Best Children's Books About Pets

The 47 Best Books for Pet Lovers

Updated Mar. 18, 2019

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!

Where the Red Fern Grows book
#1
Where the Red Fern Grows
Written by Wilson Rawls
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
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.

"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."

A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans book
#2
A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans
Written by Joanne Ryder, Laurence Yep and illustrated by Mary Grandpre
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
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.

"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 mayhemabefore 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 GrandPrU. Praise for A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans *oWarm humor, magical mishaps, and the main characters' budding mutual respect and affection combine to give this opener for a planned series a special shine.o uBooklist, Starred oAternately comical, suspenseful and sometimes sweetly emotional.o uKirkus ReviewsoWith a black-and-wh

Charlotte and the Rock book
#3
Charlotte and the Rock
Written by Stephen W. Martin and illustrated by Samantha Cotterill
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
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.

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?

Memoirs of a Hamster book
#4
Memoirs of a Hamster
Written by Devin Scillian and 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."--

Sparky! book
#5
Sparky!
Written by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Chris Appelhans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A child takes a sloth named Sparky as a pet.

I Wanna Iguana book
#6
I Wanna Iguana
Written by Karen Kaufman Orloff and illustrated by David Catrow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Alex and his mother write notes back and forth in which Alex tries to persuade her to let him have a baby iguana for a pet.

Land Shark book
#7
Land Shark
Written by Beth Ferry and illustrated by Ben Mantle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
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!

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.

Silly Doggy! book
#8
Silly Doggy!
Written and 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.

When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles book
#9
When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles
Written by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
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.

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!

My Pet Giraffe book
#10
My Pet Giraffe
Written and illustrated by Mark Iacolina
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
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)

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!

DogFish book
#11
DogFish
Written by Gillian Shields and illustrated by Dan Taylor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
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. :)

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...

Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats book
#12
Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats
Written by Alicia Potter and illustrated by Birgitta Sif
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
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!

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.

Papillon: The Very Fluffy Kitty book
#13
Papillon: The Very Fluffy Kitty
Written and illustrated by Anna Kang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
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.

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.

My Pet Polar Bear book
#14
My Pet Polar Bear
Written by Mark Iacolina
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Polar bears make the best pets! Follow a little girl and her pet polar bear as they hitch a ride to school, play in the bath, and sneak a bedtime treat! From the Board edition.

Animal Inn 3-Books-in-1! book
#15
Animal Inn 3-Books-in-1!
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.

My Pet Penguins book
#16
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!

Too Many Moose book
#17
Too Many Moose
Written by Lisa M. Bakos and illustrated by Mark Chambers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

The illustrations are playful and delightful and the rhyming is great. There are a lot of words per page and it makes for a bit of a mouthful as a read-aloud, but it's just SO CUTE! More isn't always merrier, sometimes it's just more... moose.

Overview Too Many Moose! by Lisa M. Bakos, Mark Chambers When Martha gets an unusual pet, she's delighted by all of the fun things they do together! They shared an umbrella, They sipped maple tea. They carved hearts and 'Ms On a mulberry tree. If one moose is this marvelous, then more must be better! So, Martha quite merrily orders one more — and one more and one more and one more... until she's in a major mess!

Not Norman book
#18
Not Norman
Written by Kelly Bennett and 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.

A Pet for Fly Guy book
#19
A Pet for Fly Guy
Written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this first Fly Guy picture book, Buzz tries to help Fly Guy find the right pet.

The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read book
#20
The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read
Written by Curtis Manley and 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?

If I Had a Dinosaur book
#21
If I Had a Dinosaur
Written by Gabby Dawnay and illustrated by Alex Barrow, 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

I'm My Own Dog book
#22
I'm My Own Dog
Written and 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.

A Boy and His Bunny book
#23
A Boy and His Bunny
Written by Sean Bryan and 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.

Dear Zoo book
#24
Dear Zoo
Written and illustrated by Rod Campbell
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Rod Campbell’s classic lift-the-flap book Dear Zoo has been a firm favorite with toddlers and parents alike ever since it was first published in 1982. Young readers love lifting the flaps to discover the animals the zoo has sent—a monkey, a lion, and even an elephant! But will they ever find the perfect pet? With bright, bold artwork, a catchy refrain, and a whole host of favorite animals, Dear Zoo is a must for every child’s bookshelf.

Floaty book
#25
Floaty
Written and 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.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.