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Human-animal Relationships: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about human-animal relationships?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to human-animal relationships. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about human-animal relationships.

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 human-animal relationships, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle to popular sellers like Life of Pi to some of our favorite hidden gems like Flora and the Flamingo.

We hope this list of kids books about human-animal relationships 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 Human-animal Relationships

Hello, Mr. Dodo! book
#1
Hello, Mr. Dodo!
Written & illustrated by Nicholas John Frith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Martha loves birds, so one day when she meets and makes friends with a Dodo, a species supposed to be extinct, in the woods behind her house, she resolves to keep him secret to keep him safe—but sometimes it is hard to keep a big secret.

Flora and the Penguin book
#2
Flora and the Penguin
Written & illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Having mastered ballet in Flora and the Flamingo, Flora takes to the ice and forms an unexpected friendship with a penguin. Twirling, leaping, spinning, and gliding, on skates and flippers, the duo mirror each other’s graceful dance above and below the ice. But when Flora gives the penguin the cold shoulder, the pair must figure out a way to work together for uplifting results. Artist Molly Idle creates an innovative, wordless picture book with clever flaps that reveal Flora and the penguin coming together, spiraling apart, and coming back together as only true friends do.

Flora and the Flamingo book
#3
Flora and the Flamingo
Written & illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

In this wordless book with interactive flaps, a friendship develops between a girl named Flora and a graceful flamingo, as they learn to dance together.

Flora and the Peacocks book
#4
Flora and the Peacocks
Written & illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The darling, dancing Flora is back, and this time she’s found two new friends: a pair of peacocks! But amidst the fanning feathers and mirrored movements, Flora realizes that the push and pull between three friends can be a delicate dance. Will this trio find a way to get back in step? In the third book featuring Flora and her feathered friends, Molly Idle’s gorgeous art combines with clever flaps to reveal that no matter the challenges, true friends will always find a way to dance, leap, and soar—together.

Ivy book
#5
Ivy
Written & illustrated by Katherine Coville
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Ivy’s grandmother is a healer—to mostly four-legged patients of the forest. Although the woodland creatures love her, the residents of Broomsweep grumble about Grandmother’s unkempt garden. When a kingdom-wide contest is announced to proclaim the tidiest town in the land, the people of Broomsweep are determined to win. That is, if they can get Ivy’s grandmother to clean up her ways. Ivy is determined to lend a hand, but the task proves more challenging when a series of unexpected refugees descends on Grandmother’s cottage. Before the week is over, an injured griffin, a dragon with a cold, and a tiny flock of temperamental pixies will cause a most untidy uproar in Broomsweep . . . and brighten Ivy’s days in ways she never could have dreamed.

Business Pig book
#6
Business Pig
Written & illustrated by Andrea Zuill
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Right from the start, everyone at the barnyard knew Jasper was different: “What we have here is a gen-u-WINE Business Pig!” No playing in the mud for him; Jasper preferred bookkeeping and charts. Most of all, he longs for a forever home. But no matter how many resumes Jasper hands out, no one adopts him. Can this business pig find that special person who means business, too?

The Circus Ship book
#7
The Circus Ship
Written & illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

After courageously swimming to shore when the ship that they are traveling on sinks and the wretched captain does nothing to rescue them, circus animals find a way to become a valued part of a coastal community.

Hey, Boy book
#8
Hey, Boy
Written by Benjamin Strouse & illustrated by Jennifer Phelan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In the classic style of The Giving Tree comes a touching debut picture book about the unfaltering love between a boy and his pet.

One day a boy finds a dog. He takes him home, already dreaming of the adventures they will have and the games they will play.

But when the boy gets hurt, he and his new best friend are separated. Will the boy be able to grow up quickly enough to get his furry companion back, or will life keep getting in the way?

With dreamily spare text and sweeping yet simple illustrations, Hey, Boy is a reminder that true friends always find their way home to each other.

Ruckus book
#9
Ruckus
Written by Laurie Elmquist & illustrated by David Parkins
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Reece’s new dog, Ruckus, tears through life like a Tyrannosaurus rex. He bites every- thing that moves and drives Reece’s mom nuts. The puppy was Dad’s idea, to make things easier for Reece after his parents’ separation, but Ruckus is not easy at all and Mom is getting fed up. When her diamond earrings go missing, it sends the family into a tailspin. What happens when a dog swallows something precious? Reece is about to find out. But they can’t give up on this little Jack Russell terror, can they? He’s family, after all.

We first met Reece and his family in the Orca Echoes title Where’s Burgess?

Becoming a Good Creature book
#10
Becoming a Good Creature
Written by Sy Montgomery & illustrated by Rebecca Green
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

School is not the only place to find a teacher. In this picture book adaptation of Sy Montgomery and Rebecca Green’s New York Times best-selling How to Be a Good Creature, learn the many surprising lessons animals have to teach us about friendship, compassion, and how to be a better creature in the world.

Sy Montgomery has had many teachers in her life: some with two legs, others with four, or even eight! Some have had fur, feathers, or hooves. But they’ve all had one thing in common: a lesson to share.

The animals Sy has met on her many world travels have taught her how to seek understanding in the most surprising ways, from being patient to finding forgiveness and respecting others. Gorillas, dogs, octopuses, tigers, and more all have shown Sy that there are no limits to the empathy and joy we can find in each other if only we take the time to connect.

Based on the New York Times best-selling adult memoir, Sy Montgomery and Rebecca Green’s beautiful, friendly guide is for readers young and old who wish to be better creatures in the world. Go ahead, pass it on.                        

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Human-animal Relationships and...

Books About Human-animal Relationships and Friendship

Hello, Mr. Dodo!
Written & illustrated by Nicholas John Frith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Martha loves birds, so one day when she meets and makes friends with a Dodo, a species supposed to be extinct, in the woods behind her house, she resolves to keep him secret to keep him safe—but sometimes it is hard to keep a big secret.

Flora and the Penguin
Written & illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Having mastered ballet in Flora and the Flamingo, Flora takes to the ice and forms an unexpected friendship with a penguin. Twirling, leaping, spinning, and gliding, on skates and flippers, the duo mirror each other’s graceful dance above and below the ice. But when Flora gives the penguin the cold shoulder, the pair must figure out a way to work together for uplifting results. Artist Molly Idle creates an innovative, wordless picture book with clever flaps that reveal Flora and the penguin coming together, spiraling apart, and coming back together as only true friends do.

Flora and the Peacocks
Written & illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The darling, dancing Flora is back, and this time she’s found two new friends: a pair of peacocks! But amidst the fanning feathers and mirrored movements, Flora realizes that the push and pull between three friends can be a delicate dance. Will this trio find a way to get back in step? In the third book featuring Flora and her feathered friends, Molly Idle’s gorgeous art combines with clever flaps to reveal that no matter the challenges, true friends will always find a way to dance, leap, and soar—together.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Megabat - A sweet and hilarious chapter book about a boy and a bat, two unlikely friends who bond over loneliness, jellyrolls and Darth Vader. Daniel Misumi has just moved to a new house. It’s big and old and far away from his friends and his life before. AND it’s haunted . . . or is it? Megabat was just napping on a papaya one day when he was stuffed in a box and shipped halfway across the world. Now he’s living in an old house far from home, feeling sorry for himself and accidentally scaring the people who live there. Daniel realizes it’s not a ghost in his new house. It’s a bat. And he can talk. And he’s actually kind of cute. Megabat realizes that not every human wants to whack him with a broom. This one shares his smooshfruit. Add some buttermelon, juice boxes, a lightsaber and a common enemy and you’ve got a new friendship in the making! This charming, funny story is brought to life by Kass Reich’s warm and adorable illustrations. There’s never been a bat this cute — readers will be rooting for Megabat and Daniel from page one!

  2. Where's Mommy? (Mary and the Mouse) - A companion picture book to Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary, Maria that makes for perfect bedtime reading! In this companion to the acclaimed picture book Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary, Maria (Mary’s daughter) and Mouse Mouse (Mouse’s daughter) are looking for their mothers. They’re not in their bedrooms, their car and cart are still in the driveway, and they are not in the gazebo or under the mushroom! Where could they be? Well, turns out Mary and the Mouse are great friends—just like Maria and Mouse Mouse—and soon the new generation is in on the old generation’s secret, and vice versa. Sparingly told and beautifully illustrated, this book is every bit as charming as its predecessor. Kids will pore over the minute details of a mouse’s parallel world.

  3. The Miniature World of Marvin & James - In this Masterpiece Adventure, the first in a companion series for younger readers from bestselling author Elise Broach, James is going on vacation for a week. His best friend, Marvin the beetle, has to stay at home. Without James to keep him company, Marvin has to play with his annoying cousin, Elaine. Marvin and Elaine quickly find themselves getting into all sorts of trouble—even getting trapped inside a pencil sharpener! Marvin misses James and starts to worry about their friendship. Will James still be Marvin’s friend when he gets home or will James have found a new best friend?

Books About Human-animal Relationships and Action And Adventure

The Circus Ship
Written & illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

After courageously swimming to shore when the ship that they are traveling on sinks and the wretched captain does nothing to rescue them, circus animals find a way to become a valued part of a coastal community.

Hey, Boy
Written by Benjamin Strouse & illustrated by Jennifer Phelan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In the classic style of The Giving Tree comes a touching debut picture book about the unfaltering love between a boy and his pet.

One day a boy finds a dog. He takes him home, already dreaming of the adventures they will have and the games they will play.

But when the boy gets hurt, he and his new best friend are separated. Will the boy be able to grow up quickly enough to get his furry companion back, or will life keep getting in the way?

With dreamily spare text and sweeping yet simple illustrations, Hey, Boy is a reminder that true friends always find their way home to each other.

Shadow Island
Written by Nancy Deas and Mike Deas & illustrated by Mike Deas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

With nowhere left to live after losing his parents and working his way through a long list of relatives on the mainland, Ollie finds himself at his grandpa’s house in Sueño Bay, “home of the supernatural.” Miserable and intending to get away from the earthquake-prone, rain-soaked island on the next bus out of town, Ollie’s getaway plans are altered abruptly when he and three classmates discover something they shouldn’t have in a trailer in the woods.

The four unlikely friends come together in a mystery involving supernatural creatures, a ticking clock and one angry gym teacher to save themselves, the creatures and Sueño Bay from a darkness that is infecting the island.

If they succeed, will Ollie finally find a place to call home?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Journey of the Pale Bear - A runaway boy befriends a polar bear that’s being transported from Norway to London in this lyrical and timeless adventure story about freedom, captivity, and finding a family. The polar bear is a royal bear, a gift from the King of Norway to the King of England. The first time Arthur encounters the bear, he is shoved in her cage as payback for stealing food. Restless and deadly, the bear terrifies him. Yet, strangely, she doesn’t harm him—though she has attacked anyone else who comes near. That makes Arthur valuable to the doctor in charge of getting the bear safely to London. So Arthur, who has run away from home, finds himself taking care of a polar bear on a ship to England. Tasked with feeding and cleaning up after the bear, Arthur’s fears slowly lessen as he begins to feel a connection to this bear, who like him, has been cut off from her family. But the journey holds many dangers, and Arthur knows his own freedom—perhaps even his life—depends on keeping the bear from harm. When pirates attack and the ship founders, Arthur must make a choice—does he do everything he can to save himself, or does he help the bear to find freedom? Based on the real story of a polar bear that lived in the Tower of London, this timeless adventure story is also a touching account of the bond between a boy and a bear.

  2. The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle - This Newbery Medal–winning adventure, the second book in the ever-popular Doctor Dolittle series, finds the physician who can talk to animals setting sail in search of a missing colleague. Join the good doctor and his new assistant, nine-year-old Tommy Stubbins, as they hunt for Long Arrow, the world’s greatest naturalist. Together with Jip the Dog, Polynesia the Parrot, and other memorable characters, the doctor and Tommy travel from their home in Puddleby-on-the-Marsh to the Mediterranean sea and South America, braving a shipwreck on a mysterious island and encountering an enigmatic creature at the bottom of the ocean. “Any child who is not given the opportunity to make the acquaintance of this rotund, kindly, and enthusiastic doctor/naturalist and all of his animal friends will miss out on something important,” declared wildlife biologist Jane Goodall. Doctor Dolittle has delighted readers for over a century, ever since Hugh Lofting enlivened his letters from the trenches of World War I with fancifully illustrated tales of a man with a special gift for communication. The doctor remains a beloved figure whose concern for the environment and promotion of peaceful coexistence among all the planet’s creatures form a fine example for readers of all ages.

  3. A Whale in Paris - A hopeful and heroic girl befriends a small, lost whale during World War II and together they embark on a journey to liberate France and find their families in this charming debut novel.

Books About Human-animal Relationships and Birds

Flora and the Flamingo
Written & illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

In this wordless book with interactive flaps, a friendship develops between a girl named Flora and a graceful flamingo, as they learn to dance together.

Max and Marla Are Having a Picnic
Written & illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Best friends Max and Marla are back in this charming spring tale of friendship and forgiveness

Max and Marla know how to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. So when the first sunny day of spring comes along, they’ve got the perfect plan—a picnic! They pack up their favorite dishes and their comfiest blanket and then they’re off to the lake. Once they settle in, Max realizes the picnic needs one more thing to be just right: a bouquet for Marla. But while he’s gone, Marla falls asleep, leaving their picnic prey to some thieving squirrels. Max returns to find their spread ruined and says it’s all Marla’s fault. But best friends can’t stay mad for long . . . Max and Marla Are Having a Picnic is another adorable ode to friendship from fan favorite Alexandra Boiger.

South
Written & illustrated by Daniel Duncan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

When a lonely fisherman finds an injured bird on his boat, he nurtures it back to health and—since the bird can no longer migrate with its family—charts a course to head south for the winter. Together, the two form a special friendship and enjoy life at sea until both the healing process and the journey must come to an end. In the tradition of the classic Amos & Boris, South is a story about making new friends and the bittersweet process of saying good-bye to the ones we love. It beautifully depicts the power of new beginnings and the freedom in coming home.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Flora and the Chicks - Inspired by the main character of the Caldecott Honor book Flora and the Flamingo, this new series of board books is perfect for the very youngest Flora fans. When a nest of eggs begins to hatch, how will Flora ever keep up with so many chicks? Featuring fold-out pages and Molly Idle’s graceful artwork, this adorable counting book will delight young children as they master new words and concepts.

  2. When I Was a Turkey - When I Was a Turkey is a middle-grade adaptation of the remarkable true story of a naturalist who raised a flock of wild turkeys using imprinting. After a local farmer left a bowl of wild turkey eggs on Joe Hutto’s front porch, his life was forever changed. Hutto incubated the eggs and waited for them to hatch. Deep in the wilds of Florida’s Flatlands, Hutto spent each day living as a turkey mother, taking on the full-time job of raising sixteen turkey chicks. For two years, Hutto dutifully cared for his family, roosting with them, taking them foraging, and immersing himself in their world. In return, they taught him how to see the world through their eyes. Here is the remarkable true story of a man with a singular gift to connect with nature. A Christy Ottaviano Book

Want to see books about birds?

Books About Human-animal Relationships and Family

Ivy
Written & illustrated by Katherine Coville
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Ivy’s grandmother is a healer—to mostly four-legged patients of the forest. Although the woodland creatures love her, the residents of Broomsweep grumble about Grandmother’s unkempt garden. When a kingdom-wide contest is announced to proclaim the tidiest town in the land, the people of Broomsweep are determined to win. That is, if they can get Ivy’s grandmother to clean up her ways. Ivy is determined to lend a hand, but the task proves more challenging when a series of unexpected refugees descends on Grandmother’s cottage. Before the week is over, an injured griffin, a dragon with a cold, and a tiny flock of temperamental pixies will cause a most untidy uproar in Broomsweep . . . and brighten Ivy’s days in ways she never could have dreamed.

Ruckus
Written by Laurie Elmquist & illustrated by David Parkins
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Reece’s new dog, Ruckus, tears through life like a Tyrannosaurus rex. He bites every- thing that moves and drives Reece’s mom nuts. The puppy was Dad’s idea, to make things easier for Reece after his parents’ separation, but Ruckus is not easy at all and Mom is getting fed up. When her diamond earrings go missing, it sends the family into a tailspin. What happens when a dog swallows something precious? Reece is about to find out. But they can’t give up on this little Jack Russell terror, can they? He’s family, after all.

We first met Reece and his family in the Orca Echoes title Where’s Burgess?

My Fox Ate My Homework
Written & illustrated by David Blaze
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

My name is Jonah Johnson, and I’m in the 6th grade - but please call me Joe. My whole world just got turned upside down. It’s my first day at a new school and I’ve already got to deal with the bully. If that wasn’t bad enough, there’s a talking fox that keeps getting me into trouble at my new house in the country. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true! To top it all off, I’ve got to help save my mom’s house!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Over the Moon - This sweet-natured bedtime book proves that a family is wherever you find love. When two wolves see a baby floating down a river, what do they do? Why, they take the baby home. Over the moon with joy, they nourish and teach her. And when that baby grows into a child, she and the wolves know that she will be ready to make her way in the world. Because when a child is loved, she has everything she needs. • A classic fairy-tale premise told with warmth and an inclusive sensibility for all types of families to enjoy • A touching read-aloud books for families, caregivers, and classroom storytime • James Proimos has written and/or illustrated over 20 critically lauded children’s books. This gently humorous story shows that families come in many forms, and that love is about both holding on and letting go. Fans of Finn’s Feather, Wild, and Wolfie the Bunnie will find Over the Moon a delightful tale for all ages.

  2. Wish - A touching story about a girl and her dog, perfect for young fans of A Dog’s Purpose Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite. But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. That is until she meets Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all. From award-winning author Barbara O’Connor comes a middle-grade novel about a girl who, with the help of a true-blue friend, a big-hearted aunt and uncle, and the dog of her dreams, unexpectedly learns the true meaning of family in the least likely of places. This title has Common Core connections.

  3. A Matter-of-Fact Magic Book: No Such Thing as a Witch - “Ruth Chew’s classic books perfectly capture the joy of everyday magic.”—Mary Pope Osborne, bestselling author of the Magic Tree House series Ruth Chew’s chapter books are full of simple, matter-of-fact magic that’s sure to enchant budding fantasy readers. Nora Cooper and her brother Tad don’t know what to make of their new neighbor Maggie Brown. She loves animals and has lots of them—a cat, a parakeet, a dog, and a large black lizard. The other cats and birds in the neighborhood seem to like Maggie as well. And Maggie makes the most delicious fudge. In fact, her fudge is so good, after one piece it almost seems as if Tad and Nora’s father are becoming animal lovers . . . and after several pieces, Nora can even have a conversation with the family dog, Skipper. But what happens when you eat one piece too many?

  4. Good Dog, Mctavish - A dog with a plan adopts a chaotic family in a wry comedy extolling the virtues of common sense. When Ma Peachey takes up yoga, the rest of the family finds themselves abandoned to chaos: no one cooks dinner, no one picks up the dirty laundry, the children are always late for school, and there is a good deal of squabbling and squalor. Ma may be off finding inner peace, but irritable Pa Peachey, glum Ava, and wannabe girl-charmer Ollie are falling apart. Only Betty, the sensible youngest child, is wise enough to see that this family is in need of rescue. Enter McTavish, a rescue dog who, true to his mission, is ready to teach this family some new tricks. Getting the Peacheys to behave will take work, but if anyone can do it, McTavish can. After all, he’s a very good dog — maybe even a psychological mastermind!

Books About Human-animal Relationships and Pets

I'm My Own Dog
Written & illustrated by David Ezra Stein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A dog without a human companion fetches his own slippers and curls up at his own feet but cannot reach a certain itchy spot in the middle of his back, compelling him to leash a poor lonely human who will loyally offer a helpful scratch.

Old Yeller
Written by Fred Gipson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

When a novel like Huckleberry Finn, or The Yearling, comes along it defies customary adjectives because of the intensity of the respouse it evokes in the reader. Such a book, we submit, is Old Yeller; to read this eloIquently simple story of a boy and his dog in the Texas hill country is an unforgettable and deeply moving experience. The big, ugly, yellow dog showed up out of nowhere one night and stole a whole side of hanging pork, and when Travis went for him the next morning that dog started yelling like a baby before he was touched. Then he got into the spring water with five-year-old Arliss, Travis took an easy hate to Old Yeller, as they started to call him; in fact, he would have driven him off or killed him if it hadn’t been for brother Arliss’ loud and violent protests, So Yeller stayed, and Travis soon found he couldn’t have got along without him. Pa and Ma and Travis and Arliss lived on Birdsong Creek in the Texas hill country. It wasn’t an easy life, but they had a snug cabin that Pa had built himself, and they had their own hogs and their own cattle, and they grew most of what else they needed. The only thing they and the rest of the settlers lacked that year in the late 1860’s was cash, so the men decided to get together and drive all the cattle up to the new market in Abilene, Kansas, more than six hundred miles away. Travis was only fourteen, but he was proud of his new role as man of the family and determined to live up to his responsibility. It was hard work, too, plowing until his legs ached, chopping wood until his hands were raw and his head was spinning, weeding the garden in the hot sun, toting the heavy buckets tip from the spring, and trying to keep his mischievous little brother in line. But there were pleasant moments, too: his Ma treating him like a man, and deer hunting in the early-morning stillness, and hot summer nights out in the corn patch under the stars with Old Yeller, trying to keep the coons and skunks out of the winter food supply. And there was plenty of excitement, like the fight between the two bulls, and the time Arliss nearly got mauled by the bear, and trying to catch and mark the new hogs. Here the suspense and excitement reach a peak, only to be topped a few pages later when the crazy-sick loafer wolf goes for Ma. Both times it is Yeller who saves them, only the second time it is not lucky for Yeller, as Travis comes to find out. And in finding out, Travis learns just how much he has come to love that big ugly dog, and he learns something about the pain of life, too. Old Yeller is a story that will be read and treasured by many thousands for years to come. In a shorter form, this has appeared as a three-part serial in Collier’s.

Business Pig
Written & illustrated by Andrea Zuill
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Right from the start, everyone at the barnyard knew Jasper was different: “What we have here is a gen-u-WINE Business Pig!” No playing in the mud for him; Jasper preferred bookkeeping and charts. Most of all, he longs for a forever home. But no matter how many resumes Jasper hands out, no one adopts him. Can this business pig find that special person who means business, too?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Mr. Scruff - A sweetly silly story of a little boy and a dog who make an unlikely (but perhaps perfect) pair. Everyone knows that owners and their dogs belong together in a unique way. Polly belongs to Molly, Eric belongs to Derek, Berry belongs to Terry. But poor Mr. Scruff, alone in the rescue shelter, doesn’t belong to anyone. Then a boy named Jim walks in, and they seem to get along. Jim and Mr. Scruff don’t look anything alike, and their names certainly don’t rhyme, but they may end up belonging to each other just the same. From author-illustrator Simon James comes a warm, winning story about friendship and finding a home.

  2. My Puppy Patch - It’s a big day for Patch the puppy as her girl decides to take her for her first walk outside of the yard. Patch needs to learn her manners, but the playful pup is sometimes too excited to listen! With patience and perseverance, Patch’s girl guides her new canine companion through basic commands including “sit,” “stay,” and “down,” making sure to dole out plenty of treats and belly rubs for a job well done along the way. This delightful story from author, performer, and children’s librarian Theo Heras is a great introduction for young children about caring for and training a puppy, complemented by Alice Carter’s warm, inviting illustrations and a sturdy format complete with padded cover.

  3. Nipper and the Lunchbox - Nipper hates being left alone all day while his best friend Richard is at work. But when he realizes one morning that Richard has left his lunchbox behind, Nipper sets off on a difficult journey to deliver it. Will Nipper find Richard in time? Will he survive the many dangers along the way? And what will happen when he gets there? A touching story from a new talent about the power of determination and the strength of true friendship.

  4. Nanny Paws - Nanny Paws looks after Ally and Mae the only way she knows how—as a dog would. There’s nothing she wouldn’t do for her girls. She feeds them a hearty breakfast (cookies are best), picks up their toys (teddy bears fit nicely in freshly dug holes), and even walks them to school (running them there is fun too). But one Tuesday, Ally and Mae come home sick, and it’s up to Nanny Paws to take care of them…in her own special way.

Books About Human-animal Relationships and Magic

The Star Wolf
Written by Paula Harrison & illustrated by Sophy Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Emma rescues a baby star wolf who was caught in a trap in this fifth book in the adorable Secret Rescuers series. Emma lives in a forest full of magical creatures like star wolves! The wolves’ special song makes the stars appear in the sky every night. When Emma rescues a baby star wolf from a trap, she knows she must return the pup to his family. Can she be brave enough to go on a night-time adventure and help to keep the stars shining?

Wild Rescuers: Escape to the Mesa
Written & illustrated by StacyPlays
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The next installment in the New York Times bestselling series! From YouTube gamer StacyPlays comes the exhilarating sequel to her Minecraft-inspired adventure novel about a girl raised by wolves. Stacy would do anything to protect the Taiga where she lives with the pack of intelligent wolves who raised her. But when humans start to encroach on their forest, their only choice is escape to a place no Arctic wolf has gone before: the desert. The Mesa, with its canyons, snakes, and coyotes, will be like nothing the pack has ever seen. Even in this unfamiliar territory, Stacy is determined to rescue animals in need. But as she and her wolves face new dangers and old secrets, Stacy can’t help but wonder—where does she truly belong? Fans of DanTDM: Trayasaurus and the Enchanted Crystal and PopularMMOs Presents: A Hole New World will love this illustrated, action-packed series!

The Magic Fox
Written by Paula Harrison & illustrated by Sophy Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

When Sir Fitzroy and his soldiers march into town and demand that all magical creatures be captured and taken away, Poppy races to help a family of magical foxes escape.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Baby Firebird - In a land far, far away, a small group of animal lovers work to keep magical creatures safe from the grasp of the evil Sir Fitzroy in this third book in the brand-new Secret Rescuers chapter book series! Talia lives in a tropical rainforest that is home to a flock of magical firebirds. One day she meets a baby firebird and they become best friends. But the firebirds are in terrible danger. Can Talia and her friend Lucas protect the firebirds, and save their home from destruction?

  2. Shadwos and Light - A girl who changes into a hare to evade a cruel lover. One in a series of short stories that explore the deeper, darker side of our connection with the natural world. Inspired by ancient folk tales and a love of nature. Be ready to feel a little bit of magic, and perhaps a few shivers down the spine.

  3. The Queen’s Secret - Bestselling author Jessica Day George continues her heartfelt fantasy series about a girl who can communicate with horses and a kingdom on the brink of collapse. Anthea knows the truth about horses. They’re not carriers of deadly disease like everyone in their kingdom thinks; they’re majestic creatures who share their thoughts and feelings with her through The Way. Anthea has convinced the king of this, but at a cost—he demands that horses and riders with The Way do his bidding. But when a deadly plague breaks out, the people believe that horses are the cause. As more fall ill, it’s up to Anthea and her friends to transport medicine, all while keeping out of reach from Anthea’s wicked mother. And when Anthea discovers a secret that could change the kingdom forever, she must risk everything to reveal the truth before it’s too late. Continuing the sweeping storytelling of The Rose Legacy, bestselling author Jessica Day George delights readers—especially horse lovers—once again.

  4. Good Morning, Gorillas - The magic tree house takes Jack and Annie to an African rainforest, where the siblings encounter gorillas and learn to communicate with them.

Want to see books about magic?

Books About Human-animal Relationships and Horses

Spirit Riding Free
Written by Suzanne Selfors
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The second exciting installment in the new adventure series! Lucky Prescott and Spirit, the wild stallion, have an unbreakable bond. Along with their new best friends, Abigail and Pru, Lucky and Spirit set off on daring adventures, push their limits, and discover what it means to be truly free. DreamWorks Spirit Riding Free © 2017 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The Sea Pony
Written by Paula Harrison & illustrated by Sophy Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Grace works to save her beloved sea ponies from the evil Lady Cavendish in this sixth book in the adorable Secret Rescuers series. Grace loves the beautiful sea ponies that live in the warm, clear waters around her village. So when she finds out that cruel Lady Cavendish is sailing out to catch the ponies, Grace needs her new friends, Maya and Sophy, to help her save them. But will their rescue plan work? And will Grace ever be able to talk to her favorite sea pony?

The Whole Sky
Written & illustrated by Heather Henson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

When a devastating sickness spreads through a thoroughbred farm community, a young horse whisperer is determined to find out why all the foals are dying in this tightly woven, tender coming-of-age novel from award-winning author Heather Henson. Twelve-year-old Sky and her father are horse whisperers—their preternatural tenderness and understanding of horses, and Sky’s uncanny ability to actually understand what they’re saying, become their livelihood during the foaling season at multimillion dollar horse farms. They’re sought after by the most prestigious farms in the country to keep pregnant horses calm and stress-free until they give birth. But this spring, something awful is happening…foal after foal is a stillborn, and no one knows why. And worse for Sky, who lost her mother only months earlier, her most beloved horse is about to have her first foal. In agony, Sky takes it upon herself to figure out what the vets are missing, and stop it before even more foals are lost.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Island of Lost Horses - Two girls divided by time, united by their love for some very special horses — an epic Caribbean adventure! On a remote tropical island, twelve year-old Beatriz is about to embark on an epic journey, through hurricanes and across the high seas and back to the time of Christopher Columbus… When Beatriz stumbles across a wild mare with strange markings in the jungle she can’t believe it is real. Yet from that moment on the strongest connection grows between them, and she begins to uncover an incredible history. For centuries ago, Felipa and her horse, Cara Blanca, were running for their lives. As the fates of Beatriz, Felipa and their horses become entwined, Beatriz realises that the future of the world’s rarest horses depends on her. Based on the extraordinary true story of the Abaco Barb, a real-life mystery that has remained unsolved for over five hundred years.

  2. True Story of Zippy Chippy: The Little Horse That Couldn't - Zippy Chippy is descended from the leading legends of horse racing. He is destined for greatness and glory. But . . . when the starting bell rings, it’s anybody’s guess what Zippy will do. Will Zippy go for a gentle trot around the track or stop and smell the roses? Or, perhaps, never even leave the starting gate?! With mischief in his makeup, he’s known to stick his tongue out at people and chew up the hats of passersby. And he’s always trying to break out of his stall. What’s an owner to do? Try and try again! After all, he believes in Zippy—and, besides, the horse is now a part of the family. But as Zippy’s losses mount, a funny thing happens. People start to take notice of the hapless, cupcake-eating horse. Could it be that they’re betting on Zippy to win? This remarkable story of the famed racehorse who lost every race is sure to win your heart!

  3. Leroy Ninker Saddles Up - Forging an instant bond with spaghetti-loving horse Maybelline, horseless cowboy Leroy Ninker inadverently risks eternal loneliness when he forgets a vital rule about Maybelline’s care.

  4. A Cowgirl and Her Horse - A young cowgirl demonstrates her unique way of caring for her horse, from feeding him hay sandwiches to helping him pick out new shoes.

Want to see books about horses?

Books About Human-animal Relationships and Dogs

A Friend Like Iggy
Written by Kathryn Cole & illustrated by Ian Richards
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Iggy has an important job to do. The true story of Iggy, a special dog who helps kids navigate difficult times. When children disclose abuse, they often navigate an unfamiliar chain of events, sometimes testifying in court. Iggy is a specially trained facilitator dog, and his job is to make each child he meets comfortable with the job they have to do. Iggy eases their path with his gentle, non-judgmental friendship. He can be present for police interviews, counseling sessions, court preparation, and testifying. He helps children aged three to eighteen feel more comfortable and confident. It’s a big job, but not too big for a dog with an even bigger heart.

I Love You, Fred
Written by Mick Inkpen & illustrated by Chloe Inkpen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

From the father-daughter team behind I Will Love You Anyway comes another heartwarming tale about a sweatband-wearing pug.

Fetch! and Sit! and Stay! and Ball! and Walk! and Bed! I know those words… …but what is Fred?

Little ones will laugh out loud as you read Mick and Chloë Inkpen’s delightful second story all about a troublesome little dog who finally discovers his own name.

Fenway and Hattie in the Wild
Written by Victoria J. Coe
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the fourth book in the adorable middle-grade series, Fenway gets a taste of the wild when he goes on a back-to-school camping trip with Hattie.

When Hattie starts using a word Fenway hasn’t heard in a long, long time – “skool” – some other things change as well. Hattie’s bushy ponytail disappears, clothes that smell like no one ever wore them get tossed around her room, and she smells nervous much more than usual. Then the family fills the Food Box with yummy hot dogs and loads it in the car. Fenway is thrilled that he gets to go along where ever they are going, and is even more excited when they arrive in the wilderness with tons of new scents to investigate, dogs and humans to meet, and lots of meat cooking over fires.

Hattie seems excited about it all, too, and happy her friend Angel also came, but when more families arrive with lots of new kids, she smells nervous again. Especially when one certain kid that all the others seem to follow everywhere starts bossing everyone around. Fenway can sympathize, because a tiny dog is doing the same thing to all the other dogs. Fitting in can be a tough business, but luckily both Fenway and Hattie come around to realizing that being true to themselves is much more important.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Lazy Dave - Dave is a dog. Dave is a dog who loves to sleep all day long. Lilly thinks Dave is the laziest dog in the world! But maybe Dave isn’t as lazy as Lilly thinks. . . . Find out what Dave really does all day in this debut picture book from author-illustrator Jarvis!

  2. George Washington and the General's Dog - Children will delight at this little-known-story about our nation’s first president, George Washington, that makes for perfect President’s Day readers! Boom! Bang! Guns fire! Cannons roar! This Step 3 History Reader is about George Washington fighting in the American Revolution. He sees a dog lost on the battlefield. Whose dog is it? How will it find its master? Early readers will be surprised to find out what happens in this little-known true story about America’s first president. Step 3 Readers feature engaging characters in easy-to-follow plots about popular topics. These books are for children who are ready to read on their own.

  3. From Wolf to Woof! - How did dog become man’s best friend? Dogs come in such a variety of shapes, sizes, and breeds, that it is hard to believe that they all have a common ancestor–the wolf! Hudson Talbott takes readers on a fascinating journey through history to see how wolves’ relationships with humans sparked their development into the dogs we know and love today. Striking paintings, from an adorable wolf pup to a wide range of modern-day dog breeds, illustrate this insightful story of teamwork and friendship. Through the eyes of a prehistoric boy and a lone wolf pup, we see how the bond between our ancestors and these wild animals may have developed. Starting as enemies competing for food, the wolf and the boy realize that they’ll eat better and be safer if they team up. Over time, others catch on, and as many of the wolves become more domesticated, the humans breed them for skills like hunting, herding, pulling, and rescuing. And today, there are more breeds of dog than of any other animal, all thanks to this relationship that started so long ago.

Books About Human-animal Relationships and Rescues And Rescuing

Scout: Storm Dog
Written by Jennifer Li Shotz
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The adventure continues in the third installment of the action-packed Scout series, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Li Shotz. Scout, a National Guard dog, was born to be a hero. When Scout and his 12-year-old owner, Matt, land in Puerto Rico after a devastating hurricane, they want to help. The pair befriend Luisa, who knows all about the Sato dogs—abandoned pups who need food and shelter. Scout and Matt decide to foster an injured dog named Pepita. But Pepita is clearly searching for something and runs off into the rainforest. Now it’s up to Scout, Matt and Luisa to find the missing dog and bring her back safely. Surviving the dangers of the wilderness will be far from easy, but Scout and Matt make an excellent team. This fast-moving tale of Scout the hero dog will grab even reluctant readers and is perfect for fans of Cracker!, Max, and Hero.

Maya and the Lost Cat
Written & illustrated by Caroline Magerl
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Where does Cat live, and who can lead the way there? A lyrical, charmingly offbeat tale about wanderlust and family, rescue and finding home. On a roof, as wet as a seal, as gray as a puddle, Cat was rumbling, a rumbly purr. What will lure Cat down? Feather boas? Pretty pink shoelaces? A boatful of fish under a tiny tin sail? Maya finally succeeds, only to watch Cat jump on the roof again, above a thousand lit windows, one of which must be Cat’s own. As the rain keeps coming down, how can Maya help Cat find its home? With whimsical watercolors both fluid and full of expression, Caroline Magerl portrays a child on a mission and an adventurous cat who keeps its mysteries as quiet as its paws in a story that follows a kindly impulse to an unexpected conclusion.

Rain Reign
Written by Ann M. Martin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

A New York Times Bestseller! Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She’s thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose’s obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different – not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father. When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, the roads are flooded, and Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search. Hearts will break and spirits will soar for this powerful story, brilliantly told from Rose’s point of view.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Trouble at School for Marvin & James - In the new Masterpiece Adventure Trouble at School for Marvin & James, the third in a series for younger readers from bestselling author Elise Broach, Marvin the beetle is off to school with James for the very first time! Everything runs smoothly on this big adventure until the bell rings after lunch and Marvin gets separated from James. In fact, he gets accidentally thrown away! Will Marvin make it back home to his family? How will James find him?

  2. Pony in the City - Otis wants to know about the kids who ride at his stables. Do they sleep in stalls? Do they also get brushed and braided? The older ponies ignore his questions, so Otis heads to the city to see for himself. And he finds answers, but he gets lost, too . . . until some of his favorite friends come to the rescue. Kids will relate to this sweet story about an adorable, inquisitive little pony.

  3. James to the Rescue - “Marvin the beetle is going collecting with his family. All is good and well until Uncle Albert gets hurt. Marvin needs his human friend James’s help to save Uncle Albert before it’s too late”—

Books About Human-animal Relationships and Social Themes

My Bison
Written & illustrated by Gaya Wisniewski
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A little girl and a bison get to know each other. One spring morning though, the bison has to go join his kin. He promises the little girl to come and see her again each winter. And so, every winter, they meet up, having a chat by the fire, telling each other all about their adventures, or just enjoying the quiet moments. Friendship grows and with it, tenderness. Years go by, the bison and the girl don’t notice the other getting older, but then one season the bison doesn’t appear.

Hey, Dog
Written by Tony Johnston & illustrated by Jonathan Nelson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

Made for Each Other: Why Dogs and People Are Perfect Partners
Written by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent & illustrated by William Munoz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Celebrates the bond between humans and their canine companions, discussing scientific insights that demonstrate how sharing one’s life with a dog reduces stress, provides companionship, and increases safety.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Pax - From bestselling and award-winning author Sara Pennypacker comes a beautifully wrought, utterly compelling novel about the powerful relationship between a boy and his fox. Pax is destined to become a classic, beloved for generations to come. Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter’s dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild. At his grandfather’s house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn’t where he should be—with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox. Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own. . . .

  2. Shiloh Season - After Marty Preston worked so hard to earn the dog Shiloh, he had hoped that his troubles with Judd Travers were over. He could not rescue all the dogs that Judd mistreated, but since shiloh was the one who ran away and came to him, Shiloh was the one he loved. Judd, however, has other problems. Anyone who cheats and swears and lies and kicks his dogs has troubles inside himself, and when the man starts drinking, Marty realizes that Shiloh is in danger once again. As hunting season approaches and Judd begins hunting on their land, the Prestos know that something is bound to happen. They’re right. Marty does the only thing he can think of to do, and discovers just how deep a hurt can go and how long it takes to heal.

Books About Human-animal Relationships and Cats

I Hate My Cats (A Love Story)
Written by Davide Cali & illustrated by Anna Pirolli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Ginger is the weird one. She plays with peas, purrs at artichokes, and has a strange fondness for chicken (but only the neighbor’s chicken). Then there’s Fred. His greatest talent? Sleeping. Oh, and hiding. And when he’s not hiding, he’s conspiring with Ginger to destroy the house! Such is life with cats. . . can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em—if you love them, that is. And yet the question remains: Why are these captivating creatures so marvelously maddening?! From internationally bestselling author Davide Cali, this humorous picture book about a cat owner and his beguiling felines celebrates quirky cat companions, impurrfections and all.

The Pawed Piper
Written by Michelle Robinson & illustrated by Chinlun Lee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Calling all kittens! A little girl longing for a pet of her own gets a bit more than she bargained for in this cat-filled celebration. A small girl wants a cat of her very own: a furry fluffball to cuddle, just like the one in her book or her grandmother’s cat, Hector. So she lays a trail: balls of wool, saucers of milk, cardboard boxes, and anything else that could lure a feline friend. And who should arrive the next morning but somebody furry, warm, soft, and so very purry. It’s Hector, along with dozens of other cats. The girl is happy as can be, but when “LOST CAT” posters show up all over town, she realizes her plan might have worked a little too well. Will she have to give all the cats back? Will she ever get a cat of her own to love? Sweet and playful, Michelle Robinson’s tale of wish fulfillment will strike a chord with anyone who has ever yearned for a pet, while Chinlun Lee’s exuberantly illustrated felines will delight cat lovers of all ages.

The Bill the Cat Story
Written & illustrated by Berkeley Breathed
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the hilarious “Bloom County” comic strip is back! To help celebrate, here is the first ever Bloom County picture book, featuring fan-favorite Bill the Cat in an origin story. (Ack ack!) The perfect gift for Bloomers old and new.

An Amazon Best Book of the Year and NY Times bestseller!

Almost thirty-five years ago Berkeley Breathed launched a little-known yet laugh-inducing comic strip called “Bloom County” that was full of characters who instantly entered the public consciousness–none more so than Opus (the penguin) and Bill the Cat. Bloom County’s popularity soared, it was soon syndicated nationally, had millions of daily readers, and before long its creator was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. Then, nine years later, “Bloom County” sadly came to a close. It had simply ceased being fun for Berkeley Breathed.

Now, more than twenty-five years after it ended, “Bloom County” has returned in full force and humor online, with an ever-growing fanbase every bit as zealous as it was in the strip’s heyday. For the comic’s youngest fans, and for those who never stopped wishing for its return, here is an all-new, kid-friendly story for anyone who ever wanted to know the origin story of Bill the Cat. “Bloom County” has never been more fun!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Megabat and Fancy Cat - Megabat returns, this time with a new nemesis: a very fancy cat. Can our tiny bat hero stop his Daniel’s heart from being stolen by this nefarious, fluffy villain? Megabat was looking forward to Christmas morning: presents, playing toys, smooshfruit and watching Star Wars. But then Daniel opened his last, most special present. Daniel thinks this might be the best Christmas present yet: a beautiful cat named Priscilla! He’s always wanted a pet. Megabat is not sure he likes this cat. She tastes most hairy. Daniel loves his new cat! She’s fun to play with, and she’s so soft and fluffy. Megabat is not soft OR fluffy. He’s not purebred and he doesn’t have a big, beautiful swishy tail. What if Daniel loves Priscilla more than Megabat? This is truly a disturbance in the Force. Megabat and Birdgirl must find a way to get rid of this trubble cat once and for all! Calamity ensues as Megabat and Birdgirl try to come up with ways to get rid of Priscilla. But is there more than meets the eye with this furry menace? Kass Reich’s adorable illustrations paired with Anna Humphrey’s hilarious text make for another unforgettable Megabat adventure.

  2. Bow-Wow-Meow - A laugh-out-loud funny and charming picture book about being yourself and understanding others. Max and his parents have a dog called Fabio. Fabio doesn’t like doing what other dogs do. One day, Max discovers that his dog goes out every night, and he decides to follow him… Blanca Lacasa: A journalist, singer, and writer from Spain. She writes lyrics and books for adults and children. She has published with several Publishing Houses in Spain. Bow Wow Meow is her first picture book with NubeOcho and her first picture book in the USA. GOMEZ studied Fine Arts at the prestigious University of Salamanca (Spain). A new talent, she has worked for several publishing houses in Europe, such as SM in Spain, Le Petit Bulles Edition in France, and Scholastics and Sterling in the USA.

  3. My Lazy Cat - Meet Boomer, a roly-poly cat. He’s always in a happy mood, and he’s the best friend of one little girl. But boy is Boomer lazy! From morning to night, Boomer can be found lounging around the house, snoring and snoozing. The little girl, on the other hand, is much too busy for a nap. She’s got judo, swimming, yoga, painting, rugby, and biking to do! She does not have a minute to herself, and she can’t be late! But one particularly jam-packed morning, Boomer accidentally keeps the girl from getting out the door. Instead of panicking, she decides to take the day at Boomer’s pace for once. They spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the garden, and the girl is reminded how nice it is to slow down and appreciate life’s simple pleasures.

Want to see books about cats?

Books About Human-animal Relationships and New Experiences

Truman
Written by Jean Reidy & illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

After his best friend Sarah leaves for her first day of school, a tortoise named Truman goes on an adventure across the living room and learns to be brave in this thoughtful and heartwarming twist on a first experience story. Truman the tortoise lives with his Sarah, high above the taxis and the trash trucks and the number eleven bus, which travels south. He never worries about the world below…until one day, when Sarah straps on a big backpack and does something Truman has never seen before. She boards the bus! Truman waits for her to return. He waits. And waits. And waits. And when he can wait no longer, he knows what he must do. Even if it seems…impossible!

If I Had a Horse
Written & illustrated by Gianna Marino
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

If I had a horse, he might be shy, like me. But if I stayed quiet, he’d learn to be my friend. I would have to tame him. I would have to be strong, like him. And he would have to be gentle, like me. And together, we could do anything. Gianna Marino’s vibrant, silhouetted art brings to life this picture book about understanding, stepping beyond boundaries, and bravery.

Kisses for Kindergarten
Written by Livingstone Crouse & illustrated by Macky Pamintuan and Livingstone Crouse
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Join Stella Isabella Harden and her puppy Buster in this lyrical read-aloud and heartwarming story about the first day of kindergarten. Stella Isabella Harden contemplating kindergarten declared she didn’t have to go… because her puppy told her so. School is about to begin, and Stella Isabella Harden decides that kindergarten just isn’t for her. Instead, she decides to spend the day learning from her puppy named Buster. Together these two adventurers plan a day full of playtime, teatime, nap time, and story time. After every “lesson,” Stella gets the best reward: a kiss from her best friend and favorite puppy. But will she change her mind about kindergarten before the first day of school? Join Stella and Buster in this lyrical read-aloud and heartwarming story about growing up. 2017 Mom’s Choice Awards, Gold Award Recipient 2017 NAPPA Winner

Honorable Mentions
  1. Whale in a Fishbowl - Wednesday is a whale who lives in a fishbowl smack dab in the middle of a city—it’s the only home she’s ever known. Cars whizz around her and people hurry past; even the sun and moon circle above. But if she leaps high enough out of her bowl, Wednesday can see it: a calm bit of blue off in the distance. When a girl in a paisley dress tells Wednesday “You belong in the sea,” the whale starts to wonder, what is the sea? Readers will cheer—and get all choked up— when, one day, Wednesday leaps higher than ever before and sets in motion a breathtaking chain of events that will carry her to her rightful home. Touching, and ultimately uplifting, here is a story about a lonely creature longing to be free—and longing to find someone just like her.

  2. Lazybones - Good ol’ Lazybones, Robert Exelby Perdendo, is the master of all things lazy. Long walks in the park?! Psh! Who needs them? But when all attempts to avoid his latest dreaded “walkies” fail, Lazybones soon discovers something new and exciting along the way—a lovable pug ready to play!

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