Counting and Animals: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about counting is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From Can’t Sleep Without Sheep to Peekaboo Pals: 123 there’s something here for everyone’s tastes. Do you have a favorite book about counting? Let us know!

Can't Sleep Without Sheep book
#1
Can't Sleep Without Sheep
Written by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Whenever Ava can’t sleep, she counts sheep. But Ava takes so long to fall asleep, it’s the sheep that are growing tired-until finally, they quit! When the sheep promise to find a replacement that Ava can count on, chaos ensues as chickens, cows, pigs, hippos, and more try their hand at jumping over Ava’s fence. Finding the perfectly peaceful replacement for sheep might not be so easy after all.

With irresistibly adorable art, this delightful take on a familiar sleep tactic is sure to become a bedtime favorite.

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

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

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

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

Chomp Goes the Alligator book
#4
Chomp Goes the Alligator
Written and illustrated by Matthew Van Fleet
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

From #1 New York Times bestselling novelty book creator Matt Van Fleet comes an irresistible picture book about a very hungry alligator who likes to chomp, chomp, chomp, which will delight readers as they learn animal names, colors, and counting. Along came the alligator, chomp, chomp, chomp! From the internationally bestselling children’s book creator Matthew Van Fleet comes the story of a hungry little alligator who gulps his way from one to ten. Ten touchable textures, a sturdy chomping pull tab, and a grand finale pop-up are sure to engage the youngest readers.

Great Kiwi 123 Book book
#5
Great Kiwi 123 Book
Written and illustrated by Donovan Bixley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Here is a counting book like you’ve never seen, featuring Donovan Bixley’s most popular characters from his uniquely Kiwi Wheels on the Bus and Old MacDonald’s Farm. Look out for the milkshake-making cow, the All Black lambs, the cute pink ski-bunny, and the colossal squid and many more of Donovan’s vibrant, amusing illustrations. Fun for the kids—and fun for the adults!

  1. Octopuses One to Ten - “A fascinating counting journey through the amazing and mysterious world of octopuses”—

  2. We All Went on Safari - Follows a Tanzanian family through the African grasslands as they count the animals they see, from one leopard to 10 elephants, and includes information about Tanzania and Swahili names and numbers. Reprint.

  3. Fourteen Animals (That Are Definitely Not an Octopus) - In this hilarious book of animals, artist Gabe Pyle presents sixteen beloved animals who are definitely not an octopus—or are they? Observant youngsters will love uncovering each octopus cleverly disguised in 16 animals’ shapes. Based on the immensely popular threadless t-shirt, 16 Animals (that Definitely Aren’t an Octopus) is a fresh, witty romp through the animal kingdom that even adults will find hard to resist.

  4. 5 Wild Numbers - Learn the numbers 1-5 whilst discovering the world of animals and their habitats with this innovative, tactile board book. With unique sliding circular discs on each page, children can count the animals and trace their fingers over the numbers. Clever paper engineering combined with stylish repeating patterns make this a fun interactive reading experience and the perfect first introduction to numbers and animals.

Dinner at the Panda Palace book
#10
Dinner at the Panda Palace
Written by Stephanie Calmenson and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Dinner at the Panda Palace! In this charming counting book, perfect for back to school, children will learn the importance of inclusion. Join one hungry elephant, two carsick lions, three pigs running from a wolf, and dozens of other playful yet famished animals as they swing, bound, and bounce into the Panda Palace for a hearty meal. But when the restaurant is totally full, will Panda make room for one more guest?

How Many Hugs? book
#11
How Many Hugs?
Written by Heather Swain and illustrated by Steven Henry
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A charming board book that explores all the ways that animals and multi-legged insects give hugs, How Many Hugs? is perfect as a counting picture book and for reading aloud at bedtime! Centipedes, those crawliest bugs have 300 legs for giving out hugs. That’s 150 on one side to grasp and 150 on the other to clasp. Hugs abound in this celebration of multi-legged animals and insects and their babies! And at the end of the day, human parents can give their little ones as many hugs as they want—with two arms. Charming art and rhyming text make this a perfect companion to All Kinds of Kisses, also by Heather Swain.

Peter Rabbit 123 book
#12
Peter Rabbit 123
Written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Learn to count with Peter Rabbit and all his friends in this warm, lyrical, and beautiful board book. One Peter Rabbit . . . Two Bad Mice . . . Three Naughty Kittens . . . This whimsical board book takes you gently through the numbers from 1 to 10 and is a stylish, gentle introduction to the world of Peter Rabbit. With beautiful line artwork, this is a must-have for any baby or toddler’s bookshelf.

Spring in the Woods book
#13
Spring in the Woods
Written and illustrated by Sue Tarsky
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Join the fun of finding and counting all the animals, flowers, and insects, as more and more appear on a lively walk through the woods during the springtime. Packed with repetition that young children love and that also helps them learn, this is an entertaining introduction to colors, numbers, and the seasons.

What in the World? book
#14
What in the World?
Written by Nancy Raines Day and illustrated by Kurt Cyrus
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Discover nature by the numbers in this gorgeous, innovative counting book.

The natural world is full of sets of numbers: from birds’ wings in twos and clover leaves in threes to deer hooves in fours and octopus arms in eights. This book uses playful rhyming text to explore these numerical sets in vibrant detail, ending with the stars in the sky—a number set too big to count!

  1. Old MacDonald Had a Farm - A favorite nursery rhyme counting book with cute farm animals that disappear one-by-one! Each time a die-cut card page is turned a colorful card farm animal disappears, encouraging children to learn to count as they read and sing the familiar nursery rhyme with a twist, and find out where all the animals go to! Ideal for parents to share with children age 3 and up.

  2. 123, Anteater Stuck Up a Tree - 1 silly anteater has got himself stuck up a tree. 2 curious crocodiles have come to see. 3 friendly moose are forming a plan. Even the ants are lending a hand. On every page of this cute counting book, children are encouraged to spot and count all the animals that turn up to help the anteater down from the tree. There are new arrivals on every page and plenty for children to spot as scenes get busier and more and more animals turn up to join in the fun.

  3. Maud Lewis 1, 2, 3 - Babies and toddlers will love searching these stimulating paintings to count the kittens, oxen, birds and flowers on each page. Maud Lewis 1, 2, 3 is a wonderful first counting book and introduction to the joy-filled art of famous folk painter Maud Lewis. Even the youngest babies will be drawn to the bright colors and bold forms in Lewis’s whimsical paintings. Babies and toddlers will have fun searching the vibrant images to count the kittens, oxen, birds and flowers on each page.

  4. 1-2-3 Predators Bite! - Munch, crunch: look who’s coming to bite this book! Created with the American Museum of Natural History, 1-2-3 Predators Bite! invites kids to count along as a rattlesnake takes ONE die-cut bite; a toothy tiger takes TWO, and an eagle swoops down for THREE. Simple facts about each predator appear in the back matter, and a final spread reinforces counting skills with a 1-10 list.

Flip, Flap, Find! Counting 1, 2, 3 book
#19
Flip, Flap, Find! Counting 1, 2, 3
Written and illustrated by Dorling Kindersley Publishing
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Curious preschoolers will love peeking through the pages to see who will hatch from each egg, in this counting, flip-the-flap, animal counting book. There are eggs to count from 1-10, then flip the flap to find out whose eggs they are. A clue encourages children to guess who the babies will be: “I have a green scaly tail. Who will hatch from my eggs?” says the mommy chameleon. Intriguing cut-through holes in the flap reveal further clues, with eyes or tails peeping through. Whether insect, fish, reptile or bird, there’s a whole wonderful world of animals and their eggs to discover and count in Flip, Flap, Find Counting Eggs—from one fluffy flamingo all the way through to ten beautiful butterflies.

Sleepyhead book
#20
Sleepyhead
Written by and illustrated by Flora Chang
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

A first book for bedtime to share with your little one! Children can look, point, touch, count, and say goodnight to all their animal friends! This sturdy board book is perfect for teaching little ones about different facial features. Children can point to the lion’s sleepy eyes, and then identify their own eyes. Plus, the peekaboo mirror at the end will delight and surprise!

1, 2, 3 Moose book
#21
1, 2, 3 Moose
Written by Andrea Helman and illustrated by Art Wolfe
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Introduces the numbers one through twenty against a background of photographs and brief text describing animal and plant life found in the Pacific Northwest.

Five Flying Penguins book
#22
Five Flying Penguins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Five little penguins flee from a seal, flying through the water, and find themselves in an innocent game of tag.

One Big Pair of Underwear book
#23
One Big Pair of Underwear
Written by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Count and share with…underwear! Come along on a zany adventure with hilarious pictures from the New York Times bestselling illustrator of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site.

What’s one thing that two bears, three yaks, four goats, and six cats have in common?

They hate to share.

But look out—here comes a pack of twenty pigs ready to prove that sharing makes everything twice as fun!

  1. Neon Leon - Everyone knows that chameleons are the best at fitting in. But Leon is an exception. Leon is neon! In fact, he’s so bright that he keeps all the other chameleons awake at night. Poor Leon is lonely, so he goes off in search of somewhere he won’t be a nuisance. In this delightful interactive book filled with vibrant neon artwork, children can help Leon on his journey by counting his steps, sending him to sleep, and giving him lots of reassurance when he’s feeling down. But will he ever find a place where he can fit in?

  2. Peekaboo Pals: 123 - Colorful illustrations of amusing animals keep young children engaged as they learn to count from 1 to 100. It’s time for the Animal Antics Race! Who will be the first to the finish line? In Peekaboo Pals: 123, children will lift the flaps and be amused by the hilarious antics of the animals as they make their way to the checkered flag. Will the winner be three gorillas in a gondola, twelve bears on a bus, twenty turtles on a train, or another team vying for victory? Young learners will delight in the silly animals on these pages and learn how to count from 1 to 100.

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