Children are drawn to animals, and so they are a feature of many beloved children’s books, from the big red dog to the curious little monkey. Here are some of our favorite children’s books about pets and animals friends.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Whispers of the Wolf for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.
Children’s Books About Pets
Whispers of the Wolf is another beautiful book from Wisdom Tales Press. Set about 500 years ago among the Pueblo Indians, it is a story of love and, ultimately, learning to let go. A young boy, Two Birds, finds and raises an abandoned wolf pup. His friendship with the wolf pup helps the shy Two Birds make friends, but it is his friendship with the wolf that is most important to him. Yet when he sees that his friend really belongs in the wild, Two Birds must choose between his wolf’s happiness and his own comfort. Beautifully illustrated and researched, it is a great book about friendship but also about learning to overcome your own fears.
This beautiful book takes us back to the days of cave people and imagines how the bond between humans and animals was first created. Kip the Cave Boy is initially annoyed by the Paleowolf that follows him around, but he comes to appreciate the animal’s superior senses, which warn Kip about the presence of predators. Paleowolf, meanwhile, is drawn to the cooked foot that Kit can offer him. The artwork in The First Dog is characteristic of Jan Brett’s signature style – meticulously researched and executed. Children will love poring over all the visual details, included the frame around each page, with cave paintings and carvings that transport the reader back to the prehistoric period.
A just for fun book we read about the same period was Little Grunt and the Big Egg: A Prehistoric Fairy Tale, which imagines what it would have been like if humans and dinosaurs co-existed. That’s right, before The Good Dinosaur, there was Little Grunt and the Big Egg! Little Grunt loves his dinosaur – which he found before it had even hatched, but as the dinosaur grows bigger and bigger, his family forces Little Grunt to let the dinosaur go. In time, however, the clan comes to see just how valuable a pet dinosaur can be!
Another dangerous – but fun! – animal friend to have would be a dragon. When Simon declares he wants to be friends with a dragon, big sister Emma takes it upon herself to teach him all the rules, such as not showing him that you’re scared of him. And you’d better not poke him when he’s sleeping, or he might sneeze fire on you! How To Be Friends with a Dragon is a fun book that lets kids imagine all the practical aspects of being friends with a dragon.
Have You Seen My Dragon? is a fun counting book for young readers. A boy is searching for his dragon, taking the readers through detailed city scenes as he looks high and low for his pet. Could he be playing with the animals at the zoo, or maybe he just wanted an ice cream cone? Kids will have fun spotting the dragon in each scene, as well as finding and counting various city objects.
My kids laugh out loud whenever we read Prudence Wants a Pet. Poor Prudence is desperate to have a pet, but her parents think a pet would be too much trouble. So Prudence finds pets of her own – first a branch, then a twig, an old shoe and finally her baby brother. Each “pet” has something wrong with it – for example, her branch keeps tripping her father and is broken into little pieces! Will Prudence finally get a real pet she can love? You’ll love the ending!
I have my sister-in-law to thank for introducing us to Officer Buckle & Gloria, which I have read countless times for my son. Officer Buckle has the thankless task of giving safety speeches to bored audiences, but when he is assigned a K-9 partner, suddenly the audiences perk up and pay attention. The reader is in on the joke, as Officer Buckle remains blissfully unaware of the act that his dog is performing behind him on stage – until one day when he discovers the real reason the audiences were paying attention to his presentations. Can Officer Buckle and Gloria work together again to keep the town safe? Really fun book, and kids (and parents!) will enjoy all the safety suggestions scattered throughout the book (all serious but told in a silly way to help kids remember).
We love the Henry and Mudge series, another great gift from my sister-in-law! Henry and Mudge are wonderful early reader books about a boy and his lovable dog. Harry and Mudge do everything together – from going to sleepovers to (perhaps) playing in their own tree house. I really recommend Henry And Mudge First Book, which tells the sweet story of how Henry and Mudge came to be such close pals and why the child-pet bond is so special.
I Took My Frog To The Library is a really fun, silly read all about what happens when you take your pets to the library! Bridgett tries to take her pets with her to the library, but something always goes wrong. The frog jumped on the checkout desk and scared the librarian, and the giraffe kept reading over everyone’s shoulder! When even the well behaved elephant causes a disaster, Bridgett comes up with a clever solution so that everyone – even the animals – get to enjoy the library books. This classic book is great fun, plus you should get it just to show your kids what a card catalog is!
Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School is another laugh out loud book that my son adores. It comes from Mark Teague, one of my favorite authors. (He wrote the How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? series). Ike LaRue does not like being sent to obedience school one bit, and he makes sure to tell his owner Mrs. LaRue about it in hilarious letters home, which portray the school as more like a prison – as depicted in Teague’s wonderful illustrations. I love how Teague’s paintings shows both Ike’s imaginings as well as the reality of the rather pleasant obedience school where he has been sent.
What great books are you reading with your children lately?