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Pets: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about pets?

Dogs, cats, bears, fish…even pet rocks! Whatever type of pet you love most, we’re pawsitive you’ll love these fin-tastic, pawesome reads in our ultimutt book list about pets!

From funny reads to messages of responsibility, we’ve found the very best books about pets, just for you!

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Top 10 Books About Pets

#1
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Where the Red Fern Grows
Written by Wilson Rawls
Thoughts from The Fun Uncle
I have very fond memories that come flooding back whenever I read this. I love Old Dan and Little Ann (Billy's two hounds)! Rawls tells an incredible story that tugs at the heart of any reader. There are so many gold nuggets that carry great lessons, like Billy's determination to catch his first coon, Billy's diligence throughout the book in caring for his dogs, and the family unity that Billy and his family share. Where the Red Fern Grows is one of the best books there is.
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
"Billy has long dreamt of owning not one, but two, dogs. So when he's finally able to save up enough money for two pups to call his own--Old Dan and Little Ann--he's ecstatic. It's true that times are tough, but together they'll roam the hills of the Ozarks. Soon Billy and his hounds become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements spread throughout the region, and the combination of Old Dan's brawn, Little Ann's brains, and Billy's sheer will seems unbeatable. But tragedy waits for these determined hunters--now friends--and Billy will learn that hope can grow out of despair and that the seeds of the future can come from the scars of the past. This beloved classic is sure to delight readers of all ages as it captures the powerful bond between man and man's best friend. To commemorate more than fifty years in print, this special edition includes historical materials to enrich this treasured novel."
#2
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Charlotte and the Rock
Written by Stephen W. Martin & illustrated by Samantha Cotterill
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
When a little girl wishes for a pet, and her parents get her a rock, she chooses to look on the bright side and ends up loving her pet rock so much. Little did she, or her parents, know that the rock was actually a dinosaur egg! This book has darling illustrations to go along with its fun story and unexpected ending.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
An unexpected friendship forms between a girl and her pet rock in this charming story that’s perfect for fans of What Pet Should I Get? Charlotte has always really wanted a pet, so when her parents present her with one for her birthday she expects a cat, dog, or maybe a bird. Instead, she receives a rock. Rocks can’t cuddle, fetch, or even help her eat her vegetables, but that doesn’t stop Charlotte from loving her rock as if he were real. If only he could love her back…or can he?
#3
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Memoirs of a Hamster
Written by Devin Scillian & illustrated by Tim Bowers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
"A pet hamster is enticed by the family cat to venture outside his well-equipped cage to the sunroom only to very quickly discover life outside his cage is not the best for him."--
#4
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I Wanna Iguana
Written by Karen Kaufman Orloff & illustrated by David Catrow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Alex just has to convince his mom to let him have an iguana, so he puts his arguments in writing. He promises that she won't have to feed it or clean its cage or even see it if she doesn't want to. Of course Mom imagines life with a six-foot-long iguana eating them out of house and home. Alex's reassurances: It takes fifteen years for an iguana to get that big. I'll be married by then and probably living in my own house. and his mom's replies: How are you going to get a girl to marry you when you own a giant reptile? will have kids in hysterics as the negotiations go back and forth through notes. And the lively, imaginative illustrations show their polar opposite dreams of life with an iguana.
#5
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Sparky!
Written by Jenny Offill & illustrated by Chris Appelhans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A child takes a sloth named Sparky as a pet.
#6
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My Pet Giraffe
Written & illustrated by Mark Iacolina
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
Cute illustrations, great rhymes, and sweet little premise. It's a super fast read that's also highly enjoyable. I love this whole series (My Pet Giraffe, My Pet Penguins, & My Pet Polar Bear)
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Giraffes make the best pets! Follow a little girl and boy and their pet giraffe as they spy, dress up for Halloween, and play hide-and-seek!
#7
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When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles
Written by Susanna Leonard Hill & illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
The whole story is about how you can help and take care of an elephant that has the sniffles, creating a great time to talk to your kiddos about responsibilities of taking care of a pet. The ideas in it also teach how they can react if a sibling, parent, or they themselves get a cold.This is also a great book to talk to your kids about sickness with a fun storyline.
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
When your elephant has the sniffles, you better make sure he doesn’t sneeze! This charming and hilarious board book highlights the many ways to make an under-the-weather elephant feel better! Does your elephant have the sniffles? Make sure to take good care of him because you don’t want him to start sneezing. Gather up your tissues and your pillows and make that elephant feel better! But don’t get too close…or you just might end up with the sniffles, too!
#8
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Silly Doggy!
Written & illustrated by Adam Stower
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
When Lily discovers a bear in her garden, she mistakenly thinks it is a dog and wants to keep it for her pet.
#9
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Land Shark
Written by Beth Ferry & illustrated by Ben Mantle
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
Land Shark is one of my favorites! This book about a clever little boy obsessed with sharks is so witty and always makes me laugh. It's also fun to learn some facts about sharks while you're reading, and I love the fun illustrations and details in the pictures!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
The only thing Bobby wants for his birthday is a pet shark. So you can imagine his disappointment when his parents get him...a puppy. Everyone knows shark lovers can never become dog lovers. Or can they? Full of humor and heart, this book explores the idea that sometimes, getting exactly what you don't want turns out to be exactly what you need.
#10
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DogFish
Written by Gillian Shields & illustrated by Dan Taylor
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This story has a great overall message in it, to want what you already have instead of wanting something you can't have. :) The boy learns to make the best of things, and instead of just wanting a dog, he learns to teach his goldfish to catch a stick, takes him on walks, and everyone ends up happy. :)
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Everyone has a dog. Except for one little boy. He has a goldfish. He needs a dog. Mom says, "Why do you need a dog when you have such a nice goldfish?" But goldfish can't catch sticks or go for walks or wag their tails.... Can they? Maybe they can...
Table of Contents
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Books About Pets and Cats

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The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read
Written by Curtis Manley & illustrated by Kate Berube
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
When Nick decides to teach his cats to read, Verne is very much interested, especially in books about mice and fish, but Stevenson wants nothing to do with the project--or does he?
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Memoirs of a Hamster
Written by Devin Scillian & illustrated by Tim Bowers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
"A pet hamster is enticed by the family cat to venture outside his well-equipped cage to the sunroom only to very quickly discover life outside his cage is not the best for him."--
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Bad Kitty Cat
Written & illustrated by Nick Bruel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
From the creator of The New York Times bestseller Boing! comes the riotous story of a cat gone berserk — four times over an in alphabetical order each time. Kitty is not happy hen she's told that her favorite foods are all gone and all that's left are Asparagus, Beets, Cauliflower, Dill...and 22 other equally unappealing vegetables. So she: Ate my homework, Bit grandma, Clawed the curtains, Damaged the dishes, and so on, through Z. Only when tastier things arrive (An Assortment of Anchovies, Buffalo Burritos, Chicken Cheesecake...) does she Apologize to Grandma.
Honorable Mentions
I See Kitty book
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Our Cat Cuddles book
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Naughty Kitty! book
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Did You Eat the Parakeet? book
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  1. I See Kitty - Love that Kitty! The most adorable picture book of the year invites the very youngest cat lovers to find Kitty in the world around them. Chloe loves kitties. She wants a cat so much that she sees Kitty everywhere she goes: at the bus stop, in her backyard, in the starry night sky, even in her dreams. From debut children’s book illustrator Yasmine Surovec comes a story so adorable that if you don’t already love cats you will by the time you’re done reading it. In the tradition of iconic preschool books like Where’s Spot?, I See Kitty uses bright, bold artwork to appeal to very young readers and charm them for generations to come.

  2. Our Cat Cuddles - After Dominic and Lizzie convince their parents to get a cat, each member of the family has different qualities they look for in a pet, but the one they take home turns out to be a cat beyond their expectations.

  3. Naughty Kitty! - NAUGHTY KITTY is the cute, cuddly, and funny follow-up title to Adam Stower’s SILLY DOGGY! When Lily is finally allowed to have her very own kitten, strange things are afoot. Lily’s brand new, teeny-tiny Kitty shouldn’t be any trouble at all, but as soon as Lily leaves Kitty alone, hilarious hijinks are always around the corner. Kitty ruins the kitchen, Kitty ruins the den. And we won’t talk about what Kitty did to the rug. (Ugg!) Could it be that someone or something else is to blame for Kitty’s wild behavior? A loveable story that will have kids laughing out loud, NAUGHTY KITTY is a classic tale of mistaken cat-tastophies that makes for a roaringly purr-fect read.

  4. Did You Eat the Parakeet? - A little girl can’t find her parakeet—her kitty must have eaten it! Right? Where else would it have gone? It was just here! She shouts, she accuses, and she laments her loss. But her cat might be trying to tell her something . . . With rhyming text and adorable art, Did You Eat the Parakeet? by Mark Iacolina is a sweet and silly picture book that will have children laughing through the final page.

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Books About Pets and Action And Adventure

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My Pet Penguins
Written by Mark Iacolina
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Penguins make the best pets! Follow a little girl and her pet penguins as they flip pancakes, spin on the ice, and read a story before catching some zzz's!
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Papillon: The Very Fluffy Kitty
Written & illustrated by A.N. Kang
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
Simultaneously adorable, comical and sweet, this story explores the idea of venturing out to adventure and then returning home to love and safety in way that's outlandish and utterly enjoyable.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
Papillon is a very fluffy kitty. So fluffy that he's lighter than air! His owner tries to weigh him down, but Papillon just wants to fly. One particularly sunny day, he floats right out the window! Exploring the wide world is exhilarating, but it's also a little scary. Will his new friend, a bird, be able to help him find his way home? Whimsical art and airy text come together seamlessly in this delightful debut by A. N. Kang.
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Good Dog, Carl
Written & illustrated by Alexandra Day
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Available in paperback for the first time, the modern classic that introduced the beloved baby-sitting rottweiler to the world.
Honorable Mentions
Monster Match book
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Henny, Penny, Lenny, Denny, and Mike book
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Mr. Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets book
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Tomie DePaola's Cats and Kittens book
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  1. Monster Match - A celebration of children’s special toys and teddies - with a monster twist! Let me be your monster, I’m more fun than you’d think. Don’t mind the grime, ignore the slime, you’ll soon forget my stink. Pick me! Pick me! All the monsters want to be this child’s pet - but which will be chosen?

  2. Henny, Penny, Lenny, Denny, and Mike - From beloved author Cynthia Rylant and illustrator Mike Austin comes a colorful and quirky picture book about five fish who find unexpected friendship when some new additions to their tank shake things up! Henny, Penny, Lenny, Denny and Mike are five fish friends who love everything about life in the fish tank—except for clean-the-tank day and the snail that lives with them, who they mostly ignore. But one day, when they get an enchanting new fairy-tale castle, disaster strikes! And it turns out there’s only one slippery, slimy non-fish fellow who can help…

  3. Mr. Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets - Meet Mr. Penguin—Adventurer (And Penguin!) When Mr. Penguin and Colin crash-land on a snowy mountain, they discover strange noises coming from an old, ruined fortress. Might it be connected to the mystery of missing pets? Why are there shadowy figures lurking about? And will Mr. Penguin conquer his fear of flying? This second installment in the humorous, page-turning series from Alex T. Smith, the author-illustrator of the popular Claude series, is sure to thrill young readers looking for a good adventure.

  4. Tomie DePaola's Cats and Kittens - From the author of Strega Nona, an informative and funny first book on every kind of cat, from Abys to Burmese to Maine Coon to alley cat, including how to care for them. When Patrick goes to visit Mrs Twinkle, he asks questions about cats and where they came from. He learns more than he bargained for, including Egyptian legends and the four kinds of cat tails. The book includes simple instructions for making your own cat toy, information on their care and feeding, and other useful resources, all in an entertaining format.

Books About Pets and Feelings And Emotions

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Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats
Written by Alicia Potter & illustrated by Birgitta Sif
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
Crumb the cat, along with many other shy and fearful cats, live with the kind Miss Hazeltine. One day, Miss Hazeltine ventures out to get milk for the cats and only Crumb knows where she's gone. When something bad happens to her, Crumb faces his fear and leads a wonderful example for the rest of the cats to do the same. As they brave the dark and their fears, the rescue Miss Hazeltine. This is a fun book about facing fears, pets, and cats!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
A tale with many tails, perfect for cat lovers everywhere! Miss Hazeltine is opening a very special school for shy and fearful cats. They come from all over, and Miss Hazeltine gives them lessons in everything, from “Bird Basics” to “How Not to Fear the Broom.” The most timid of all is Crumb. He cowers in a corner. Miss Hazeltine doesn’t mind. But when she gets in trouble and only Crumb knows where she is, will he find his inner courage and lead a daring rescue? Filled with adorable illustrations and ideal for fans of Disappearing Desmond and The Invisible Boy, Miss Hazeltine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats is a story that’s perfect for shy and fearful children as it both helps them face scary situations and accepts them just as they are.
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Because of Winn-Dixie
Written & illustrated by Kate DiCamillo
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
One summer’s day, ten-year-old India Opal Buloni goes down to the local supermarket for some groceries – and comes home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog. It’s because of Winn-Dixie that Opal begins to make friends. And it’s because of Winn-Dixie that she finally dares to ask her father about her mother, who left when Opal was three. In fact, as Opal admits, just about everything that happens that summer is because of Winn-Dixie. Featuring a new cover illustration by E. B. Lewis.
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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?
Honorable Mentions
The Only Fish in the Sea book
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Hello, Jimmy! book
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Albert's Quiet Quest book
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Found book
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  1. The Only Fish in the Sea - Did you hear about little Amy Scott? She got a goldfish for her birthday and then just threw it in the ocean! That doesn’t seem right. I guess Sherman and Sadie will have to go save little Ellsworth (every fish deserves a proper name) on their own. They’ll need: A boat Fishing gear Twenty-one pink balloons A bucket of paint And Appropriate headwear in case of weather―good or bad Don’t worry. Ellsworth is in good hands now, but what ever happened to little Amy Scott? Join Sadie (Special Delivery) on another adventure in The Only Fish in the Sea, a delightful picture book by Philip C. Stead and Matthew Cordell.

  2. Hello, Jimmy! - A funny, noisy parrot comes into Jack’s life and brings him closer to his dad in an unexpected and moving way in this gorgeous, emotionally resonant picture book from the creator of Florette. Jack loves staying at his dad’s house. They have tacos and milkshakes, and make each other laugh. But lately Jack wonders if his dad is lonely when he isn’t there. Then Jimmy arrives. Jimmy is loud and obnoxious, but Dad thinks he’s clever and funny. Jack does not think he’s clever or funny. And he’s starting to wonder if Dad likes Jimmy better than he likes Jack. This beautifully written and illustrated book about the unconditional love a parent has for a child is both heartwarming and reassuring.

  3. Albert's Quiet Quest - Albert wants a quiet place to read…but his friends just want to play! Can they figure out how to have fun together? Albert’s home is very loud — and all he wants to do is read! He escapes outside for some peace, and thinks he’s found it at last. But, one by one, his friends boistrously infiltrate his space until Albert just can’t take it anymore…and snaps! How will his friends react? While they leave him alone at first, they slowly return…with books in hand. This beautifully illustrated story models flexible, empathic play, and articulates a range of ways a group can have fun together. A useful tool for any classroom or neighborhood!

  4. Found - A wordless picture book about what we lose, what we find, and what we give back. Jenn’s beloved dog was lost sometime ago. Long enough that she has given up the search. But she still misses her friend. One day she finds a lost dog. She takes him in and despite a rocky start, she grows to love him. Until she spots his picture on a missing poster. His name is Roscoe, and he’s someone else’s best friend. Jenn knows she should return Roscoe, but she really doesn’t want to. Will Jenn do the right thing? Or will she keep this new dog she’s grown to love so much?

Books About Pets and Mythical Creatures

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A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans
Written by Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder & illustrated by Mary GrandPré
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This humorous story of a dragon and her "pet" human takes you on an adventure with plenty of mayhem! It takes teamwork to fix the chaos Winnie accidentally created, but this story of adventure is so fun with all the humor weaved inside! You'll laugh with and love these characters.
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Fans of How to Train Your Dragon will love this whimsical tale, the first in a series, by a Newbery Honor winner, featuring charming illustrations and pet "training tips" in each chapter. Crusty dragon Miss Drake has a new pet human, precocious Winnie. Oddly enough, Winnie seems to think Miss Drake is her pet—a ridiculous notion! Unknown to most of its inhabitants, the City by the Bay is home to many mysterious and fantastic creatures, hidden beneath the parks, among the clouds, and even in plain sight. And Winnie wants to draw every new creature she encounters: the good, the bad, and the ugly. But Winnie’s sketchbook is not what it seems. Somehow, her sketchlings have been set loose on the city streets! It will take Winnie and Miss Drake’s combined efforts to put an end to the mayhem . . . before it’s too late. This refreshing debut collaboration by Laurence Yep, a two-time Newbery Honor winner and a Laura Ingalls Wilder Award winner, and Joanne Ryder features illustrations by Mary GrandPré.
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You Don't Want a Unicorn!
Written by Ame Dyckman & illustrated by Liz Climo
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Be careful what pet you wish for in this hysterical story from bestselling author Ame Dyckman and beloved illustrator Liz Climo, now as a board book! When a little boy throws a coin in a well asking for a pet unicorn, he has no idea what kind of trouble he's in for. Unbeknownst to him, unicorns make the absolutely worst pets: they shed, they poke holes in your ceiling, and they make a big mess. With a knowing wink from Ame Dyckman, author of Wolfie the Bunny and cheerful illustrations from Rory the Dinosaur creator and Tumblr star Liz Climo, this rollicking story shares all of the ways a pet unicorn can ruin your life, and is sure to have readers in stitches.
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If I Had a Gryphon
Written by Vikki VanSickle & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Sam just got a hamster for a pet. But the hamster is kind of boring ... he just eats and sleeps and gets his shavings wet. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, Sam longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might not be as wonderful as she thought. Sasquatches are messy, unicorns are shy, hippogriffs scare the dogs at the dogpark, and having a fire extinguisher handy at all times makes dragons seem like an awful lot of work. In the end, Sam realizes that her hamster is a pretty sweet and safe pet ... or is he? If I Had a Gryphon is a raucous rhyming read-aloud about fantastical beasts in everyday situations--and the increasingly beleaguered heroine who has to deal with them.
Honorable Mentions
A Unicorn Named Sparkle book
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Do Not Take Your Dragon to Dinner book
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A Unicorn Named Sparkle and the Pumpkin Monster book
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  1. A Unicorn Named Sparkle - When Lucy sees an ad in the newspaper for a unicorn, she sends in her twenty-five cents and waits four to six long weeks for her very own unicorn to arrive. She imagines the flowers that she’ll braid into his beautiful pink mane, and she even picks the perfect name for him: Sparkle. But when Sparkle arrives, his ears are too long, his horn is too short, he smells funny—and oh, he has fleas. Lucy isn’t pleased, but in the end she warms up to Sparkle and realizes that even though he wasn’t exactly the unicorn she wanted, he might be just the one she needs.

  2. Do Not Take Your Dragon to Dinner - A child discovers that when dining out, you really should not bring your fire-breathing dragon—far better to practice his dining etiquette at home.

  3. A Unicorn Named Sparkle and the Pumpkin Monster - The fourth book in the A Unicorn Named Sparkle series features pumpkins, silly adventures, and of course, a sparkly friendship ― perfect for Autumn! Lucy and our favorite unicorn are back in Sparkle the Unicorn and the Pumpkin Monster. Lucy and Sparkle love Halloween, especially at Frank’s Pumpkin Farm. They get to run through corn mazes, play games, decorate pumpkins, and most importantly: eat a lot of cider donuts. But Lucy and Sparkle discover one big difference between them ― Lucy loves to be scared every once in awhile. Sparkle? Not so much. When Lucy takes the scary part of Halloween one step too far for Sparkle, she must comfort her frightened unicorn pal ― and win back his trust.

Books About Pets and African Americans

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Not Norman
Written by Kelly Bennett & illustrated by Noah Z. Jones
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
As a boy attempts to convince someone else to take his disappointing pet, he learns to love Norman the goldfish himself.
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If I Had a Dinosaur
Written by Gabby Dawnay & illustrated by Alex Barrow and Gabby Dawnay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
A witty and charmingly illustrated bedtime story about a little girl who imagines what it would be like to have a dinosaur of her very own
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Mr. Scruff
Written & illustrated by Simon James
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
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.
Honorable Mentions
My Pet Wants a Pet book
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How to Take Care of Your Dinosaur book
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Libby Loves Science book
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Fred Pudding book
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  1. My Pet Wants a Pet - Once there was a boy who wanted something to take care of.Something of his very own. He begged his mother for a puppy. Until she said YES!The boy loved his puppy. He fed him and played with him and cuddled him. But soon, the dog wanted something to take care of—something of his very own. So the dog gets a pet cat; then the cat gets a pet bird; the bird gets a pet worm; the worm gets a pet flea . . . and on and on it goes as utter chaos ensues.

  2. How to Take Care of Your Dinosaur - What would you do if, instead of a cat or a goldfish, you had a dinosaur for a pet? Well, that’s exactly what happens to the little boy in this story when an enormous egg appears at his house one day. Day by day, he learns exactly how to look after his dinosaur: what to feed it for breakfast, where to take it for walks, and, perhaps most difficult of all, how to deal with dinosaur-size poop!

  3. Libby Loves Science - Libby and her friends volunteer to run the science booth at their school fair and have some great ideas, but Libby does not always follow directions precisely. Includes a worksheet for each experiment mentioned.

  4. Fred Pudding - Grandma and her grandson are making bread pudding, but her dog, Fred, has his own plans! While the humans are in the kitchen, Fred is busy shredding papers and tissues in the living room. When Grandma mixes, Fred runs in circles, and when she bakes the pudding, Fred lies on the floor under a sunny window. Will the delicious dessert make up for the mess Fred made? This hilarious adventure, inspired by quintessential dog shenanigans, is sure to make all families and dog lovers laugh.

Books About Pets and Farm Animals

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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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Charlotte's Web
Written by E.B. White & illustrated by Garth Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Sixty years ago, on October 15, 1952, E.B. White's Charlotte's Web was published. It's gone on to become one of the most beloved children's books of all time. To celebrate this milestone, the renowned Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo has written a heartfelt and poignant tribute to the book that is itself a beautiful translation of White's own view of the world—of the joy he took in the change of seasons, in farm life, in the miracles of life and death, and, in short, the glory of everything. We are proud to include Kate DiCamillo's foreword in the 60th anniversary editions of this cherished classic. Charlotte's Web is the story of a little girl named Fern who loved a little pig named Wilbur—and of Wilbur's dear friend Charlotte A. Cavatica, a beautiful large grey spider who lived with Wilbur in the barn. With the help of Templeton, the rat who never did anything for anybody unless there was something in it for him, and by a wonderfully clever plan of her own, Charlotte saved the life of Wilbur, who by this time had grown up to quite a pig. How all this comes about is Mr. White's story. It is a story of the magic of childhood on the farm. The thousands of children who loved Stuart Little, the heroic little city mouse, will be entranced with Charlotte the spider, Wilbur the pig, and Fern, the little girl who understood their language. The forty-seven black-and-white drawings by Garth Williams have all the wonderful detail and warmhearted appeal that children love in his work. Incomparably matched to E.B. White's marvelous story, they speak to each new generation, softly and irresistibly.
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The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash
Written by Trinka Hakes Noble & illustrated by Steven Kellogg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Jimmy's boa constrictor wreaks havoc on the class trip to a farm.
Honorable Mentions
When Your Llama Needs a Haircut book
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Mary Had a Little Lab book
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My Dog's a Chicken book
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Escape Goat book
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  1. When Your Llama Needs a Haircut - When it’s picture day and you realize your llama needs a haircut, you’ll need a good comb and some luck! This charming and hilarious board book features one shaggy llama and a whole lot of hairstyles! Uh-oh. It’s picture day and someone’s a mess! Does your llama need a haircut? After a hilarious shampoo, it’s time to decide which style would be best for your shaggy llama. A mohawk? Layers? Or how about a brand-new fur color? But be careful…or you just might end up with a haircut, too!

  2. Mary Had a Little Lab - Mary is an enterprising young inventor. She wants a pet, but it isn’t one she can easily buy…so she makes one with the Sheepinator! Mary’s pet sheep and her new invention make her popular with her classmates. But when she starts making sheep for her new friends, things go hilariously awry. Can Mary invent a way to fix this mess?

  3. My Dog's a Chicken - Lula Mae wants a puppy, but times are hard and she’ll just have to make do. Her family has plenty of chickens, so she decides maybe a chicken can be a dog. Pookie, as Lula Mae names her, is an ordinary chicken, but Lula Mae thinks she is very doglike indeed. With a bow in Pookie’s hair, Lula Mae declares her a show dog. When she runs circles around the other chickens, Pookie is a shepherd dog. And when Cousin Tater sneaks up with a snake and Pookie starts _bawk, bawk, bawk_ing, well, she’s a guard dog, too. Then Lula Mae’s brother, Baby Berry, wanders away, and who do you think comes to the rescue? Readers will cheer for plucky Lula Mae and giggle over her beloved Pookie, who quite unknowingly saves the day.

  4. Escape Goat - From the international bestselling author of Bel Canto and The Dutch House, Ann Patchett, and the bestselling illustrator of the Fancy Nancy series, Robin Preiss Glasser, comes a hilarious children’s story about a scapegoat who escapes blame just in time. The Farmer family has a big problem! Every day their goat escapes, and every day, Mr. Farmer brings him back. So when things start to go awry on the farm, it must be the goat’s fault. Who’s to blame when Mrs. Farmer’s petunias are trampled? Or when all the cupcakes for Archie’s party disappear? And when the whole bucket of paint is spilled? Of course, everyone blames the goat! But is it really his fault? Find out in this epic collaboration between Ann Patchett and Robin Preiss Glasser, who create this perfect picture book about telling the truth.

Books About Pets and Love

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Charlotte and the Rock
Written by Stephen W. Martin & illustrated by Samantha Cotterill
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
When a little girl wishes for a pet, and her parents get her a rock, she chooses to look on the bright side and ends up loving her pet rock so much. Little did she, or her parents, know that the rock was actually a dinosaur egg! This book has darling illustrations to go along with its fun story and unexpected ending.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
An unexpected friendship forms between a girl and her pet rock in this charming story that’s perfect for fans of What Pet Should I Get? Charlotte has always really wanted a pet, so when her parents present her with one for her birthday she expects a cat, dog, or maybe a bird. Instead, she receives a rock. Rocks can’t cuddle, fetch, or even help her eat her vegetables, but that doesn’t stop Charlotte from loving her rock as if he were real. If only he could love her back…or can he?
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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.
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Picking Pickle
Written by Polly Faber & illustrated by Clara Vulliamy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
It's not always easy to pick the right dog! Which one will find its perfect home? An endearing story about an adorable but overlooked pup--and his dream of getting adopted. Looking for a pet? Take a guided tour of the dogs' home with one characterful canine! He's been there the longest and knows everyone, so he'll help you find the perfect companion. Will it be hungry Harvey? Clever Dumpling? Sporty Boo-Boo? What a pickle! With gorgeous illustrations from Clara Vulliamy, and laugh-out-loud text from Polly Faber, this book is guaranteed to touch your heart.
Honorable Mentions
Dogs book
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Two Brothers, One Tail book
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I Hate My Cats (A Love Story) book
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Sterling, Best Dog Ever book
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  1. Dogs - Gorgeous canines of every shape, size and color are bounding through this irresistible book. Can you choose one dog to love best of all? With playful pencil and watercolor illustrations to delight children and adults alike, everyone will long to bark along with the Chihuahua and tickle the Dalmatian’s tummy. This is a wonderfully satisfying book with a twist in the tail.

  2. Two Brothers, One Tail - A sweet and charming picture book about the unending love between a boy and his dog. Two brothers, two hands Two brothers, four paws Two brothers, ten fingers Two brother, ten claws With simple rhyming text by Richard T. Morris and charming illustrations from Jay Fleck, Two Brothers, One Tail is a heart-warming story about a boy and his brother, who just happens to be a dog. Perfect for fans of Bad Dog, Marley and Harry the Dirty Dog!

  3. I Hate My Cats (A Love Story) - 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.

  4. Sterling, Best Dog Ever - A heartwarming and hilarious debut picture book about a dog who masquerades as a fork in search of a forever family. Full color.

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Books About Pets and Family

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Land Shark
Written by Beth Ferry & illustrated by Ben Mantle
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
Land Shark is one of my favorites! This book about a clever little boy obsessed with sharks is so witty and always makes me laugh. It's also fun to learn some facts about sharks while you're reading, and I love the fun illustrations and details in the pictures!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
The only thing Bobby wants for his birthday is a pet shark. So you can imagine his disappointment when his parents get him...a puppy. Everyone knows shark lovers can never become dog lovers. Or can they? Full of humor and heart, this book explores the idea that sometimes, getting exactly what you don't want turns out to be exactly what you need.
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A Family for Louie
Written & illustrated by Alexandra Thompson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
A foodie French bulldog finds a forever home in this heartwarming and adorable debut picture book, sure to appeal to fans of Gaston, Ellie, and Little Elliot, Big City. Meet Louie. He's a dog of very fine taste. He knows every chef in town, and each day he wanders the city, visiting his favorite restaurants. It's a good life, except... Louie is all on his own. What Louie wants more than anything is a family. But try as he might, Louie can't seem to find a family that's right for him. At the beach, he meets a little boy and his mother... but they're eating green jello salad and sardine sandwiches (Louie's least favorite foods!). At his favorite sushi restaurant, Louie spies a father and daughter with an open seat at their table... but their cat chases him away. At the park, he meets a nice family having a yummy barbecue, but when they invite him to play frisbee... Louie just can't keep up. Where-oh-where will Louie find a just-right family of his very own?
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A Piglet Named Mercy
Written by Kate DiCamillo & illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Mr. Watson and Mrs. Watson live ordinary lives. Sometimes their lives feel a bit too ordinary. Sometimes they wish something different would happen. And one day it does, when someone unpredictable finds her way to their front door. In a delightful origin story for the star of the Mercy Watson series, a tiny piglet brings love (and chaos) to Deckawoo Drive—and the Watsons’ lives will never be the same.
Honorable Mentions
Dear Beast book
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The Other Dog book
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Lone Wolf book
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Simple Art Of Flying book
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  1. Dear Beast - A jealous cat really, really, REALLY wants to drive away his young owner’s new dog in this playful illustrated chapter book from a two-time Geisel Honor winner. Simon has taken care of his owner, Andy, for many years. He’s a good cat. Clean, responsible, and loyal. What more could a boy want? Even when Andy’s dad moves out, Simon is certain that Andy doesn’t need another pet. So why would Andy’s dad adopt a DOG?! To make matters worse, the animal is a rude, rowdy troublemaker. Simon’s job is clear: the beast has got to go. He decides to write him a letter. Strongly worded, of course. But when the dog’s response sets off an unexpected correspondence, Simon realizes the beast may be here to stay. Can he make room for another pet in Andy’s life? This funny and heartwarming collaboration between Geisel Honor and Edgar Award-winning author Dori Hillestad Butler and bestselling illustrator Kevan Atteberry is a tribute to the love of a good pet - and the joy found in new friendship. With nine chapters and adorable full-color illustrations on every spread, the series is perfect for kids transitioning from picture books to chapter books. A Junior Library Guild Selection

  2. The Other Dog - Reissued in hardcover to coincide with the movie release of A Wrinkle in Time, here is a true tale of dog-meets-baby from Newbery Medal–winning author Madeleine L’Engle! Based on Madeleine L’Engle’s own poodle’s experience coping with a new baby in the house, this sprightly picture book presents a familiar domestic drama with an utterly charming new twist. Tongue-in-cheek wit, endearing illustrations, and a revealing author’s note make this a publishing event to celebrate!

  3. Lone Wolf -

  4. Simple Art Of Flying - Quirky characters, plucky humor, and a heartwarming message come together in this big-hearted debut novel about friendship and the true meaning of family. Sometimes flying means keeping your feet on the ground… Born in a dismal room in a pet store, Alastair the African grey parrot dreams of escape to bluer skies. He’d like nothing more than to fly away to a palm tree with his beloved sister, Aggie. But when Aggie is purchased by twelve-year-old Fritz, and Alastair is adopted by elderly dance-enthusiast and pie-baker Albertina Plopky, the future looks ready to crash-land. In-between anxiously plucking his feathers, eating a few books, and finding his own poetic voice, Alastair plots his way to a family reunion. But soon he’s forced to choose between the life he’s always dreamed of and admitting the truth: that sometimes, the bravest adventure is in letting go.

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Books About Pets and Death

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Where the Red Fern Grows
Written by Wilson Rawls
Thoughts from The Fun Uncle
I have very fond memories that come flooding back whenever I read this. I love Old Dan and Little Ann (Billy's two hounds)! Rawls tells an incredible story that tugs at the heart of any reader. There are so many gold nuggets that carry great lessons, like Billy's determination to catch his first coon, Billy's diligence throughout the book in caring for his dogs, and the family unity that Billy and his family share. Where the Red Fern Grows is one of the best books there is.
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
"Billy has long dreamt of owning not one, but two, dogs. So when he's finally able to save up enough money for two pups to call his own--Old Dan and Little Ann--he's ecstatic. It's true that times are tough, but together they'll roam the hills of the Ozarks. Soon Billy and his hounds become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements spread throughout the region, and the combination of Old Dan's brawn, Little Ann's brains, and Billy's sheer will seems unbeatable. But tragedy waits for these determined hunters--now friends--and Billy will learn that hope can grow out of despair and that the seeds of the future can come from the scars of the past. This beloved classic is sure to delight readers of all ages as it captures the powerful bond between man and man's best friend. To commemorate more than fifty years in print, this special edition includes historical materials to enrich this treasured novel."
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A Stone for Sascha
Written & illustrated by Aaron Becker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9
A girl grieves the loss of her dog in an achingly beautiful wordless epic from the Caldecott Honor-winning creator of Journey. This year's summer vacation will be very different for a young girl and her family without Sascha, the beloved family dog, along for the ride. But a wistful walk along the beach to gather cool, polished stones becomes a brilliant turning point in the girl's grief. There, at the edge of a vast ocean beneath an infinite sky, she uncovers, alongside the reader, a profound and joyous truth. In his first picture book following the conclusion of his best-selling Journey trilogy, Aaron Becker achieves a tremendous feat, connecting the private, personal loss of one child to a cycle spanning millennia -- and delivering a stunningly layered tale that demands to be pored over again and again.
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Missing Jack
Written by Rebecca Elliott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-18
Toby's cat, Jack, is THE best cat EVER. But Jack is getting old - and Toby will miss his furry best friend terribly when he's gone. Then Toby meets a crazy cat called Humphrey. In this charming and beautifully illustrated picture book Rebecca Elliott addresses the difficult subject of a child's first experience of the death of a pet with warmth, sensitivity and well placed humour. Awards: 2011 JUNIOR MAGAZINE DESIGN AWARDS Most Promising New Talent- SHORTLISTED, 2011 NASEN AWARDS (National Association of Special Education Needs) Inclusive Children's Book of the Year - SHORTLISTED, 2011 NURSERY WORLD AWARDS Three to Fives New Launch - FINALIST, 2010-11 PEOPLE'S BOOK PRIZE Children's Book of the Year - FINALIST, 2012 - KATE GREENAWAY MEDAL - LONG LIST, 2012 - DOLLY GRAY CHILDREN'S LITERATURE AWARD - WI
Honorable Mentions
Ghost Cat book
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The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole book
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  1. Ghost Cat - A boy who used to have a cat believes that its ghost is darting through his house by day and purring in his bed at night.

  2. The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole - A girl’s friendship with a lonely black hole leads her to face her own sadness in this original, funny, and touching middle grade novel for fans of Crenshaw and Flora & Ulysses. When eleven-year-old Stella Rodriguez shows up at NASA to request that her recording be included in Carl Sagan’s Golden Record, something unexpected happens: A black hole follows her home, and sets out to live in her house as a pet. The black hole swallows everything he touches, which is challenging to say the least—but also turns out to be a convenient way to get rid of those items that Stella doesn’t want around. Soon the ugly sweaters her aunt has made for her all disappear within the black hole, as does the smelly class hamster she’s taking care of, and most important, all the reminders of her dead father that are just too painful to have around. It’s not until Stella, her younger brother, Cosmo, the family puppy, and even the bathroom tub all get swallowed up by the black hole that Stella comes to realize she has been letting her own grief consume her. And that’s not the only thing she realizes as she attempts to get back home. This is an astonishingly original and funny adventure with a great big heart.

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Books About Pets and Fish

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DogFish
Written by Gillian Shields & illustrated by Dan Taylor
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This story has a great overall message in it, to want what you already have instead of wanting something you can't have. :) The boy learns to make the best of things, and instead of just wanting a dog, he learns to teach his goldfish to catch a stick, takes him on walks, and everyone ends up happy. :)
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Everyone has a dog. Except for one little boy. He has a goldfish. He needs a dog. Mom says, "Why do you need a dog when you have such a nice goldfish?" But goldfish can't catch sticks or go for walks or wag their tails.... Can they? Maybe they can...
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A Fish Out of Water
Written by Helen Palmer & illustrated by P. D. Eastman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
A fun-filled reading experience for the beginning reader about a little boy who overfeeds his fish
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Vilonia Beebe Takes Charge
Written by Kristin L. Gray
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
"Vilonia must prove she is responsible enough to get a dog in order to help her mom get over her grief"--
Honorable Mentions
The Goodbye Book book
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I Won a What? book
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Jurassic Carp: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish book
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Aquarium book
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  1. The Goodbye Book - From bestselling author Todd Parr, a poignant and reassuring story about loss. Through the lens of a pet fish who has lost his companion, Todd Parr tells a moving and wholly accessible story about saying goodbye. Touching upon the host of emotions children experience, Todd reminds readers that it’s okay not to know all the answers, and that someone will always be there to support them. An invaluable resource for life’s toughest moments.

  2. I Won a What? - The hilarious and heartwarming story of a boy who tries to win a goldfish and winds up with FAR more than he bargained for . . . A young boy wins a humongous new pet at the carnival, and before long, they become fast friends. But his parents are skeptical. After all, Nuncio doesn’t even fit in the house! Will the gargantuan goldfish have to go? Or will the family find a way to give him the home he deserves? Fans of Sparky will flip for this whale of a tale from Audrey Vernick, author of Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? and featuring illustrations from Wow! City! illustrator Robert Neubecker.

  3. Jurassic Carp: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish - In the first of two stories, zombie goldfish Frankie is good at saving the day, but the medieval day reenactment joust may be too much, and in the second story, Tom’s evil brother clones a Jurassic carp, putting the school in danger.

  4. Aquarium - A girl ventures to the water’s edge, dreaming of a new friend. And, just like that, a beguiling red fish leaps into her life. But is friendship a sea these two can navigate together? From debut Argentinian author-illustrator Cynthia Alonso comes a wordless picture book about the timeless beauty of nature, the transcendent power of connection, and the importance of letting go.

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Books About Pets and Human-animal Relationships

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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.
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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?
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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!
Honorable Mentions
My Puppy Patch book
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The Pawed Piper book
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The Bill the Cat Story book
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Rain Reign book
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  1. 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.

  2. The Pawed Piper - 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.

  3. The Bill the Cat Story - 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!

  4. Rain Reign - 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.

Books About Pets and Culture

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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.
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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.
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The Hair Book
Written by Graham Tether & illustrated by Andrew Joyner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
An easy reader about hair—and all the things you can do with it—that’s perfect for fans of classic Dr. Seuss concept books like The Foot Book and The Eye Book! Full Color Illustrations.
Honorable Mentions
How it Was With Dooms book
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Kat Wolfe Investigates book
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Truman the Dog book
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The Watcher book
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  1. How it Was With Dooms - Ten-year-old Xan tells about the life of Dooms, the cheetah which became his pet and lived with his family in Kenya, Africa.

  2. Kat Wolfe Investigates - When twelve-year-old Kat Wolfe starts a pet-sitting agency, she soon finds herself unraveling a mystery, in this first book of a new middle-grade series from award-winning author Lauren St. John. After a break-in at their London home, Kat Wolfe and her veterinarian mum decide it’s time to move to the country. Dr. Wolfe’s new job on England’s Jurassic Coast comes with a condition: They have to adopt Tiny, a huge Savannah who resists Kat’s best attempts at cat whispering. Kat starts a pet-sitting agency to make pocket money, but then the owner of her first client, an Amazon parrot, vanishes from his gadget-filled mansion. Only one person shares Kat’s conviction that he’s the victim of foul play: Harper Lamb, an American girl laid up with two broken legs thanks to her racehorse. Kat and Harper team up, but what starts out as mystery-solving fun turns deadly for the duo. When all clues point to a nearby army base, can they count on their unruly animal friends to save the day—and their lives?

  3. Truman the Dog - “T” is for Truman, tricks, and TROUBLE! Truman the black lab might be an older rescue dog, but he’s still got enough mischief beneath his collar to keep eight-year-old Kaita Takano and her animal-fostering family on their toes from morning till night. Chewed through and through, the playfully illustrated, Kaita-narrated chapter book promises plenty of canine fun.

  4. The Watcher - After Wendy is kidnapped, the only way she can survive World War II Germany is with the help of a special dog and the family she never knew she had in this historically accurate, standalone companion to Shadows on the Sea that Kirkus Reviews calls “a stimulating blend of suspense and history.” 1942. Berlin, Germany. How did Wendy end up in such a place? Just a few months ago, she was enjoying her time in Maine, supporting the American war effort. But she was kidnapped, then betrayed by her own mother, who is actually a Nazi spy. As a new Berliner—and now a German—Wendy is expected to speak in a language she’s never known and support a cause she doesn’t believe in. There are allies, though, among the Germans. Allies who have been watching over Wendy since she arrived. And Wendy, along with her new German shepherd puppy, must confront them. If only she can find them. Her life depends on it.

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Books About Pets and Dogs

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Officer Buckle and Gloria
Written & illustrated by Peggy Rathmann
Thoughts from Grammy
It has been easily more than a decade since I read this book aloud and yet whenever someone brings up the book Officer Buckle and Gloria, I immediately think, "Always stick with your buddy." Officer Buckle is a roundish, straightish, serious police officer who makes a career of giving school presentations on safety tips. Once Gloria, a precocious and animated K-9, becomes his partner, their presentations get really entertaining. While the tips themselves are a little droll in their obviousness, Gloria's charades and Peggy Rathman's imaginative illustrations will have them laughing in the aisles. Officer Buckle and Gloria are much better together than singly; they learn how important it is to stick together.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
"Besides the beguiling story, the affable illustrations of the smiling Gloria, the accidental mayhem in the background, and the myriad safety tips -- such as 'always pull the toothpick out of your sandwich' and 'never lick a stop sign in the winter' -- add to the enjoyment. A glorious picture book." -- The Horn Book" Rathmann is a quick rising star in the world of children's books. In this book, she again shows her flair for creating real characters, dramatic situations and for knowing what will make young audiences giggle and think." -- Children's Book Review Magazine" Rathmann brings a lighter-than-air comic touch to this outstanding, solid-as-a-brick picture book." -- Publisher's Weekly "A five-star performance." -- School Library Journal
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Ruff!: And the Wonderfully Amazing Busy Day
Written & illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This book is about making new friends, helping each other find new homes, and being busy! I love that Ruff found new friends to live by and that they were all happy working hard together. This book is pretty cute and I love how the animals all express themselves when they're happy, excited, or trying to get each other's attention. :) This story would be great to talk about emotions and how those, in turn, lead to certain actions. Cute illustrations, too!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Meet Ruff the Dog, star of the picture book Ruff! And the Wonderfully Amazing Busy Day. He’s an adorable new animal character created by bestselling illustrator Caroline Jayne Church. What Ruff wants most is to make some friends. He accidentally digs up the house of a little grey mouse named Hubble. By the time Ruff helps Hubble make a new home, he has a friend. Then he and Hubble decide to help Lottie, a duck who has also lost her home. And soon Ruff has a second friend! Caroline Jayne Chruch’s full-color illustrations bring all the animals in her charming story to life.
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Harry the Dirty Dog
Written by Gene Zion & illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Harry is a white dog with black spots who loves everything . . . except baths. So one day before bath time, Harry runs away. He plays outside all day long, digging and sliding in everything from garden soil to pavement tar. By the time he returns home, Harry is so dirty he looks like a black dog with white spots. His family doesn't even recognize him!
Honorable Mentions
Gaston book
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Hot Dog, Cold Dog book
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Where's the Dog? book
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Clifford the Big Red Dog book
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  1. Gaston - B is for Bookworm -

    It seems two dogs may have been taken home with the wrong pup families, but they decide they are exactly where they're supposed to be. :) This fun and beautifully illustrated book has a great message about being yourself.

  2. Hot Dog, Cold Dog - Using simple rhyming text, follows the adventures of various Dachshund dogs, including playing in the snow, digging in the garden, reading, and roller skating.

  3. Where's the Dog? - Five stylishly illustrated spreads show a series of friendly pets 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.

  4. Clifford the Big Red Dog - Emily Elizabeth loves her huge dog Clifford even though he’s far from perfect.

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Books About Pets and Friendship

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Strictly No Elephants
Written by Lisa Mantchev & illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
When the local Pet Club won’t admit a boy’s tiny pet elephant, he finds a solution—one that involves all kinds of unusual animals in this sweet and adorable picture book. Today is Pet Club day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants are allowed. The Pet Club doesn’t understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend. Imaginative and lyrical, this sweet story captures the magic of friendship and the joy of having a pet.
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My Pet Book
Written & illustrated by Bob Staake
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
A boy's search for the perfect pet leads him to the bookstore, where he finds a bright red book that becomes his best friend.
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Floaty
Written & illustrated by John Himmelman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Blah! Mr. Raisin is a bit of a grump. He lives all alone in a little house, and he likes it that way just fine. One day, a mysterious basket appears on Mr. Raisin’s doorstep. When he opens it up, it seems there’s nothing inside . . . until he notices a floating dog bobbing along his ceiling. What follows is a heartwarming, hilarious tale about embracing the unexpected—and finding friendship that takes you to new heights.
Honorable Mentions
This Moose Belongs to Me book
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Pippa's Island 5: Puppy Pandemonium book
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One Cool Friend book
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Mars' First Friends: Come on Over, Rovers! book
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  1. This Moose Belongs to Me - From the illustrator of the #1 smash hit The Day the Crayons Quit comes the age-old tale of a boy and his moose . . . Wilfred is a boy with rules. He lives a very orderly life. It’s fortunate, then, that he has a pet who abides by rules, such as not making noise while Wilfred educates him on his record collection. There is, however, one rule that Wilfred’s pet has difficulty following: Going whichever way Wilfred wants to go. Perhaps this is because Wilfred’s pet doesn’t quite realize that he belongs to anyone. A moose can be obstinate in such ways. Fortunately, the two manage to work out a compromise. Let’s just say it involves apples.

  2. Pippa's Island 5: Puppy Pandemonium - Life can be hard when you’re crammed into a tiny caravan with your noisy family. Pippa’s looking forward to moving into their new home above the Beach Shack Cafe, but it’s taking forever! Money is tight, too, and Pippa has her eye on a gorgeous new swimming costume. Luckily, Pippa has her Sassy Sisters to help. Together they come up with a plan to make some cash- Pippa’s Perfect Pooch Pampering! Before long, Pippa has her hands full with adorable but pesky pups. What could possibly go wrong?

  3. One Cool Friend - From New York Times bestselling author Toni Buzzeo and Caldecott Medal winning illustrator David Small, comes a cool tale about an unlikely friendship. On a spontaneous visit to the aquarium, straight-laced and proper Elliot discovers his dream pet: a penguin. When he asks his father if he may have one (please and thank you), his father says yes. Elliot should have realized that Dad was probably thinking of a toy penguin, not a real one… Clever illustrations and a wild surprise ending make this sly, silly tale a kid-pleaser from start to finish.

  4. Mars' First Friends: Come on Over, Rovers! - From the creators of New York Times bestseller Moon’s First Friends comes a new, heartwarming story about the little red planet who just wants a pet! In a solar system full of planets, Mars feels all alone. No one has time to play with him. Will he ever get a playmate? Mars’ First Friends is a universal story about man’s―and Mars’―best friends―our beloved pets. In this sweet solar system book, Mars is lonely and just wants someone to play with, but the planets are all too busy. That is until Earth sends her little brother Mars his first friends: the rovers Spirit and Opportunity! With its darling prose and charming illustrations, this book offers a new take on the Mars rovers stories, and also includes educational back matter with an abundance of information about the solar system, Mars, and his real-life pets―NASA’s rovers!

Books About Pets and Social Themes

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A Boy and His Bunny
Written by Sean Bryan & illustrated by Tom Murphy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
One morning, a boy wakes up with a rabbit on his head and, although his mother is skeptical, he soon discovers that he can be fed, ride a bobsled, and even look cool with a rabbit on his head.
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Scruff
Written & illustrated by Alice Bowsher
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
I wanted a dog... This one was perfect! Nobody wanted him because he looked scruffy.... but I'm a scruffy guy so that suited me just fine. After picking out the scruffiest dog at the pound, the narrator is surprised to find that Scruff isn't what he initally seemed. He doesn't want to catch sticks... or roll in the mud or swim in the pond. What could be the problem? It turns out that Scruff just loves being pampered! So the narrator goes along with it. They wash, brush, trim and polish together, until they are anything but scruffy! In their newly groomed state they go to the dog show... but have they done enough to win...? A funny story that is sure to charm dog-mad little ones and their parents.
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Good Dog
Written & illustrated by Cori Doerffeld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
This charming picture book—from the author-illustrator of The Rabbit Listened and Little Bunny Foo Foo: The Real Story—follows an adorable stray puppy who exemplifies what it truly means to be a “good dog.” When a puppy in need of a friend follows a kind girl into town, he lands himself into all sorts of trouble. He gets lost. He’s nearly run over. And he gets chased out of a bakery for being a “bad dog.” But when the pup and the girl reunite in the park and she leaves behind her favorite doll, the puppy has a chance to prove just what a good dog he really is! This heartwarming story told with bold, beautiful illustrations and sparse text is a perfect read-aloud book and great for beginning readers. Families who enjoyed Kelly DiPucchio’s bestselling Gaston, Patrick McDonnell’s lovable characters, and Mike Twohy’s award-winning Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! will fall in love with Cori Doerrfeld’s Good Dog.
Honorable Mentions
I Am a Wolf book
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This Is Gus book
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Rules of the Ruff book
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Pax book
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  1. I Am a Wolf - A dog who insists she’s a wolf finds the perfect home with a young girl who sees past her prickly personality in this pet adoption story that’s as laugh-out-loud funny as it is heart-tugging. When a particularly growly pup finds herself in an animal shelter, she insists that she is a wolf—a lone wolf. After all, she’s not sweet, she’s not cute, and she is just fine on her own! Luckily, there’s one little girl at the shelter who knows that sometimes, good dogs act bad when they feel afraid and that extending a little kindness can help even the most wolfish pup at the pound let down her guard.

  2. This Is Gus - Meet Gus. He is one grumpy dog who doesn’t like much of anything, especially making new friends. So what will Gus do when a little puppy comes barking into his life? Readers are invited to giggle their grumps away with Gus and his adorable, new puppy friend in this hilarious picture book by Chris Chatterton.

  3. Rules of the Ruff - Jessie, twelve, copes with what promised to be a long, boring summer with relatives by becoming apprentice to Wes, a grouchy neighborhood dog walker, who is facing new competition.

  4. 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. . . .

Books About Pets and Imagination

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Dory Fantasmagory
Written & illustrated by Abby Hanlon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
Move over, Junie B. Jones and Ivy & Bean! Here comes a lovably energetic little sister with a BIG personality—and an imagination to match! As the youngest in her family, Dory really wants attention, and more than anything she wants her brother and sister to play with her. But she’s too much of a baby for them, so she’s left to her own devices—including her wild imagination and untiring energy. Her siblings may roll their eyes at her childish games, but Dory has lots of things to do: outsmarting the monsters all over the house, escaping from prison (aka time-out), and exacting revenge on her sister’s favorite doll. And when they really need her, daring Dory will prove her bravery, and finally get exactly what she has been looking for. With plenty of pictures bursting with charm and character, this hilarious book about an irresistible rascal is the new must-read for the chapter book set.
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Spencer's New Pet
Written & illustrated by Jessie Sima
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
When Spencer gets a new pet, he’s excited to do all the things that pets do—taking walks in the park, going to the vet, and attending parties together. There’s just one hitch: Spencer’s new pet is a balloon. And that means No. Sharp. Objects. No drooling dogs at the park. No prickly porcupines at the vet. And absolutely no pinning tails on any donkeys! Spencer’s New Pet is a story of pure fun about a boy, his dog, and a friendship that endures life’s sharpest...and most unexpected twists.
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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?"
Honorable Mentions
All about Cats book
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Great Bunny Escape book
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Snow Dog, Sand Dog book
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The Boy and the Blue Moon book
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  1. All about Cats - A hilarious look at what cats get up to when humans aren’t around. Contrasting personality traits are put side by side to show how cats - like people - are diverse. The book celebrates positive relationships and the power of the imagination.

  2. Great Bunny Escape - When a friend’s pet bunny escapes into the World of Make-Believe, Daisy and Posey have to track him down in this ninth Daisy Dreamer chapter book! Have you ever heard the phrase “quick like a bunny?” People say it all the time about me. It means that I am fast. But I just met something that’s even faster than me. And guess what? It’s a cute and fluffy bunny! I am bunny-sitting for my friend, Lily. Bunny-sitting means I am caring for her bunny—not sitting on it. Obviously. Watching a bunny is easy, unless you have an imaginary friend named Posey who draws doors to the World of Make-Believe and leaves them open. Because Lily’s pet is quick like a bunny, and it loves to run through open doors. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Daisy Dreamer chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

  3. Snow Dog, Sand Dog - What would you do if you were allergic but realy wanted a dog? In this whimsical picture book, a young girl uses her crafty nature and imagination to create four-legged friends each season as the weather changes. She builds a dog out of snow in winter, sand in summer, leaves in fall, and flowers in spring!

  4. The Boy and the Blue Moon - On the night of a blue moon, a boy and his cat set out for a walk and find themselves on a magical adventure. Together they travel through fields of flowers, forests of towering trees, and lakes of deep dark blue. Flying through starry blue skies, they reach the blue moon. But the blue planet, Earth, calls the explorers home. Safely back in bed, the boy wonders—was it only a dream? - GODWIN BOOKS -

Books About Pets and Death, Grief, And Bereavement

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Big Cat, Little Cat
Written & illustrated by Elisha Cooper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
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.
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The Rough Patch
Written & illustrated by Brian Lies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Evan and his dog do everything together. They play and read and eat. But mostly you will find them tending to Evan’s extraordinary garden, where flowers and other good things flourish and reach for the sky. But friends don’t always stay forever, and when Evan loses his, he destroys the place that meant the most to them, and creates something to match his mood. Something ugly and twisted, sad and stubborn, ragged and rough—and he likes it that way. Until one day . . . New York Times–bestselling author Brian Lies has created a breathtakingly beautiful and luminescent book about loss and grief, love and hope, and the healing power of friendship, curiosity, and nature.
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Where Lily Isn't
Written by Julie Paschkis & illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Lily ran and jumped and barked and whimpered and growled and wiggled and wagged and licked and snuggled. But not now. It is hard to lose a pet. There is sadness, but also hope—for a beloved pet lives on in your heart, your memory, and your imagination.
Honorable Mentions
Henry and Bea book
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The End of Something Wonderful book
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I'll Always Love You book
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A Home for Goddesses and Dogs book
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  1. Henry and Bea - Henry and Bea are inseparable, but one day Henry suddenly stops talking to his best friend. Bea knows there’s something Henry’s not telling her, but what could it be? Henry and Bea have always been inseparable…until one day Henry suddenly stops talking to Bea. He won’t chat with her in class, and he won’t sit with her at lunch. Bea can tell something’s going on, and she’s determined to find out what it is. Then their teacher announces that the class is taking a field trip to a farm, and Bea hopes that this might be her chance to reconnect with Henry. When Henry finds an old cat collar at the farm and starts to cry, he finally reveals his secret to Bea: his cat Buddy died last week. And even though it’s hard for them both, Bea knows that she’ll be there for Henry, as his best friend, no matter what. From award-winning author/illustrator Jessixa Bagley comes a realistic and ultimately uplifting portrayal of the challenges of childhood friendship.

  2. The End of Something Wonderful - It’s painful when children lose their pets, and The End of Something Wonderful helps them handle their feelings when they can’t find the right words. In a warm, understanding, sometimes funny way, it explains how to plan a backyard funeral to say goodbye, from choosing a box and a burial spot to giving a eulogy. Most of all, it reassures kids that it’s not the end of everything . . . and that Something Wonderful can happen again.

  3. I'll Always Love You - A child’s sadness at the death of a beloved dog is tempered by the remembrance of saying to it every nignt, “I’ll always love you.”

  4. A Home for Goddesses and Dogs - A unique masterpiece about loss, love, and the world’s best bad dog, from award-winning author Leslie Connor, author of the National Book Award finalist The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle. It’s a life-altering New Year for thirteen-year-old Lydia when she uproots to a Connecticut farm to live with her aunt following her mother’s death. Aunt Brat and her jovial wife, Eileen, and their ancient live-in landlord, Elloroy, are welcoming―and a little quirky. Lydia’s struggle for a sense of belonging in her new family is highlighted when the women adopt a big yellow dog just days after the girl’s arrival. Wasn’t one rescue enough? Lydia is not a dog person―and this one is trouble! He is mistrustful and slinky. He pees in the house, escapes into the woods, and barks at things unseen. His new owners begin to guess about his unknown past. Meanwhile, Lydia doesn’t want to be difficult―and she does not mean to keep secrets―but there are things she’s not telling… Like why the box of “paper stuff” she keeps under her bed is so important… And why that hole in the wall behind a poster in her room is getting bigger… And why something she took from the big yellow dog just might be the key to unraveling his mysterious past―but at what cost? Award-winning author Leslie Connor crafts a story that sings about loss and love and finding joy in new friendships and a loving family, along with the world’s best bad dog. This uplifting story about recovery features strong female characters, an adorable dog, and the girl who comes to love him.

Books About Pets and Family Life

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Baby's First Bank Heist
Written by Jim Whalley & illustrated by Stephen Collins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Move over, Bonnie and Clyde, because there’s a new criminal mastermind in town . . . Baby Frank! Baby Frank is dangerously cute, and he’s about to pull off the most daring baby bank heist ever. Why? His parents say that he can’t have a pet—“pets are for older kids,” “be happy with your teddy,” and “they cost too much to keep,” they say. What’s a baby to do . . . ? Rob a bank, of course! You have been warned . . . With eye-catching illustrations from Guardian cartoonist Stephen Collins, this laugh-out-loud rhyming text is Boss Baby meets Mission Impossible.
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Jasmine Toguchi, Flamingo Keeper
Written by Debbi Michiko Florence & illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Book four in this charming chapter book series, starring a spunky Japanese- American heroine. Jasmine's best friend, Linnie, has just gotten a puppy. And now Jasmine wants a pet of her own—a flamingo! So when her grandmother sends Jasmine a daruma doll as a surprise gift, Jasmine colors in one doll eye and wishes for a flamingo to keep. Next, Jasmine tries to convince her parents that she’s responsible enough for a pet. She cleans her room, brushes her teeth, takes out the trash, and, most importantly, researches everything she can about flamingos. But soon it becomes clear that her wish may never come true! Will Jasmine's daruma doll ever get its second eye? Luckily her big sister, Sophie, has a surprise planned that fulfills Jasmine’s wish beyond her wildest dreams. Debbi Michiko Florence is at her best in this sweet, special story of sisterhood and new responsibilities!
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Bat and the End of Everything
Written by Elana K. Arnold & illustrated by Charles Santoso
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
The third book in the funny and joyful series Katherine Applegate has called “tender and important,” by National Book Award finalist Elana K. Arnold. Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat) has been the caretaker for Thor, the best skunk kit in the world...but the last day of third grade is quickly approaching, and Thor is almost ready to be released into the wild. The end of school also means that Bat has to say good-bye to his favorite teacher, and he worries about the summer care of Babycakes, their adorable class pet. Not only that, but his best friend is leaving for a long vacation in Canada. Summer promises good things, too, like working with his mom at the vet clinic and hanging out with his sister, Janie. But Bat can’t help but feel that everything is coming to an end. National Book Award finalist Elana K. Arnold returns with the third story starring an unforgettable boy on the autism spectrum.
Honorable Mentions
Wish book
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An Ordinary Day book
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Under the Lilacs book
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Anna, Banana, and the Friendship Split book
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  1. 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.

  2. An Ordinary Day - An ordinary day in an ordinary neighborhood turns out to be quite extraordinary in this moving story about the circle of life. It’s an average day in the neighborhood—children play, roses are watered, and a crow watches over it all. But then two visitors arrive at two houses, one to help a family say hello to a new baby and one to help a family say goodbye to a beloved pet. This sensitive picture book takes a gentle look at life, death, the bonds of family, and the extraordinary moments that make ordinary days so special.

  3. Under the Lilacs - From Ezra Jack Keats Honor winner E. B. Goodale comes a celebration of nature, family, and building our own hands-on adventures_—_perfect for any reader who has ever craved a bit of independence . . . In this lush and playful picture book from E. B. Goodale, illustrator of Windows, Kate feels ignored by her mother and sister and so decides to run away. In a neighboring yard, she builds a fort and enjoys a sense of independence—until she finds herself making room for her family in her new home . . . Under the Lilacs is the perfect celebration of striking out on your own—while still making room for everyone.

  4. Anna, Banana, and the Friendship Split - Anna has two favorite things: her best friend, Sadie, and her dog, Banana. She can’t wait to celebrate her birthday with both of them. But Anna’s birthday party turns into a birthday disaster when Sadie starts a terrible fight that Anna never saw coming. Anna doesn’t know why her best friend is suddenly acting like her worst enemy, but she knows she’d do anything to fix it. She and Banana just need to come up with a plan. Only, what if Sadie doesn’t want their friendship to be fixed?

Books About Pets and School

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Cody Harmon, King of Pets
Written by Claudia Mills & illustrated by Rob Shepperson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
Cody Harmon doesn't love reading, math, spelling, or really any of the subjects that Miss Molina teaches in her third-grade class. But he lives on a farm and he loves animals--he even has nine pets--so when the school holds a pet-show fund-raiser, it should be his time to shine. There's a ten-dollar entrance fee per pet, though, and Cody can't pay it for all nine pets. He'd love to take his pig, but what about the others? In the end, Cody figures out a way to lend out his pets so that every person in the class (and every pet) gets to participate in the show.
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The Great Pet Escape
Written & illustrated by Victoria Jamieson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
The class pets at Daisy P. Flugelhorn Elementary School want OUT . . . and GW (short for George Washington), the deceptively cute hamster in the second-grade classroom, is just the guy to lead the way. But when he finally escapes and goes to find his former partners in crime, Barry and Biter, he finds that they actually LIKE being class pets. Impossible! Just as GW gets Barry and Biter to agree to leave with him, a mouse named Harriet and her many mouse minions get in their way. What follows is class-pet chaos guaranteed to make readers giggle . . . and maybe look at their class pets a little differently in the future.
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Shark Dog and the School Trip Rescue!
Written & illustrated by Ged Adamson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Splash! It's a shark! Woof! No wait, it's a dog! Hey! It’s Shark Dog: a one-of-a-kind pet! And this time, he’s joining Ms. Ablett’s class on their school trip. For Shark Dog, a trip to the woods means: Jumping in a pond full of frogs! Frolicking in mud! And shaking off mud! The great outdoors is loads of fun and nothing short of an adventure for a pet like Shark Dog. But the muddy fun stops when there's a loud cry coming from the woods. An animal is in trouble, and it’s up to Shark Dog to save the day! FOLLOW THAT SHARK DOG! From author-illustrator Ged Adamson, Shark Dog and the School Trip Rescue! is the perfect back-to-school book for fans of such favorites as Hello, My Name Is Octicorn, Not Quite Narwhal, and The Adventures of Beekle.
Honorable Mentions
Marion and the Secret Letter book
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Super Turbo and the Fire-Breathing Dragon book
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Super Turbo Vs. Wonder Pig book
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Anna, Banana, and Monkey in the Middle  book
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  1. Marion and the Secret Letter - Taking a turn caring for the class pet hamster, Marion is devastated when the hamster goes missing and she receives an anonymous letter in her locker with clues leading to a mysterious scavenger hunt.

  2. Super Turbo and the Fire-Breathing Dragon - In the fifth, Super Turbo book, there’s a new animal in school and the class pets are convinced she’s a fire-breathing dragon! You know Turbo as the hamster sidekick from the Captain Awesome books. But ever wonder what actually goes on when the last school bell rings and Turbo is left to his own devices? He’s SUPER TURBO and he’s here to fight evil in and out of the classroom! There’s a new class pet at Sunnyview Elementary. And since all the students seem so excited about this new pet, Turbo can’t wait to meet her. Until he realizes that she’s a fire-breathing dragon! Now the Superpet Superhero League must figure out what this new pet is really doing in the school. And if she’s evil…can the superpets stop her? With easy-to-read language, illustrations, and comic panels on almost every page, the Super Turbo chapter books are perfect for emerging readers!

  3. Super Turbo Vs. Wonder Pig - “When Wonder Pig starts to act strange, Super Turbo gets suspicious. Is it possible that the superhero guinea pig is actually working undercover for the evil rat Whiskerface?”—

  4. Anna, Banana, and Monkey in the Middle - Anna is lucky to have two best friends—it makes everything twice as fun. She’s excited to go with Sadie and Isabel on their class trip to the zoo. But when Anna’s two best friends start choosing opposite sides on everything, Anna feels caught in the middle. Sadie wants Anna to see the spiny anteater with her, but Isabel wants to visit the tortoise instead. When Isabel pulls Anna toward the camel house, Sadie yanks her toward the giraffes. It’s like they’re playing a game of tug-of-war and Anna is the rope! How can Anna keep the peace without causing double trouble?

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Books About Pets and Science

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To Catch a Thief
Written by Mandy Hartley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11
In the first book of the DNA Detectives series Annabelle and Harry's pet dog, Milly goes missing. After putting up posters and waiting on their parents they don't know what to do. But when a number of their friend's pets also vanish the children think the perpetrator is their next door neighbour and set out to prove it.
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Cece Loves Science
Written by Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes & illustrated by Vashti Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Cece loves science! In this STEM-themed picture book, Cece asks one of life’s most pressing questions: Do dogs eat vegetables? Cece and her best friend, Isaac, head to the lab to find out. This picture book is perfect for fans of Ada Twist, Scientist, and anyone who enjoys asking questions. Cece’s parents say she was born curious. She asks: Why? How? What if? When her teacher, Ms. Curie, assigns a science project, Cece knows just what to ask—do dogs eat vegetables? She teams up with her best friend, Isaac, and her dog, Einstein, to discover the answer. They investigate, research, collect data, and analyze, using Einstein as their case study. Their final conclusion is surprising, and a lot of fun! Illustrated by Vashti Harrison, whose Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History is a New York Times bestseller and an NAACP Image Award winner. Cece Loves Science is just right for fans of Rosie Revere, Engineer; What Do You Do with an Idea?; and anyone who loves learning.
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Butterflies in Room 6
Written & illustrated by Caroline Arnold
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Kindergarteners raise butterflies from egg to adult in this close-up look at the insect life cycle. Follow a classroom of real kindergartners as they participate in a popular activity: raising butterflies. Astonishing photographs show the life cycle of the painted lady butterfly, from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to adult. Engaging text captures the children's wonder and explains the science behind metamorphosis.
Honorable Mentions
Science Comics: Dogs book
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Made for Each Other: Why Dogs and People Are Perfect Partners book
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Ellie, Engineer book
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  1. Science Comics: Dogs - How well do you know our favorite furry companion? Did they really descend from wolves? What’s the difference between a Chihuahua and a Saint Bernard? And just how smart are they? Join one friendly mutt on a journey to discover the secret origin of dogs, how genetics and evolution shape species, and where in the world his favorite ball bounced off to. Every volume of Science Comics offers a complete introduction to a particular topic—dinosaurs, coral reefs, the solar system, volcanoes, bats, flying machines, and more. These gorgeously illustrated graphic novels offer wildly entertaining views of their subjects. Whether you’re a fourth grader doing a natural science unit at school or a thirty year old with a secret passion for airplanes, these books are for you!

  2. Made for Each Other: Why Dogs and People Are Perfect Partners - 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.

  3. Ellie, Engineer - A charming, hilarious illustrated middle grade about a girl who is an engineer—perfect creative, STEM-powered fun for girls who have interests in how things work. “Look out, Junie B. Jones! Ellie the engineer is thinking, making, creating, and showing enthusiasm and brilliance with her creations!” —School Library Connection Ellie is an engineer. With a tool belt strapped over her favorite skirt (who says you can’t wear a dress and have two kinds of screwdrivers handy, just in case?), she invents and builds amazing creations in her backyard workshop. Together with her best friend Kit, Ellie can make anything. As Kit’s birthday nears, Ellie doesn’t know what gift to make until the girls overhear Kit’s mom talking about her present—the dog Kit always wanted! Ellie plans to make an amazing doghouse, but her plans grow so elaborate that she has to enlist help from the neighbor boys and crafty girls, even though the two groups don’t get along. Will Ellie be able to pull off her biggest project yet, all while keeping a secret from Kit? Illustrated with Ellie’s sketches and plans, and including a fun how-to guide to tools, this is a STEM- and friendship-powered story full of fun!

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Books About Pets and Mischief

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Live and Let Swim: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish
Written by Mo O'Hara & illustrated by Marek Jagucki
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
The name's Goldfish. Zombie Goldfish. Fishy mayhem abounds with two more fin-tastic stories featuring our favorite (New York Times-bestselling!) zombie goldfish.
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No Frogs in School
Written by A. LaFaye & illustrated by Eglantine Ceulemans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Bartholomew Botts loves pets--but his teacher, Mr. Patanoose, says No Frogs in School! So what will happen when Bartholomew's beloved creatures meet up with Mr. Patanoose's rules? Lots of FUN! Hoppy pets, hairy pets, scaly pets: Bartholomew Botts loves them all. And he doesn't want to go to school without one. Unfortunately, when Bartholomew brings his brand-new frog to class, his teacher, Mr. Patanoose, declares: No frogs in school! How will Bartholomew keep his animal friends close at hand . . . and follow Mr. Patanoose's rules, too? Illustrated with energetic and humorous artwork, this back-to-school story will be a favorite with every animal-loving kid!
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Oh No! Look What the Cat Dragged in
Written by Joy H. Davidson & illustrated by Jenny Cooper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
"Grandma's acting worried, and looking very grim. She never knows each morning, just what the cat dragged in!" Mice and lizards and bats . . . EEEW! What will the cat drag in next? This hilarious picture book has a fun "yuck" factor that will make kids laugh again and again! A week at Grandma's house descends into chaos when her adventurous kitty--who sneaks out every night through a flap in the door--drags in an assortment of increasingly icky creatures. From creepy crawlies and hissing snakes to an angry, snarling weasel and a load of dirty laundry, each day's "gifts" grow wilder and wilder . . . until Grandma comes up with an ingenious way to put a stop to her wandering feline's nighttime fun. Children will love chanting along with the refrain "OH NO NO NO! Look what the cat dragged in" and will delight in Jenny Cooper's gleefully gory illustrations.
Honorable Mentions
Microsaurs: Tiny-Raptor Pack Attack book
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Maximillian Villainous book
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  1. Microsaurs: Tiny-Raptor Pack Attack - Tiny dinosaurs lead to big adventures in this second action-packed Microsaurs chapter book.

  2. Maximillian Villainous - For anyone who loved Leonardo, the Terrible Monster, this is a humorous and important book about learning to follow your heart and proving that kindness can outweigh villainy any day. Maximillian Villainous is a monster who doesn’t have the heart to be a villain. His famous family pulls pranks on the likes of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, and Max spends his time undoing them. So when he brings home a bunny to be his sidekick, Max’s disapproving mother hatches a plan. She challenges Max and the bunny to become a devious duo; otherwise . . . the bunny hops. If they want to stay together, Max and the bunny have no choice but to go against their nature. They blunder into villainy with comical effect until Max discovers that embracing his good heart may just be the key to pulling off the most devious deed of all and winning his family’s acceptance. Delightfully fun and irreverent, Maximillian Villainous is an empowering story about embracing one’s true self and finding acceptance. Up and coming illustrator Lesley Breen Withrow brings the characters to life with bold and colorful illustrations in a style reminiscent of Richard Scarry.

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Books About Pets and Being Lost

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Little Kitten
Written & illustrated by Nicola Killen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
**From beloved author-illustrator Nicola Killen comes a charming autumnal story about a little girl who must return a lost kitten to its home, lovingly told and illustrated in limited color with lovely foil and interactive die cut pages.** Ollie and her cat Pumpkin are out frolicking on a beautiful fall day when they come upon a tiny kitten shivering in a pile of fallen leaves. Ollie warms the kitten up and the three become fast friends, but when Ollie sees "Lost Kitten" posters hanging on the trees in the forest, she knows she has to help her new friend get home. As Halloween draws nearer, magic is afoot, and Ollie's good deed is rewarded in an unexpected way.
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Annie and the Wild Animals
Written & illustrated by Jan Brett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
A lively tale sure to be loved by fans of The Mitten Originally published in 1985, Annie and the Wild Animals is back in a large hardcover format with a striking new jacket that makes this new edition the perfect gift for young readers. Annie’s cat, Taffy, disappears and she is lonely. She looks for a friendly, furry pet near the woods, but a giant moose, a grumpy bear and others show up to eat her corn cakes until they are all gone. They leave, and to Annie’s surprise, out of the woods comes Taffy with her three new kittens.
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Children Make Terrible Pets
Written & illustrated by Peter Brown
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
Check out this bestselling, rollicking, and humorous twist on the classic "first pet" story about a young bear and her favorite pet boy! When Lucy, a young bear, discovers a boy in the woods, she's absolutely delighted. She brings him home and begs her mom to let her keep him, even though her mom warns, "Children make terrible pets." But mom relents, and Lucy gets to name her new pet Squeaker. Through a series of hilarious and surprising scenes, readers can join Lucy and Squeaker on their day of fun and decide for themselves whether or not children really do make terrible pets.
Honorable Mentions
Madame Martine book
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Ladybug Girl and Bingo book
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Mission Lost Cat book
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  1. Madame Martine - Madame Martine lives in Paris and follows the same routine every day. She takes for granted the beautiful things that exist all around her. She refuses to go to the Eiffel Tower because it’s “just for tourists.” One day Madame Martine finds a stray dog and decides to take him home. When she tries keeping her dog on the same schedule, he breaks free, leading Madame Martine on a wild chase up the Eiffel Tower! Upon reaching the top, she discovers how much beauty she has been missing all these years. From then on, the two friends try something different every week.

  2. Ladybug Girl and Bingo - This hardcover picture book in the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series explores the theme of responsibility for a pet and the fun of a first camping trip. Lulu and her dog Bingo the basset hound are best friends. Whenever they play outside, Bingo always stays close by Lulu’s side. When they go camping for the first time, Lulu does her best to be responsible and hold tight to Bingo’s leash. But what happens when Bingo wants to explore the forest on his own and runs off? This is a job for Ladybug Girl! She will find Bingo in time for toasting marshmallows at the campfire. For fans of Fancy Nancy and Toot and Puddle, the Ladybug Girl series honors a love of the outdoors, family, and creativity!

  3. Mission Lost Cat - Beatrice “Bumble B.” Flinn wants to help find her friend Rosa’s lost cat, Charley, and she decides the best way is to make a flyer with a drawing and, with the help of her father, hand them out in the neighborhood—but most of them blow away, and Rosa is upset and blames Bumble B and her flyer for the lack of results.

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