Best Kids Books About Pets

The 27 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!

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?

I Wanna Iguana book
#2
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.

Sparky! book
#3
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.

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."--

Land Shark book
#5
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
#6
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.

DogFish book
#7
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
#8
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
#9
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.

Too Many Moose book
#10
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
#11
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
#12
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
#13
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?

I'm My Own Dog book
#14
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.

If I Had a Dinosaur book
#15
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

A Boy and His Bunny book
#16
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.

Floaty book
#17
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.

Strictly No Elephants book
#18
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.

I'll Always Love You book
#19
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."

How to Track a Truck book
#20
How to Track a Truck
Written by Jason Carter Eaton and illustrated by John Rocco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Want a pet truck? Rumble up to this handy guidebook offering everything you need to know. Bone up on habitat: monster trucks like abandoned parking lots; moving trucks live in busy neighborhoods; ice-cream trucks and snowplows migrate in the winter. Pick the right breed for your home (a car transporter in a small apartment would not be a wise choice). Learn to identify your truck by its tire tracks, and soon, with the lure of some orange cones, you’ll have a loyal vehicle following you home, a happy hum under its hood. With an eighteen-wheeler-size nod to pet-care guides, Jason Carter Eaton and John Rocco put young readers in the driver’s seat for a road trip to truck-dreamer bliss.

The Goodbye Book book
#21
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.

I Hate My Cats (A Love Story) book
#22
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.

Can I Be Your Dog? book
#23
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.

Snow Dog, Sand Dog book
#24
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!

Don't Lick the Dog book
#25
Don't Lick the Dog
Written and illustrated by Wendy Wahman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

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!

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