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Cats and Animals: Books For Kids

Whether you’re a cat person, a dog person, both or neither, we still think cats make for some great story characters. They’re practically oozing personality and their attitudes lend themselves well to some fantastic lessons. If you’re looking for a great cat book, you’ve come to the right place and we hope you’ll enjoy some of our favorite cat books as much as we do!

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Cat Nap
Written by Toni Yuly
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This hide and seek book is so much fun! It took me a few pages in to realize, but I love that there is a mouse on each page, adding to the "hide and seek" appeal. :) I love how simple and bold the illustrations are, and especially love the personality you see in the cat's expressions!
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
My first read through this book I was pretty underwhelmed (maybe it was just my mood!) but after my toddler rediscovered it and we read it a few more times, I've become a huge fan! It teaches opposites in a way that flows smoothly in this story of a cat and a kitten playing hide-and-seek, and consequently also teaches about how to play hide-and-seek! My toddler has since started to "read" this one himself, and illustrations give such great visual clues that he's able to match up the story really accurately, which is adorable. Looking for the mouse on each page is also a fun addition.
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

A kitten doesn’t want to take a nap in this book about opposites by the author of Early Bird. It’s naptime, and Cat is ready for Kitten to settle down. But Kitten has other ideas!In this book filled with opposites (big and little, black and white, sleepy and awake) Toni Yuly proves once again -as she did with Early Bird and Night Owl - that simple concepts come alive for the youngest readers through bold art and charming language.

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There Are No Bears in This Bakery
Written & illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This is a super cute book with an unexpected turn or two that will keep you on your toes! It's masterfully written to create wonder and suspense, with room for a few giggles as well. This is a great opportunity for introducing the mystery, onomatopoeia, and similies—the description language is absolutely gorgeous!
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.

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Otis and the Kittens
Written & illustrated by Loren Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

On the farm where Otis the tractor lives, it hasn’t rained in a long time and farmers all over the valley have grown anxious with water in such short supply. One hot afternoon, when Otis and his friends are resting beneath the shade of the apple tree, Otis spots something moving down in the valley—an orange tabby cat headed straight for the old barn. But then Otis sees something else that causes his engine to sputter . . . a swirl of smoke coming from the same barn. A fire!

As Otis races toward the fire with his friends in tow, he spots the tabby cat mewing in alarm. Otis rushes inside to discover the source of the cat’s worries–her little kittens are perched up on the hayloft, scared. Otis never hesitates. Yet even after he delivers a tractor full of kittens safely outside, their mama remains upset. Re-entering the burning barn, Otis discovers why: one tiny kitten, still too scared to move. With a friendly chuff, Otis coaxes her down and she scampers out the door. That’s when the floor collapses with a CRASH, trapping the tractor. Now Otis, the friend everyone can count on, must count on his friends.

Told with a sense of play and devotion, this is a heartwarming tale that reminds readers that sometimes even those who we count on to help us need a little help themselves. From the creator of Otis, Otis and the Puppy, and the illustrator of The Little Engine That Could and Of Thee I Sing by President Barack Obama.

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Animal Inn 3-Books-in-1!
Written by Paul DuBois Jacobs and Jennifer Swender & illustrated by Stephanie Laberis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

The first three novels in the Animal Inn chapter book series, where the fur—and fun—flies at an animal spa and hotel, are now available together in a fur-tastic paperback edition! The Animal Inn is an all-inclusive pet resort and spa for animals from dogs to rabbits, cats to ducks, parrots to lizards. From doggie and kitty daycare, to grooming, and group play—you name it, and the Animal Inn has it. The Inn is run by the Tyler family along with their pets Leopold, the Macaw; Fuzzy and Furry, the gerbils; dogs Dash and Coco; felines Shadow and Whiskers; and a rollicking horde of animal visitors. In A Furry Fiasco, when the animals hear that a new boarder—a Komodo Dragon—will be coming to the Inn, they panic! Will it gobble them all up and then devour their family? In Treasure Hunt, the animals are convinced a pirate with a glittering treasure is visiting the Animal Inn. Will the animals have to walk the plank in order to survive? Arghhh! And in The Bow-Wow Bus, Cassie Tyler’s first grade class takes a field trip to Animal Inn for a meet and greet. And it’s a furry good time for all—even for the newest kid in class, a goldfish named Blub.

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Just a Duck?
Written & illustrated by Carin Bramsen
Thoughts from The Goodfather
Carin Bramsen's illustrations are stunning and beautiful, and her tale is just as impressive. Clever rhymes share a meaningful story about the unique talents of each person (and duck) and how what may seem simple to us can be very helpful to someone else!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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?

I am a Kitten book
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How to Be a Cat book
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Crazy about Cats book
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Bernice Gets Carried Away book
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  • I am a Kitten - The beloved board book I am a Kitten is back—fully reillustrated and ready to be embraced by a new generation of children. Join Kate, a curious kitten, as she plays with her brothers and sisters, explores the garden, makes new friends, and more! With simple text and colorful illustrations, this sweet story about a day in the life of a kitten will be popular with very young children.

  • 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.

  • Crazy about Cats - Did you know that the fishing cat has partially webbed paws for catching fish? Or that pumas can leap up over 5 metres into trees? There are roughly 38 species of cats today, each one superbly adapted to their environment – whether that be in the rainforest or the desert! This captivating and stunningly illustrated guide will teach you everything you need to know about our feline friends.

  • Bernice Gets Carried Away - Perfect for a new generation of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day readers, this charming story about a grumpy cat gently shows how far a little sharing can go. Bernice is having a truly rotten time at her friend’s birthday party. First, everyone else gets a piece of cake with a frosting rose. But not Bernice. Then, everyone else gets strawberry-melon soda. Bernice gets the prune-grapefruit juice. And it’s warm. The last straw is the one lousy (squished) candy she gets from the piñata. So when the balloons arrive, Bernice knows just what she has to do: grab them all. And then, poor cross Bernice gets carried up, up, and away. Luckily, she figures out just how to make her way back down to the party…and she brightens lots of other animals’ days on her way. Hannah Harrison’s gorgeous animal paintings come alive in her second picture book. Her “exceptionally polished” debut, Extraordinary Jane, received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and School Library Journal.

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Max and Bird
Written & illustrated by Ed Vere
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Max, a kitten, and Bird, a very young bird, want to be friends but Max also wants to eat Bird, so they strike a deal.

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Cat Nap
Written & illustrated by Toni Yuly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

A kitten doesn’t want to take a nap in this book about opposites by the author of Early Bird. It’s naptime, and Cat is ready for Kitten to settle down. But Kitten has other ideas!In this book filled with opposites (big and little, black and white, sleepy and awake) Toni Yuly proves once again -as she did with Early Bird and Night Owl - that simple concepts come alive for the youngest readers through bold art and charming language.

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Cheetah Can't Lose
Written & illustrated by Bob Shea
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An overly confident cheetah challenges a pack of clever kittens to a race.

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Yoko
Written & illustrated by Rosemary Wells
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Mmm, Yoko’s mom has packed her favorite for lunch today—sushi! But her classmates don’t think it looks quite so yummy. “Ick!” says one of the Franks. “It’s seaweed!” They’re not even impressed by her red bean ice cream dessert. Of course, Mrs. Jenkins has a plan that might solve Yoko’s problem. But will it work with the other children in class? Now in paperback for the first time, this tender story from Rosemary Wells demonstrates the author’s uncanny understanding of the pleasures and pains of an ordinary school day.

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Oscar and the frog
Written & illustrated by Geoff Waring
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A first science book that introduce young readers to core science concepts through fresh, graphic illustrations, engaging stories, and supplemental activity suggestions. Oscar is a curious kitten, and at the pond he is full of questions about growing things. Luckily, Frog can help with the answers — after all, he’s gone through some impressive changes himself! From butterflies to ducks, plants to kittens like him, Oscar finds out how living things begin, why they eat, and how they grow. Includes lesson summaries! Back matter includes an index and supplemental activities.

Big Cat, Little Cat book
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Keith the Cat with the Magic Hat book
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That's Not How You Do It! book
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Hug Time book
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  • Big Cat, Little Cat - A 2018 Caldecott Honor book There was a cat who lived alone. Until the day a new cat came . . . And so a story of friendship begins, following the two cats through their days, months, and years until one day, the older cat has to go. And he doesn’t come back. This is a poignant story, told in measured text and bold black-and-white illustrations about the act of moving on.

  • Keith the Cat with the Magic Hat - Meet Keith—a very cute cat with a magical hat! When Keith wears the hat, it makes bunnies appear out of nowhere! It even makes a stick move all on its own! But when Keith’s hat falls off, will the magic still work and save the day?

  • That's Not How You Do It! - Lucy knows how to do everything. All her friends ask her for help if they need to know the right way to do something. When Toshi arrives, Lucy thinks he can’t do anything properly at all. She can barely hide her frustration. When she finally tries to teach Toshi the right way to do things, she learns a very important lesson herself.

  • Hug Time - There was once a kitten so filled with love he wanted to give the whole world a hug! Jules the kitten (also known in the MUTTS cartoons as “Shtinky Puddin’”) knows that hugs can make the world a better place. So he makes a “Hug To-Do List”—with the endangered species of the world at the top—and travels the globe to show all of the animals that someone cares. From Africa to the North Pole to his own back yard, Jules proves a hug is the simplest—but kindest—gift we can give. With its gently environmental theme, this joyous story about sharing love is an ideal gift year-round.

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Goodnight, Max the Brave
Written by Ed Vere
chapter book
Recommend Ages: -3

The bedtime companion to the New York Times and USA Today bestseller Max the Brave!

Max is done being brave, and now it's time to sleep--all he has to do is say good night. But something's wrong! When Max goes to say good night to the moon, it's nowhere to be found. Unable to sleep without finishing his nighttime ritual, Max embarks on a journey to find the moon and wish it a good night.

Praise for Max the Brave:
"Max is an expressive huge-eyed black ball of kinetic kittenness who pops against each page's bright, differently colored background." --The New York Times Book Review
"A cat-and-mouse game to be laughed at and reread." --Kirkus
"Full of playful humor...enhanced by the humorous text, character expressions, and a not-scary monster to boot. VERDICT Highly recommended." --School Library Journal
"Both the punchy text and illustrations command attention, and plenty of readers will get a kick out of feeling superior to Max." --Publishers Weekly

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Kitty Alone
Written by John M. Feierabend & illustrated by Mina Echevarria
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

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Cat the Cat, Who Is That?
Written & illustrated by Mo Willems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Cat the Cat sure likes her friends. You will too! Join this spunky feline as she introduces the very youngest readers to her world, where a surprise is waiting in every book!

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Doodle Cat Wears a Cape
Written by Kat Patrick & illustrated by Lauren Farrell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

He can perform all kinds of superhero acts, like catching humans when they fall from trees and firing furballs at top speed. But will Doodle Cat’s superpowers work when his friend is sad? Maybe he’ll have to try something new.

Filled with Doodle Cat’s signature exuberance and joy…

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Max at Night
Written & illustrated by Ed Vere
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

“It’s bedtime for Max the kitten, but something’s wrong; when Max goes to say goodnight to the moon, it’s nowhere to be found! Unable to go to sleep without closing his nighttime ritual, he embarks on a journey to find the moon and say goodnight”—

Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls book
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Ra the Mighty: The Great Tomb Robbery book
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  • Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls - The Supa Buddies have been working hard to help Dog Man overcome his bad habits. But when his obsessions turn to fears, Dog Man finds himself the target of an all-new supervillain! Meanwhile, Petey the Cat has been released from jail and starts a new life with Li’l Petey. But when Petey’s own father arrives, Petey must face his past to understand the difference between being good and doing good. Dav Pilkey’s wildly popular Dog Man series appeals to readers of all ages and explores universally positive themes, including empathy, kindness, persistence, and the importance of being true to one’s self.

  • Ra the Mighty: The Great Tomb Robbery - A smug royal cat turned detective and his dung beetle sidekick are on the case when a precious tomb gets ransacked in the Valley of the Kings. Ra the Mighty adores his duties as Pharaoh’s cat: naps by the pool and plenty of snacks. Being lazy is so much fun. But when a royal tomb gets robbed, Ra and his hardworking friend Khepri must team up to restore justice. The clues point to a young boy whom Ra admires. Will the Great Detective play favorites, or will he uncover the truth? Mystery awaits! More than thirty wacky illustrations with fun historical details bring these oddball characters to life, along with a glossary, pronunciation guide, and detailed author’s note about ancient Egypt. Fans of Bad Kitty will love Ra’s witty voice and arrogant antics. Pair with companion, Ra the Mighty: Cat Detective.

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