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Pets: Books For Kids

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!

Top 10 Books About Pets

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."

Charlotte and the Rock book
#2
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
#3
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
#4
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
#5
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
#6
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.

My Pet Giraffe book
#7
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!

When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles book
#8
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!

A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans book
#9
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.

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.      Praise for A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans *“Warm humor, magical mishaps, and the main characters’ budding mutual respect and affection combine to give this opener for a planned series a special shine.” –Booklist, Starred “Aternately comical, suspenseful and sometimes sweetly emotional.” –Kirkus Reviews “With a black-and-white spot illustration opening most chapters, an engaging narrator, and a consistently fluid writing style, this title makes a fine dragon choice for readers.” –School Library Journal “In this series launch, Yep and Ryder conjure up a world where dragons and humans interact, and the results are heartwarming and quite funny.” –Publishers Weekly “A clever and amusing novel that imagines a magical world that nestles right up against our own and sometimes crosses over.” –The Bulleting of the Center for Children’s Books   Praise for A Dragon’s Guide to Making Your Human Smarter "Yep and Ryder keep the magic coming with their whimsical fantasy, enhanced by Grandpré's sweet drawings. The story positively vibrates with fun." —Kirkus Reviews "Lighthearted episodes of unusual school lessons and field trips, illustrated by GrandPré’s winsome spot art, are grounded by Miss Drake’s more serious encounters with the goons...a gratifying development as this buoyant, fantastical series continues."—The Horn Book Review

Silly Doggy! book
#10
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.

Books About Pets and Cats

Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats book
#1
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.

Animal Inn 3-Books-in-1! book
#2
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.

The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read book
#3
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?

Honorable Mentions
  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. 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. Cookie's Week - Cookie the cat gets into a different kind of mischief every day of the week, in a board book adaptation of the creators' popular picture book.

  4. 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.

Want to see more children's books about cats?

Books About Pets and Silly

When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles book
#1
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!

Papillon: The Very Fluffy Kitty book
#2
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.

If I Had a Gryphon book
#3
If I Had a Gryphon
Written by Vikki VanSickle and 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
  1. Caring for Your Lion - 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?"

  2. The Hair Book - 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.

  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. 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.

Want to see more children's books about silly?

Books About Pets and Animals

Because of Winn-Dixie book
#1
Because of Winn-Dixie
Written and 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.

Dear Zoo book
#2
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.

My Pet Giraffe book
#3
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!

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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!

  2. Pet Peekaboo Who? - Discover a host of exciting pets in this peekaboo book, which contains flaps on every spread

  3. Don't Lick the Dog - Meeting a new dog is exciting, but it can also be scary. This humorous how-to manual shows kids the best ways to interact with unfamiliar dogs, providing helpful tips about all sorts of dog behavior. Children often don't understand what dogs' actions mean and can misinterpret a threatening signal for a friendly one and vice versa. Kids and parents will return to Wendy Wahman's playful illustrations again and again for useful reminders: Slow Down. Stay very still. And remember, don't lick the dog!

  4. 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.

Want to see 12 more children's books about pets and animals?

How about children's books about animals?

Books About Pets and Death

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."

I'll Always Love You book
#2
I'll Always Love You
Written and illustrated by Hans Wilhelm
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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."

The Goodbye Book book
#3
The Goodbye Book
Written and illustrated by Todd Parr
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Charlotte's Web - 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.

  2. Old Yeller - 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.

  3. The Rough Patch - 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.

  4. A Stone for Sascha - 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.

Want to see more children's books about death?

Books About Pets and Love

Charlotte and the Rock book
#1
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?

Dogs book
#2
Dogs
Written by Emily Gravett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

I Hate My Cats (A Love Story) book
#3
I Hate My Cats (A Love Story)
Written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Anna Pirolli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. Picking Pickle - 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.

  3. 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!

  4. Ella Unleashed - The Parent Trap meets Best in Show in this charming novel about a girl who must learn to make peace with the unpredictability of life. Ella Cohen was skeptical when her mom started dating Krishnan just a few months after her parents’ divorce. But two years later, she really likes having her new stepfather around. When she decides to enter a junior dog show, Krishnan even lets her start handling his dog, Elvis. She’s determined to become an expert handler, even after her first show ends in disaster. Unfortunately, some things are harder to control—like Ella’s dad, who has changed a lot since the divorce. He used to be laid back and fun, but now he hovers over her constantly, terrified she’s going to shatter into a million pieces if she so much as hints that everything in her life isn’t perfect. Ella is particularly upset that his animosity toward Krishnan keeps him from coming to watch her handle Elvis, especially when she wins a lottery spot in the National Dog Show in Philadelphia. When Ella’s best friends suggest she find her dad a date to the dog show, it seems like the perfect solution. If her dad has a new girlfriend, surely he won’t mind so much that Ella’s mom has a new husband. So Ella decides to play matchmaker, going so far as to create a fake online dating profile in order to find her dad his one true love. But it turns out people, much like dogs, aren’t always so easy to control, and Ella’s plan backfires at the worst possible moment. Can Ella manage to bring her divided life together in time for her moment in the spotlight?

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Books About Pets and Dogs

Land Shark book
#1
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.

Can I Be Your Dog? book
#2
Can I Be Your Dog?
Written and illustrated by Troy Cummings
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A dog looking for a home sends letters to prospective owners on Butternut Street, with surprising results.

Found book
#3
Found
Written by Jeff Newman and illustrated by Larry Day
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Ruckus - 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?

  2. To Catch a Thief - 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.

  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. 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!

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Books About Pets and Friendship

Strictly No Elephants book
#1
Strictly No Elephants
Written by Lisa Mantchev and 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.

Floaty book
#2
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.

Anna, Banana, and the Puppy Parade book
#3
Anna, Banana, and the Puppy Parade
Written by Anica Mrose Rissi and illustrated by Meg Park
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Anna can’t wait for the Puppy Parade. She’s certain Banana will win. Soon Banana will be famous—and that means Anna will be famous too! But when Sadie and Isabel suggest they all enter Banana in the parade together, Anna starts feeling a little unsure about sharing her dog—and the spotlight—with her friends. How can Anna be Best in Show and be a good best friend?

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  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. Saving Marty - From the award-winning author of "Ten Mile River" and "When Friendship Followed Me Home" comes a warm and heart-wrenching story of the friendship between a boy and a pig that thinks it's a dog.

  4. My Old Pal, Oscar - After a young boy’s beloved pet passes away, he encounters an adorable stray dog on the beach. The boy tries to walk away and ignore the cuddly creature, but the puppy continues to follow him, undeterred. Though the boy is still dealing with the pain of his loss and feels afraid to care about a new pet again, as the two walk the sand together, the boy slowly opens himself up to the joy of having a new dog in his life and making peace with the past. New York Times bestselling Amy Hest and Amy Bates, the beloved team who created The Dog Who Belonged to No One, have created a touching story about new beginnings and how friendship and love have the power to heal.

Want to see 12 more children's books about pets and friendship?

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Books About Pets and School

Cody Harmon, King of Pets book
#1
Cody Harmon, King of Pets
Written by Claudia Mills and 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.

Shark Dog and the School Trip Rescue! book
#2
Shark Dog and the School Trip Rescue!
Written and 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.

Super Turbo and the Fire-Breathing Dragon book
#3
Super Turbo and the Fire-Breathing Dragon
Written by Lee Kirby and illustrated by George O’Connor
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

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!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Made by Maxine - When Maxine's school puts on a pet parade, she creates a unique contraption to allow her very special pet fish, Milton, to participate.

  2. Katie and the Class Pet - When Katie is chosen to take the class pet, Binky the guinea pig, home for the weekend, she runs into a problem.

  3. The Teacher's Pet - On the day the tadpoles hatch, the whole class is amazed—they've never seen their teacher so excited. Mr. Stricter has always wanted a pet, so he tells the students they can keep just one. The class chooses Bruno, the smallest of the bunch. But Bruno doesn't stay small for long. Soon he's grown into a giant, classroom-wrecking creature: He eats desks, farts for show-and-tell, and sneezes slime all over everything! Everyone can see that Bruno is trouble. Everyone except Mr. Stricter. With their teacher blinded by love for the pet, the students must step up and take matters into their own heroic hands.

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Books About Pets and Imagination

Dory Fantasmagory book
#1
Dory Fantasmagory
Written and illustrated by Abby Hanlon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Dory, the youngest in her family, is a girl with a very active imagination, and she spends the summer playing with her imaginary friend, pretending to be a dog, battling monsters, and generally driving her family nuts.

Snow Dog, Sand Dog book
#2
Snow Dog, Sand Dog
Written by Linda Joy Singleton and illustrated by Jess Golden
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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!

Great Bunny Escape book
#3
Great Bunny Escape
Written by Holly Anna and illustrated by Genevieve Santos
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. A Dog with Nice Ears - Beloved siblings Charlie and Lola are back -- on a quest to find Lola's version of the perfect dog, which seems suspiciously un-doglike. At the moment, all Lola can talk about is dogs. She says she would like one more than anything you could think of. "More than a squirrel or an actual fox," she says. Sometimes she pretends to be a dog. And sometimes she pretends that her brother, Charlie, is a dog. The two of them love to talk about what sort of dog they would choose if Mom and Dad didn't always say, "ABSOLUTELY NO DOGS!" Dad says he'll take Lola to the pet store to choose a rabbit, but Lola insists that she only wants a dog, an extremely furry dog with a wiggly nose, a puffy tail, and nice ears. . . . Fans old and new will cotton to this humorous Charlie and Lola adventure sure to please any child who ever longed for the ideal pet.

  2. How to Care for Your T-Rex - There are a few important things to know when you're taking care of your pet T-Rex: what does it like to eat? How do you brush its many teeth? And most of all, how do you show him that you care about him? Luckily, this humorously written and wonderfully illustrated picture book has the answers for wanna-be T-Rex pet owners everywhere. Follow the daily adventures of Buddy and his owner as they learn the how-to's of dinosaur care and the value of friendship.. A Christy Ottaviano Book

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Books About Pets and Adventure

My Pet Penguins book
#1
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!

The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole book
#2
The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole
Written by Michelle Cuevas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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.

Dragon Quest book
#3
Dragon Quest
Written by Jackie French Koller and illustrated by Judith Mitchell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Darek and Zantor work together to stop the kidnapping of another baby dragon in this third book in the fantastical Dragonling chapter book series! Now that the villagers have finally accepted Darek’s dragonling, Zantor, they’ve all fallen in love with him. Especially Rowena, the spoiled daughter of the Chief Elder—so much so that she wants the dragonling for her very own. But Darek can’t give him up! He and Zantor are so close that he can almost get inside the little dragon’s mind. So the Chief Elder orders Darek’s father to find another dragonling. Even though a dragon mother will have to die—along with some villagers, too. Darek can’t let that happen. But how can he stop them…unless he joins the dragon quest?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Ella and Owen 8: The Worst Pet - In book eight of the Ella and Owen series, the dragon twins finally make it home, only to find it overrun with uncontrollable gremlins! Ella and Owen return home to chaos caused by their dad's destructive new pet gremlins. Then Owen remembers that hair from a unicorn's mane puts gremlins to sleep, and a new adventure begins! Can the dragon twins convince the unicorns to help them restore peace to their home?

  2. The Treasure of Pirate Frank - A boy and his dog set sail in search of treasure, braving stormy seas, mountains snowy and cold, the forest where the monkeys swing, the swamp where the bullfrogs sing, and other challenging obstacles, before finally reaching the end of their quest—the treasure of Pirate Frank. But there’s a surprise in store when they discover that Pirate Frank is a girl. And no one is going to steal her treasure!

  3. Baby's First Bank Heist - 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.

Want to see more children's books about adventure?

Books About Pets and Mischief

No Frogs in School book
#1
No Frogs in School
Written by A. LaFaye and 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!

Jurassic Carp: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish book
#2
Jurassic Carp: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish
Written by Mo O'Hara and illustrated by Marek Jagucki
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

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.

Live and Let Swim: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish book
#3
Live and Let Swim: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish
Written by Mo O'Hara and 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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. Henry Huggins - This special edition of Henry Huggins features the original illustrations by Louis Darling—the first artist to ever render Henry, Ribsy, Ramona, and Beezus—as well as a foreword written by New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi. In Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary’s first novel, boys and girls alike will instantly be charmed by an average boy whose life is turned upside-down when he meets a loveable puppy with a nose for mischief. Just as Henry Huggins is complaining that nothing exciting ever happens, a friendly dog sits down beside him and looks pleadingly at his ice-cream cone. From that moment on, the two are inseparable. But when Ribsy’s original owner appears, trying to reclaim his dog, Henry’s faced with the possibility of losing his new best friend. Has Klickitat Street seen the last of rambunctious Ribsy?

  3. On the Road to Mr. Mineo's - Summer days drift by slowly in Meadville, South Carolina--that is, until Sherman the one-legged pigeon flies into town and causes a ruckus. First Stella, who's been begging for a dog, spots him on top of a garage roof and decides she wants him for a pet. Then there's Ethel and Amos, an old couple who sees the pigeon in their barn keeping company with a little brown dog that barks all night. The pigeon lands smack in the middle of Mutt Raynard's head, but he's the town liar, so no one believes him. And when Stella's brother Levi and his scabby-kneed, germ-infested friends notice the pigeon, they join the chase, too. Meanwhile, across town, Mr. Mineo has one less homing pigeon than he used to... Barbara O'Connor has delivered another ingeniously crafted story full of southern charm, kid-sized adventures, and quirky, unforgettable characters. This title has Common Core connections.

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Epilogue

15 books that are just too good to leave off of our pets list.

  1. Memoirs of a Hamster - "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."--

  2. Sparky! - A child takes a sloth named Sparky as a pet.

  3. I Wanna Iguana - 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.

  4. A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans - 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.

  1. Silly Doggy! - When Lily discovers a bear in her garden, she mistakenly thinks it is a dog and wants to keep it for her pet.

  2. DogFish - 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. :)

  3. My Pet Polar Bear - 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.

  4. Too Many Moose - 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.

  1. Not Norman - As a boy attempts to convince someone else to take his disappointing pet, he learns to love Norman the goldfish himself.

  2. A Pet for Fly Guy - In this first Fly Guy picture book, Buzz tries to help Fly Guy find the right pet.

  3. I'm My Own Dog - 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.

  4. If I Had a Dinosaur - 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

  1. A Boy and His Bunny - 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.

  2. You Don't Want a Unicorn! - 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.

  3. Some Pets - The duo that brought you the “bright” and “breezy” (Booklist) Some Bugs is back with a vibrant companion book that’s packed with your favorite pets. Some pets sit. Some pets stay. Some pets fetch, And some pets play. Come one, come all, to the pet show! With dogs and cats, horses and chickens, hamsters and chinchillas—and many, many more!—this book celebrates animal companions of all shapes and sizes. Who will take home the coveted Best in Show ribbon? Join the fun to find out!

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

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