Best Children's Books About The zoo

42 Children's Books About The zoo

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
My Heart Is Like a Zoo book
#1
My Heart Is Like a Zoo
Written and illustrated by Michael Hall
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

"A simple heart shape and bright primary colors become lions, herons, and other zoo animals. Entertaining short sentences about each animal are fun to read, and as kids learn their numbers they can count the hearts that make up each animal, giving this title a little extra longevity." - Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor The New York Times bestseller My Heart Is Like a Zoo features bright colors, simple sentences, playful animals, and more than 300 hearts for children to count and enjoy. Caldecott Medalist Brian Selznick says, "Starting with one simple shape, Michael Hall shows us a nearly infinite number of ways to make a menagerie of love." This board book edition of the award-winning picture book is perfect for little hands and the very youngest readers, who will learn that a heart can be hopeful, silly, happy, rugged, snappy, or lonely. A heart holds every different feeling, and author-artist Michael Hall captures each one with his bold, graphic artwork. An ideal springboard for conversations about emotions, and for introducing concepts, math, and art projects in the classroom and at home. School Library Journal called it an "outstanding choice for one-on-one sharing."

A Sick Day for Amos McGee book
#2
A Sick Day for Amos McGee
Written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

THE BEST SICK DAY EVER and the animals in the zoo feature in this striking picture book debut. Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee's case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it's time they returned the favor. A Sick Day for Amos McGee is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year and the winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal. This title has Common Core connections.

Zoo Babies book
#3
Zoo Babies
Written and illustrated by Andrews McMeel Publishing
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Learning about the zoo has never been more fun for parents and kids with this board book, which shows baby lions, elephants, and giraffes in action. Get ready to visit the best part of every zoo with Zoo Babies, a book introducing early readers to the pint-sized versions of their favorite exotic animals. This itty-bitty zoo-on-the-go takes adorable baby animals, stirs in some fun illustrations, and adds easy descriptive sentences---a recipe for a guaranteed good time. Baby elephants spraying water, lion cubs at play, and tiny giraffes learning to stand will easily capture the hearts of kids and parents alike in Zoo Babies.

Look book
#4
Look
Written and illustrated by Fiona Woodcock
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Look! It’s a book! Starring a brother and sister who go to the zoo, see kangaroos and baboons, and get to bring home balloons! Told entirely in words that contain a double o, this playful story is a great choice for emerging readers. Bright illustrations and an engaging, interactive text will invite repeated readings. Hooray! A brother and sister can’t wait to go to the zoo, where they have an exciting day ahead full of food, balloons, baboons, and so much more. This playful concept-and-story book is ideal for new readers. Author-illustrator Fiona Woodcock’s spare text uses only words containing double o’s, an important concept for early literacy. Each word is cleverly woven into stunning illustrations. And it all ends with a bedtime book, of course. Good night!

My Dad at the Zoo book
#5
My Dad at the Zoo
Written by Coralie Saudo and illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A wild romp of a sequel to "My Dad is Big & Strong, But . . ., "which shows how wild dads can be."

Zzzookeeper book
#6
Zzzookeeper
Written by John Hutton and illustrated by Doug Cenko
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

After the zookeeper goes to bed for the night, her animals decide it's the perfect time for a party! Lions and alligators, penguins and giraffes, creatures from all habitats sneak out for some late-night mischief. But when the party starts to get a little too wild, will the animals be caught in their tracks? Bouncy, rhyming, and filled with silly animal fun, Zzzookeeper is sure to become a new bedtime favorite.

Checkers and Dot at the Zoo book
#7
Checkers and Dot at the Zoo
Written by J. Torres and illustrated by J. Lum
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Checkers and Dot visit the zoo, where they meet many different animals with interesting patterns.

Old Macdonald Had A... Zoo? book
#8
Old Macdonald Had A... Zoo?
Written and illustrated by Iza Trapani
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

An extended retelling of the classic children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” by beloved author/illustrator Iza Trapani featuring zoo animals running amok on the farmstead. Iza Trapani is known for her clever twists on classic nursery rhymes. This time she outdoes herself with a vist to longtime favorite Old MacDonald. His busy little farm–with a moo, moo here and a moo, moo there is out of controwhen zoo animals like kangaroos, elephants, and hippos join the menagerie. What’s a farmer to do? Iza Trapani’s hilarious, jam-packed illustrations are full of details animal-loving readers will point at with glee. And the sweet ending will keep them giggling until the next reading.

Field-Trip Fiasco book
#9
Field-Trip Fiasco
Written by Julie Danneberg and illustrated by Judy Love
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Sarah Jane Hartwell and her class are back. After the stress of her last attempt at taking her class on a field trip (seen in First Year Letters), Mrs. Hartwell has a plan for an upcoming trip to the zoo—a plan that includes a lot of rules. Her students prove that they can line up straight, walk quietly, and take plenty of notes, but everyone soon realizes that this field trip isn’t as much fun as they’d hoped. Mrs. Hartwell rethinks her plan and saves the day.

The Way to the Zoo book
#10
The Way to the Zoo
Written and illustrated by John Burningham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Discovering a magical door in her bedroom that leads her to the zoo, a little girl is tempted to bring just one little bear back to her room, and then a menagerie of smaller animals, and then an irresistible medley of big animals, until pandemonium ensues.

The Animals’ Vacation book
#11
The Animals’ Vacation
Written by Shel Haber and illustrated by Jan Haber
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Discover a treasure trove of beautifully illustrated books with our new series, G+D Vintage! Featuring books from our Wonder Books line originally published in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, there’s something for every reader in these timeless stories with classic illustrations. It’s time for the zoo animals to go on vacation! Their plane makes several stops: a forest for the deer, the North Pole for the polar bear, the mountains for the panda, the jungle for the monkey, and more. But after two months away, the animals are happy to be reunited at the zoo–just in time to welcome Mrs. Kangaroo’s baby!

Good Night, Gorilla book
#12
Good Night, Gorilla
Written and illustrated by Peggy Rathmann
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

A must-have board book for all babies. Good night, Gorilla. Good night, Elephant. It’s bedtime at the zoo, and all the animals are going to sleep. Or are they? Who’s that short, furry guy with the key in his hand and the mischievous grin? Good night, Giraffe. Good night, Hyena. Sneak along behind the zookeeper’s back, and see who gets the last laugh in this riotous good-night romp.

Little Orange Scarf book
#13
Little Orange Scarf
Written and illustrated by Tatyana Feeney
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Little Owl loves many things, including his tree house in City Park, riding his scooter, and eating ice cream. But he does not love the new orange scarf his mommy makes him wear. It’s too long. It’s too itchy. It’s too . . . orange! After several attempts to lose his orange scarf, Little Owl finally succeeds. But a trip to the yarn store provides Mommy with the perfect solution to keep Little Owl warm and happy. From the author of Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket comes another toddler-friendly—and parent-friendly—board book offering.

This Zoo Is Not for You book
#14
This Zoo Is Not for You
Written and illustrated by Ross Collins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When a platypus stops by the zoo one day, all the animals assume he wants to join their zoo, and he is swiftly taken through a rigorous interview process. But the platypus is far too bland for the chameleons, he's not nearly graceful enough for the flamingos, and his tricks will never impress the monkeys. After he leaves, the animals soon regret their behavior, but . . . what's this? The platypus has left something behind. Perhaps he didn't intend to join their zoo after all! This rhyming picture book, from the award-winning creator of There's a Bear on My Chair, combines comic misunderstanding with a heartfelt story about acceptance and belonging.

ZigZag ZooBorns! book
#15
ZigZag ZooBorns!
Written by Andrew Bleiman, Chris Eastland and illustrated by Chris Eastland
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-8

Get to know a whole new herd of zoo babies in this darling picture book about colors and patterns from the creators of ZooBorns.com. Calling all animal enthusiasts! It’s time to learn about colors and patterns with a crew of irresistible zoo babies. Featuring adorable animal photos, zippy text, and a fact-filled glossary, this just might be the cutest concept book ever to hit the shelves!

Snuggle Up, ZooBorns! book
#16
Snuggle Up, ZooBorns!
Written and illustrated by Chris Eastland, Andrew Bleiman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Cozy up with this cuddly Level 1 Ready-to-Read about baby zoo animals that’s perfect for emerging readers! What do koala bears, panda bears, sea otters, snow leopards, and people have in common? They all love to snuggle! Nestle up with your little ones and the ZooBorn babies in this sweet Level 1 Ready-to-Read that’s perfect for even the youngest animal lover!

The Tiger's Egg book
#17
The Tiger's Egg
Written and illustrated by Nele Bronner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Herman the tiger is grumpy because of all the noisy neighbors around him at the zoo. But when a defenseless little egg falls into his lap, suddenly the cranky cat’s mood changes. A playful celebration of family, our wonderful differences, and the transformative power of love.

Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor book
#18
Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor
Written by Patricia Valdez and illustrated by Felicita Sala
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Back in the days of long skirts and afternoon teas, young Joan Procter entertained the most unusual party guests: slithery and scaly ones, who turned over teacups and crawled past the crumpets…. While other girls played with dolls, Joan preferred the company of reptiles. She carried her favorite lizard with her everywhere—she even brought a crocodile to school! When Joan grew older, she became the Curator of Reptiles at the British Museum. She went on to design the Reptile House at the London Zoo, including a home for the rumored-to-be-vicious komodo dragons. There, just like when she was a little girl, Joan hosted children’s tea parties—with her komodo dragon as the guest of honor.

Zoo Day book
#19
Zoo Day
Written by Anne Rockwell and illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Beloved author Anne Rockwell celebrates animals of all kinds with a gorgeous new picture book about a child’s first visit to the zoo! A young boy and his family visit the zoo for the very first time. From gorillas to lions, polar bears to parrots, Anne Rockwell and her daughter, artist Lizzy Rockwell, celebrate a day he will never forget. With simple, lyrical text and bright illustrations that jump off the page, Zoo Day brings the joys of visiting the zoo vividly to life.

Night of the Zombie Zookeeper book
#20
Night of the Zombie Zookeeper
Written by Andres Miedoso and illustrated by Victor Rivas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

It’s Desmond and Andres versus the Zombie Zookeeper in the fourth book of the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter book series! Welcome to Kersville, a town with a spooky history and a collection of ghosts and spirits who are major mischief-makers. Most kids spend their days without ever seeing or dealing with a ghost, but some kids get stuck with a haunt. When that happens, they call Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol. There’s no job too spooky, icky, or risky for Desmond. I’m not like that at all. My name’s Andres Miedoso. I’m Desmond’s best friend and ghost patrol partner. For this case, we’re off to the zoo! Zoo field trips are the best. You get to ride in a bus, you get to spend the day outside, and all the animals are safely far away in their enclosures. Nothing scary here, right? Wrong! Leave it to Desmond Cole to find the one zookeeper who’s also a zombie. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

What Do They Do with All That Poo? book
#21
What Do They Do with All That Poo?
Written by Jane Kurtz and illustrated by Allison Black
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Find out what happens to all of the poo at the zoo in this funny and factual picture book! There are so many different kinds of animals at the zoo, and they each make lots and lots (and sometimes LOTS!) of poo. So what do zoos do with all of that poo? This zany, fact-filled romp explores zoo poo, from cube-shaped wombat poo to white hyena scat, and all of the places it ends up, including in science labs and elephant-poo paper—even backyard gardens!

Monkey Walk book
#22
Monkey Walk
Written and illustrated by Colleen Madden
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

How do you shake off a bad mood? Try climbing up the Monkey Walk! On that unpredictable path, you might meet a mischievous (and kind of hairy) stranger. You might go on ridiculous missions. You might even make friends where you least anticipate doing so. It’s a visit to the zoo like no other in Colleen Madden’s zany, wholly delightful tale of a big sister whose sour mood is turned around by helping others in an unforeseen way.

Ida, Always book
#23
Ida, Always
Written by Caron Levis and illustrated by Charles Santoso
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A polar bear grieves over the loss of his companion, based on the real-life Gus and Ida of New York's Central Park Zoo.

The Wolf Keepers book
#24
The Wolf Keepers
Written and illustrated by Elise Broach
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-14

A thrilling middle-grade historical mystery set in Yosemite National Park from the New York Times-bestselling author of Masterpiece Twelve-year-old Lizzie Durango and her dad have always had a zoo to call their home. Lizzie spends her days watching the animals and taking note of their various behaviors. Though the zoo makes for a unique home, it's a hard place for Lizzie to make lasting friends. But all this changes one afternoon when she finds Tyler Briggs, a runaway who has secretly made the zoo his makeshift home. The two become friends and, just as quickly, stumble into a covert investigation involving the zoo wolves who are suddenly dying. Little do they know, this mystery will draw them into a high-stakes historical adventure involving the legend of John Muir as they try to navigate safely while lost in Yosemite National Park. A Christy Ottaviano Book Praise for The Wolf Keepers: A Junior Library Guild Selection A Green Earth Book Award Nominee "Broach’s intrepid protagonists engage in sleuthing expeditions?moments Ratteree captures in evocative pencil illustrations of human interactions with the natural world. . . A gratifying, thought-provoking tale." —Publishers Weekly, starred review "Despite the fast pace of [this] adventure?which climaxes in a harrowing 48 hours alone together at Yosemite?the text includes plenty of philosophical questions about animal rights and relationships of all kinds. Tyler's wry comments about his race add further dimensions to a thoughtful, well-told tale, as do the pencil drawings. John Muir's spirit hums along under a well-developed plot with likable characters." —Kirkus Reviews "Part friendship story, part mystery, and part survival adventure, this engaging book makes the most of its two unusual settings. Fans of Broach’s Superstition Mountain trilogy will want to try her latest, with its western locale and intriguing jacket illustration." —Booklist "One of Broach’s strengths . . . is creating child characters who are intelligent, resourceful, and willing to take action. . . . The wry humor of Lizzie’s keen observations of the human animals at the zoo and the page-turning adventure give this novel solid middle-grade appeal." —The Horn Book "'[Broach] reveals the characters deftly. . .The historical threads are authentic and clarified in an author’s note that provides young readers and writers with a sense of the research that goes into a well-crafted story with real figures and historical events. Give it to readers who enjoy a good mystery or love to read about animals. They will wolf down all three hundred-plus pages." —VOYA

Footloose book
#25
Footloose
Written by Kenny Loggins and illustrated by Tim Bowers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

In this version of the pop rock song "Footloose," zookeeper Jack joins the zoo animals in an all-night dance party.

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