther, and Baloo, the brown bear who teaches wolf cubs the Laws of the Jungle.

Books About Big Cats (lions, Tigers, Leopard, Etc.) and Lions

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Written by C. S. Lewis & illustrated by Pauline Baynes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.

Open the door and enter a new world! The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second book in C. S. Lewis’s classic fantasy series, which has been captivating readers of all ages with a magical land and unforgettable characters for over sixty years.

Lionel and Molly: Colors
Written by Joanna Lake & illustrated by Jess Racklyeft
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Introducing Lionel and Molly—two best friends exploring the world around them in this touch and feel concept board book. Lionel the lion and Molly the mouse are best friends who love exploring the world together. Join them as they discover the colors and beauty of the seasons, like the bright yellow sun in the summer and big blue rain puddles in the spring.

The Lion Inside
Written by Rachel Bright & illustrated by Jim Field
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

“That day they BOTH learned That, no matter your size, We all have a mouse AND a lion inside.” A mouse feels small and insecure and determines that what he needs to do is learn how to roar like a lion. He knows he has to act brave when he approaches a lion to learn how. In a hilarious turn of events, the lion is afraid of mice! The mouse comforts the lion, they become friends, and we learn that there’s a lion and a mouse inside all of us. The inspiring text by Rachel Bright and the fun, bold illustrations by Jim Field teach young readers an important lesson. Regardless of how big or mighty we are, we can all live our dreams and do what we want to do. Fans of Aesop’s “The Lion and the Mouse” will enjoy The Lion Inside!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Squishy Squashy Lion - Squish and squash the lion as you read the rhyming story and discover all the things that Lion loves to do. Perfect for interactive play, for shared reading or for reading alone, these delightful, touchable books are full of fun!

  2. Say What? - 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.

  3. Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion - 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.

  4. Lionel and the Lion's Share - Lion the lion does NOT like to share. After all, lions always get the lion’s share. He buys all the best instruments from the music ship, all the smartest hats from the hat shop and all the brightest balloons from the balloon stall. But at Chloe’s birthday party Lionel goes too far and eats ALL the cake.

Books About Big Cats (lions, Tigers, Leopard, Etc.) and Imagination And Play

Dandelion's Dream
Written & illustrated by Yoko Tanaka
Select type book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

What if a dandelion became a real lion? With enchanting, ethereal art, this wordless story shares a world where reality can be transfigured by imagination.

In a meadow filled with dandelion buds just about to flower, one dandelion blooms into a real lion. Roots and leaves unfurl into four tiny paws and a long tail with a fluffy yellow tuft. What a great, wide world there is to explore when you have paws instead of roots: there are fast trains to ride, regal ships to sail, and cities with lights as bright as Dandelion’s field in full bloom. But will a real lion ever be content to go back to being a rooted dandelion? Yoko Tanaka’s exquisite illustrations take us on an adventure where even the smallest seeds contain cosmic dreams.

This Is MY Room!
Written by Jennifer Richard Jacobson & illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Jojo’s ready for her first night all alone in her very own room, but a menagerie of animals have other ideas in this charming and fun picture book. Jojo can’t wait to spend the night in her very own bed in her very own room. She doesn’t care what her big sister Margaret says, she’s NOT afraid and she WON’T be back to the bedroom they used to share. There’s just one problem though—there are intruders in her new room! A lion, a bear, and a very persistent tiger seem to think this is THEIR room, not Jojo’s. Is Margaret right? Is Jojo not quite ready to spend the night on her own? Or can Jojo find a way to show that trespassing tiger just who’s boss in HER room?

Henry & Leo
Written & illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Leo isn t just a stuffed toy, he is Henry s best friend and brother. He is as real as a tree, a cloud, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the wind. But when the two are accidentally separated, no one in Henry sfamily believes Leo is real enough to find his way home. With beautiful mixed-media paintings, the Caldecott Honor winning artist Pamela Zagarenski explores the transcendent nature of friendship and love.”

Honorable Mentions
  1. When Your Lion Needs a Bath - When your lion needs a bath, you have to be pretty sneaky! This charming and hilarious board book highlights the many ways to get your lion into that tub! Does your lion need a bath? When your lion needs a bath, you must be a little sneaky. After all, have you ever met a cat who likes water? So gather up your towels and rubber ducks and get that lion into the tub! But be careful…or you just might end up in the bath, too!

  2. Tiger Wild - Sometimes feelings can go wild. . . Lily is a little girl with big emotions. And sometimes she can’t keep herself from acting out and being naughty. Or rather, her imaginary friend, Tiger, is the naughty one. So when Tiger convinces her to run away, they have a blast stomping and jumping and going wild. But what is Lily to do when their adventure starts to feel a bit too wild? Tiger Wild gently illustrates how sometimes we all need a little help when certain feelings are hard to express. For there is a time to be wild and a time to be mild.

  3. Ravi's Roar - From the creator of Perfectly Norman and Ruby Finds a Worry comes a clever and engaging book about controlling temper tantrums. Ravi is the smallest in his family, but most of the time, he doesn’t mind it. Until his short arms can’t reach the monkey bars, he can’t find anyone during hide-and-seek, AND he’s too little to ride the big slide. Ravi is so mad—so furious—that he can’t control his temper anymore . . . . . . and he becomes a ferocious, roaring TIGER! Being a tiger is great fun. Tigers can do ANYTHING they want! But who wants to play with a growling, wild tiger who won’t share or play nicely? Ravi is about to discover something very important about expressing his feelings and making amends. This smart and vibrant new story from the author/illustrator of Ruby Finds a Worry is the perfect springboard for helping children learn how to express and understand their anger.

  4. It's a Tiger! - A child imagines that he is in a story where he encounters a tiger at every turn.

Books About Big Cats (lions, Tigers, Leopard, Etc.) and Imagination

Lionheart
Written & illustrated by Richard Collingridge
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Richard hears something in his room before bedtime. Is it a monster? He doesn’t wait to find out and sets off running through the streets, over the hills, through the forest, and into the fields until he finds himself in a magical jungle. With the help of his stuffed lion Lionheart, Richard finds the courage he needs to face his fears.

Caring for Your Lion
Written by Tammi Sauer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

We know you ordered a kitten, but we ran out of those. SURPRISE: you’re the new owner of a lion! Fortunately, the big cat comes with instructions like, try very hard NOT to look like a zebra. And give your lion PLENTY of space to play. But when the feathers and fur start flying and everything s in chaos, can a lion be a child s purr-fect pet?”

The Night Library
Written by David Zeltser & illustrated by Raúl Colón
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The Polar Express meets The Night at the Museum in this fantastical picture-book adventure about the magic of books and libraries, perfect for book lovers of all ages! After a young boy goes to sleep upset that he’s getting a book for his birthday, he’s visited in the night by Patience and Fortitude, the two stone lions who guard the New York Public Library. Soon, he’s magically whisked away from his cozy home in the Bronx, and the two mighty lions show him the wonder of the library. There, the inquisitive Latino boy discovers the power of books and their role not only in his own life, but also in the lives of the people he loves. Raul Colon’s gorgeous, rich art creates an immersive world in this book about books, which is sure to capture the imaginations of kids and adults and inspire them to grab their library cards and dive into the worlds of stories.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Tiger Walk - One day Tom draws a tiger, inspired by his visit to the art gallery… That night, when Tom can’t sleep, the tiger pads out of his drawing and purrs, “Let’s go for a walk!” It’s the beginning of a magical and life-changing adventure, as the tiger helps Tom to overcome some of his biggest fears.

  2. There's a Tiger in the Garden - A gorgeous and imaginative debut picture book by author/illustrator Lizzy Stewart, perfect for fans of Emily Hughes, Peter Brown, and Julie Morstad. There’s nothing to do at Grandma’s house and Nora refuses to believe any outlandish tales of dragonflies as big as birds, grumpy polar bears who like to fish, or a magnificent tiger all allegedly residing in Grandma’s garden. Nora’s too old for silly games. But this charming picture book proves you are never too young or too old to dream—and adventure can find you when you least expect it. When Grandma says she’s seen a tiger in the garden, Nora doesn’t believe her. She’s too old to play Grandma’s silly games! Everyone knows that tigers live in jungles, not gardens. So even when Nora sees dragonflies as big as birds, and plants that try to eat her toy giraffe, and a polar bear that likes fishing, she knows there’s absolutely, DEFINITELY no way there could be a tiger in the garden . . . Could there?

Books About Big Cats (lions, Tigers, Leopard, Etc.) and Jungle Animals

TouchThinkLearn: Wild Animals
Written & illustrated by Xavier Deneux
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Featuring spreads with raised shaped objects that fit into scooped cut-outs on their opposite page, this new TouchThinkLearn book offers 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 monkey and its jungle home by tracing the raised outline on one side, and the concave shape on the other! Related words on each spread offer parents and child 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.

Where's the Zebra?
Written by Nosy Crow & illustrated by Ingela Peterson Arrhenius
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Five stylishly illustrated spreads show a series of friendly safari animals hiding behind bright felt flaps. A mirror on the final spread makes for a satisfying ending to the book’s search-and-find inquiries. (Where are you? There you are!) A perfect book to share with very little ones.

Rum Pum Pum
Written by Jane Yolen and David L. Harrison & illustrated by Anjan Sarkar
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

“Rrrrh!” means “Let’s be friends” in tiger talk, but the other animals don’t understand him and run away! Maybe the gentle “rum-pum-pum” of the drum can help him.

Fun animal sounds in a story about friendship, communication, and music. A perfect story time read-aloud!

The lonely tiger finds a drum. He strikes it with his tail—and friends start to follow: a monkey who says “chee-chee-chee” which means “I will come too” in monkey talk, a rhino who says “ouggh” which means “I will come too” in rhino talk, a parrot that says “scree-awk,” a chameleon, an elephant, and eventually a child—who is now reunited with the drum he lost. Because of the drum, the tiger is no longer lonely and friendless.

Information about tiger conservation is included in the back.

The authors are the two most beloved contemporary children’s books author-poets.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Little Tiger - Little Tiger goes on an adventure in the jungle, but mama is always close by her cub. Short rhyming lines in this illustrated board book tell a sweet story of youthful adventure and motherly love.

  2. Tiger's Roar - Tiger was the champion of all the jungle. He was strong and bold and proud, and he sat at the top of the very tallest tree. But one day the winds blew, the birds shrieked, the tree shook, and…Tiger fell all the way down to the mud at the bottom of the tree, and bumped his head on a rock. What will it take for Tiger to be able to climb back to the top of the tree? A hugely entertaining picture book about teamwork and never giving up.

Books About Big Cats (lions, Tigers, Leopard, Etc.) and Science And Nature

Most of the Better Natural Things in the World
Written by Dave Eggers & illustrated by Angel Chang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A tiger carries a dining room chair on her back. But why? Where is she going? With just one word per page, in lush, color-rich landscapes, we learn about the features that make up our world: an archipelago, a dune, an isthmus, a lagoon. Across them all, the tiger roams. This enigmatic investigation of our world’s most beautiful places from bestselling author Dave Eggers is beautifully illustrated by debut artist Angel Chang.

Sun Flower Lion
Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Mama Tiger Tiger Cub
Written & illustrated by Steve Light
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Follow Mama Tiger throughout the day as she explores her world in a sweet, simple board book from Steve Light. Mama Tiger swims up a zigzag river full of slippery fish, climbs onto a shady branch of a big tree, and follows a bird into fragrant flowers. What is Mama Tiger looking for? And what will she do once she finds it? In this companion to the celebrated board book Black Bird Yellow Sun, Steve Light explores the sights of the outside world. Little ones will love tagging along with Mama Tiger until she finally winds down for the night — with a one-of-a-kind reunion.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Face to Face With Cheetahs (Face to Face with Animals) - Chris Johns, Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic magazine, brings you face to face with a family of cheetahs. The story begins in Okavango Delta in Botswana—as the cheetah mother hunts her prey and the photographer tracks the elusive cat. After watching the family for four months, he is rewarded when a cheetah cub comes up and actually licks his hand—one of the most profound moments of his life. But the encounter brings a responsibility: to help save these endangered creatures and protect their habitat from one of their biggest threats, man. As Africa’s most endangered cat, the cheetah is in a race for survival. But the book gives us hope, too, detailing practical ways we can all help to protect them and ensure they have a future in the wild. Stunning photographs, action-packed stories, and thorough research complete the picture of these cagey cats.

  2. Little Tigers - Journey with a family of tigers as they search for a new home in the jungle. As hunters approach their home in the jungle, Mother Tiger and her cubs, Puli and Sera, must venture to find a new home away from danger. Together, they explore different homes, but the ones they find aren’t suited for tigers. Some are too wet, some are too dry, and some are just downright unwelcoming. But with their mother’s help, they may be able to find one that’s just right. With gentle text and stunning monochromatic illustrations, Jo Weaver reveals the wonder of nature, the excitement of discovery, and the strength of familial bonds.

  3. 10 Reasons to Love... a Lion - Lions are the only big cat to live in groups, have the loudest roar and the most magnificent manes. Turn the pages of this giftable series to find 10 reasons to love lions, and five ways you can show you care.

  4. Puma Dreams - A girl visiting her grandmother longs for a glimpse of the solitary and rarely seen puma. Her grandmother tells her that if she’s patient, one day her wish will come true. But patience is hard, the girl thinks. So, the girl and her grandmother stand watch each day, and then finally, without warning, she sees the beautiful animal from afar. Knowing she may never see a puma again, she now knows it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect these increasingly threatened animals.

Books About Big Cats (lions, Tigers, Leopard, Etc.) and Culture

Snow Leopard: Ghost of the Mountains
Written by Justin Anderson & illustrated by Patrick Benson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Look! A line of paw prints in the snow. Follow the tracks to see the rare and utterly majestic snow leopard and visit her secret world.

The people who live among the high peaks of the Himalayas tell stories of a mysterious animal called the gray ghost. To see one, you’d have to be very lucky indeed. Join a zoologist in the Himalayan mountains as he searches for the elusive creature. With her pale gold and silver-gray coat painted with black rosettes, she blends so well into the boulders, it’s no wonder she’s thought of as a ghost of the mountains. But the fortunate few who spot her are rewarded with a sight they will never forget. Written by an expert with firsthand experience, beautifully illustrated, and interwoven with fascinating facts, this vicarious look at a breathtaking animal includes an end note suggesting resources to explore.

Tiny Feet Between the Mountains
Written & illustrated by Hanna Cha
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Soe-in is a tiny child in a village full of large people. She struggles with completing chores due to her size, but she never gives up. One day, when the sky grows dark and full of smoke, Soe-in volunteers to travel into the tall mountains to investigate. She’s surprised to find a spirit tiger there and learn he has swallowed the sun by mistake! To help the spirit tiger and her village, Soe-in must come up with a clever idea to solve this gigantic problem. And while she’s at it, she just may prove that the smallest people often have the biggest, bravest hearts.

How it Was With Dooms
Written by Xan Hopcraft & illustrated by Carol Cawthra Hopcraft
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Ten-year-old Xan tells about the life of Dooms, the cheetah which became his pet and lived with his family in Kenya, Africa.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa's Fastest Cat - Since the year 1900, cheetah footprints quickly dwindled in African dirt as the species plummeted from more than 100,000 to fewer than 10,000. At the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s (CCF) African headquarters in Namibia, Laurie Marker and her team save these stunning, swift, and slender creatures from extinction. Since the organization’s start in 1990, they’ve rescued more than 900 cheetahs, most of whom have been returned to the wild. But this arduous challenge continues. For most African livestock farmers, cheetahs are the last thing they want to see on their properties. In the 1980s, as many as 19 cheetahs per farmer died each year. Cheetahs were considered vermin—but, in learning more about this magnificent species, we know this is far from true. Today, CCF acts as a liaison between the farmers and the cheetahs, in order to promote cohabitation in an ecosystem that cannot thrive without the existence of the precious and predatory cheetah. On a wild ride through the African wilderness—sometimes sniffing out scents left in the dirt—Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop join CCF in studying the cheetah’s ecological, genetic, and behavioral patterns in order to chase down the fastest animal on land and save the species—before it is too late.

  2. Camp Tiger - A talking tiger approaches a family during their annual end-of-summer camping trip and is befriended by the youngest, a boy who does not feel ready for first grade.

  3. Let's Explore... Safari - In Let’s Explore Safari, things are about to get really wild! Join your guides on a jeep safari in Africa, and keep your eyes peeled for some incredible animals. Spot the big five, discover who’s drinking at the waterhole, find out about some true animal superheroes and loads more. An African adventure awaits. Let’s explore!

  4. Cougar Frenzy - When Cricket McKay and her best friend, Shilo, discover that a cougar has been seen in the town of Waterton, they are thrilled that school closes for a few days as a precaution. The townspeople are worried though. They want the cougar caught and relocated, which could be disastrous for the cougar. Cricket’s dad, the national park’s warden, is receiving reports of the cougar causing all kinds of trouble around town, but it’s the type of trouble it doesn’t make sense for a cougar to get into. Then Cricket and Shilo find evidence that another animal may be to blame. With the help of a visiting researcher who is in Waterton studying cougar behavior, Cricket and Shilo must convince the townspeople, and Cricket’s dad, that they’re after the wrong animal before it’s too late. This is the fourth book featuring Cricket and her friends, following Bats in Trouble, Ospreys in Danger and Salamander Rescue.

Want to see books about culture?

Books About Big Cats (lions, Tigers, Leopard, Etc.) and Friendship

Library Lion
Written by Michelle Knudsen & illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do. There are no rules about lions in the library. When something terrible happens, the lion quickly comes to the rescue in the only way he knows how.

Daniel and the Nutcracker (Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood)
Written by Alexandra Cassel and Angela C Santomero & illustrated by Jason Fruchter
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A new generation of children love Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, inspired by the classic series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood! The show must go on as Daniel Tiger and his friends dance the Nutcracker ballet in this adorable board book with a padded cover and holographic foil! It’s the perfect stocking stuffer for Daniel Tiger fans! Daniel Tiger can’t wait to see his friends Katerina Kittycat and Prince Wednesday perform together in the Nutcracker Ballet! But when he arrives at the Enchanted Garden, Daniel learns that Prince Wednesday is sick and can’t dance! Can Daniel step in and save the show?

A Hungry Lion, Or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals
Written & illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Members of a large group of animals, including a penguin, two rabbits, and a koala, disappear at an alarming rate but the hungry lion remains.

Honorable Mentions
  1. How to Be a Lion - In this timely and charming story about the importance of being true to yourself, mindfulness, and standing by your friends, we meet Leonard, a lion, and his best friend Marianne, a… duck. Leonard and Marianne have a happy life together—talking, playing, writing poems, and making wishes—until one day a pack of bullies questions whether it’s right for a lion and a duck to be pals. Leonard soon learns there are many ways to be a lion, and many ways to be a friend, and that sometimes finding just the right words can change the world… This sweet, funny, thoughtful, and much-needed story will open up readers’ eyes to the importance of being who they are and not backing down to hurtful criticism. It’s an empowering tale about connecting with others and choosing kindness over bullying, and shows children how angry and provocative words can be overcome by empathy and courage.

  2. Cannonball Coralie and the Lion - Coralie longs to join the circus but the Man in the Big Hat says her tricks just aren’t good enough. With the help of her new friend, Lion, Coralie realizes she’s perfect just the way she is. A heart-warming story about the friendship between a girl and a lion, this fun, quirky picture book celebrates daring to be different and the importance of standing up for yourself.

  3. The Best Sound in the World - “Simply charming” – The Sun Roy is a lion and a sound catcher. He catches the sounds of the city and makes them into music, trying to avoid the annoying attentions of his neighbor, Jemmy. Feeling like his music isn’t good enough, Roy goes on a journey to find the best sound in the world for inspiration. He hears the pitter-patter of the rain in the forest, the wind whistling through the desert, and the hustle and bustle of the souk at sunrise, but none of it helps—he can’t decide which is the best sound. Just as he’s about to give up, he hears a familiar voice . . . can Jemmy teach him that perhaps there are lots of beautiful sounds, not just one, and that for Jemmy, Roy’s music is the best of all? This gorgeous debut picture book is a heart-warming tribute to the power of friendship.

Books About Big Cats (lions, Tigers, Leopard, Etc.) and Family

Go Get 'Em, Tiger!
Written by Sabrina Moyle & illustrated by Eunice Moyle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-18

This very first picture book from the Hello!Lucky team celebrates milestones reached and challenges overcome!

The award-winning Hello!Lucky team brings their bold style and surefire laughs to a picture book about an exuberant tiger tackling life’s challenges and coming out on top. Perfect for celebrating any big milestone, from the first day of preschool to college graduation, and every goalpost in between.

A Fairy's Courage
Written & illustrated by EJ Clarke
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

Being a fairy is a lot more dangerous than you think… Ever since Rowan was transformed into a fairy, her life has been filled with perilous adventure. And when her mom is kidnapped by an evil fairy called Vulpes and his army of foxes, Rowan sets off on her most dangerous mission yet. With the help of her fairy friends—plus a tiger released from London Zoo!—she’s sure she can rescue her mom and save the fairy realms. But Vulpes is cunning and sly. And he’s luring Rowan right into a trap.

Just Like Mommy
Written & illustrated by Lucy Freegard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Who wouldn’t want to be just like Mommy, when she’s so wonderful? This delightfully illustrated picture book follows a child’s love for their mother. Mommy’s smart and creative, practical and imaginative—and she always finds a reason to be playful and laugh! She knows all about the stars in the sky, how to grow her own food, and make music. Whether the day is fantastic or frustrating, mom can turn disaster into joy, and tears into laughter. This celebration of moms is beautiful, funny, and touching.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Tiger Boy - “One of the new tiger cubs has escaped from the reserve!” When a tiger cub escapes from a nature reserve near Neel’s island village, the rangers and villagers hurry to find her before the cub’s anxious mother follows suit and endangers them all. Mr. Gupta, a rich newcomer to the island, is also searching—he wants to sell the cub’s body parts on the black market. Neel and his sister, Rupa, resolve to find the cub first and bring her back to the reserve where she belongs. The hunt for the cub interrupts Neel’s preparations for an exam to win a prestigious scholarship at a boarding school far from home. Neel doesn’t mind—he dreads the exam and would rather stay on his beloved island in the Sunderbans of West Bengal with his family and friends. But through his encounter with the cub, Neil learns that sometimes you have to take risks to preserve what you love. And sometimes you have to sacrifice the present for the chance to improve the future.

  2. Daniel Loves You - A new generation of children love Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, inspired by the classic series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood! Daniel says “I love you” in this shaped board book based on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood! Join Daniel Tiger for a ride around the neighborhood as he says “I love you” to his family, friends, neighbors…and to you! This sweet, simple board book is filled with hearts, hugs, and “Ugga Muggas!” © 2018 The Fred Rogers Company

  3. The Tiger Rising - A National Book Award finalist by Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo. Walking through the misty Florida woods one morning, twelve-year-old Rob Horton is stunned to encounter a tiger—a real-life, very large tiger—pacing back and forth in a cage. What’s more, on the same extraordinary day, he meets Sistine Bailey, a girl who shows her feelings as readily as Rob hides his. As they learn to trust each other, and ultimately, to be friends, Rob and Sistine prove that some things—like memories, and heartache, and tigers—can’t be locked up forever. Featuring a cover illustration by Stephen Walton.

Books About Big Cats (lions, Tigers, Leopard, Etc.) and New Experiences

A Tiger Tail
Written & illustrated by Mike Boldt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Anya awakens to discover she has grown a tiger tail, and it just happens to be her very first day of school.

Lion Needs a Haircut
Written & illustrated by Hyewon Yum
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

This relatable story from award-winning author-illustrator Hyewon Yum explores the universal fear of first haircuts with honesty, tenderness, and humor

Little lion needs a haircut. But he doesn’t want one! Is he worried? No. Is he scared? NO! He just likes his hair the way it is. R-O-A-R! But there’s someone else who needs a haircut, too . . . it’s Dad, and he doesn’t want one, either! Maybe if they go to the barbershop together, there will be nothing to worry about.

Munch Your Lunch!
Written by Becky Friedman & illustrated by Jason Fruchter
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A new generation of children love Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, inspired by the classic series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood!

Daniel Tiger is the lunch helper at school and gets a sweet surprise from Mom Tiger in this 8x8 storybook based on an episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood that comes with tiger-tastic lunch notes to pack in your little one’s lunchbox!

It’s lunchtime at Daniel Tiger’s school. Teacher Harriet tells everyone to take a deep breath and open their lunch boxes. Daniel Tiger’s lunch box has a sandwich, strawberries, and a special surprise: A note from Mom Tiger!

With the Daniel Tiger lunch notes included in this 8x8 storybook, parents and guardians can add special messages in their little one’s lunchboxes to show how much they care!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Haircut for Lion - Little Lion needs a haircut! Follow along as he and his dad go to the barber shop in this lighthearted board book from the Hello Genius series.

  2. Moving to the Neighborhood - A new generation of children love Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, inspired by the classic series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood! A new family moves to town in this sweet board book based on a special episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Daniel Tiger is getting a new neighbor! Moving to a new neighborhood and starting at a new school can be scary, but with Daniel’s help, his new neighbor soon feels right at home. This sweet story is perfect for anyone who is moving to a new city, or for anyone who wants to be a good neighbor like Daniel! © 2018 The Fred Rogers Company

Books About Big Cats (lions, Tigers, Leopard, Etc.) and Cheetahs

I... Am... Cheetah!
Written by Stephanie J. Teer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-10

Buy A Book - Save A Cheetah! A portion of the net proceeds from the sales of the book will be donated to the Cheetah Conservation Fund on behalf of The Wild Animal Kids Club. It’s Friday at Safari Park. It’s Park Day! It doesn’t get much better than that. At least until the park bully shows up. She thinks all animal lovers are just a bunch of geeks and nerds, but five kids don’t agree. Together, they decide to create THE WILD ANIMAL KIDS CLUB to learn about endangered animals. But wait! This club is special. This club has a secret and no one can ever…ever find out what they are hiding. But you can! Come join The Wild Animal Kids as they discover a magical secret that will teach them about endangered animals in a way they could have never dreamed of. It’s a secret powered by their imagination and the belief that anything is possible. But will the Wild Animal Kids stand up for what they believe in? Will they finally find the courage to stand up to the park bully? Only…if they believe! Only…if they can find the magic within themselves! Park Day just got a little more interesting! Do your kids love animals? If they do, they are in for a treat. I…AM…CHEETAH! ~The Gift~ is the first book in THE WILD ANIMAL KIDS CLUB series. It’s a series filled with friendship, humor, challenges, a bit of fantasy, and of course, the beauty of some our planet’s most endangered wild creatures. It’s a wonderful chapter book for ages 8-11 and a great story to share with younger readers. Review from Scribendi Editor:”…I loved this! It’s a really strong piece of work that ticks all the boxes: it’s got fantasy, adventure, it’s got a clear moral, it’s got jeopardy and excitement, it’s got overcoming adversity… and all done with an innocent and non-violent tale. Not to mention it educates the audience about animals. It’s clear, it’s fun, and it holds the interest all the way through. Super! What’s not to love here? The characters are strong and individual, the prose is nicely and simply constructed, the narrative is neatly divided into digestible chapters with great cliffhanger endings, and it’s all just a lot of fun!”

Cheetahs
Written & illustrated by Laura Marsh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Presents the life of cheetahs, including where they live, what they eat, and how they care for their young.

Cheetah Cubs
Written by Ginjer L. Clarke & illustrated by Lucia Washburn
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Follows a pack of cheetah cubs as they grow from babies to adult cheetahs, describing their physical characteristics and behaviors.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Amazing Animals: Cheetahs - From fleet-footed cheetahs to howling wolves, and from playful dolphins to earth-shaking elephants, the world of animals is wonderfully diverse. This popular and newly expanded series continues traveling the planet to study these and other fascinating animals. Beautiful photos are paired with accessible text to examine the featured animal’s appearance, behaviors, and life cycle. Each book also presents a folk story that helps explain a defining feature or behavior.

  2. The Cheetah's Tale - A heart wrenching children’s story. A little girl comes across a malnourished cheetah cub caged at the back of a small shop in an Arab souq. Her mother agrees to buy the animal to save its life, and the little girl rears the cub at their house until it grows into a fine young cheetah. The cheetah and the girl are inseparable friends, but they know one day he will need to return to Africa where he can roam free… Beautifully illustrations flow throughout the narrative and bring this enchanting tale to life.

  3. Cheetahs - When confronted by other predators, cheetahs opt for flight over fight. You would, too, if you could run up to 70 miles per hour. Cheetahs make a chase look easy, but hunting can be hard work. Find out how these speed demons of the savannah execute attacks and teach their young how to do the same.

Want to see books about cheetahs?

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