Books for Little Animal Lovers
My daughter is absolutely in love with animals, especially the furry, cuddly ones! The books below will delight anyone like her. These wonderful books for little animal lovers are mostly picture books but also include a board book, graphic novels and a young chapter book. What is your child’s favorite animal?
Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of some of the books below 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 at no cost to you.
Books for Little Animal Lovers
Enjoy these wonderful books for little animal lovers!
Friend is a wonderful board book for very young readers to talk about emotions. A child talks about the wide range of emotions demonstrated by his dog, from angry and shy to silly and happy. The illustrations of the close up reactions of humans brings the additional element of friendship to this simple story. Also available in te reo Māori!
From the mind of the current co-director of DreamWorks comes a hilarious and tender look at the Endless Pawsibilities of friendship. Each photo is composed of cat paws, cleverly shot altered with simple drawings to create effective images of enduring friendship. Moreover, the text features endless cat puns, such as the fact that friends share juicy pawssip and go on roller coasters together even if they are afuraid. My daughter giggles every time she flips through this adorable book – which is all the time!
Buy Endless Pawsibilities on Amazon
Meowsterpieces is a must have for any cat lover! This keepsake book takes us through an art gallery featuring gorgeous versions of famous paintings from artists such as Rembrandt, Boticelli, and da Vinci. The twist? Each painting is redone with cats as their principal subjects, making the works truly meowsterpieces. My favorite has to be Under the Wave off Kanagawa…or maybe the photo New York Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam…or maybe the lesser known but equally powerful The Banjo Lesson. I love that the creators were careful to include a variety of time periods and artists in their collection and that more information about and reproductions of the originals can be found at the back. My daughter, of course, just cares that the book is composed of page after page of beautiful paintings of cats!
Niitu and Chips is a fun story for young readers about a boy and his best friend, a seal named Chips, as they set off to go ice fishing together. Chips is impatient for Niitu to catch a fish, finally diving in to do the job himself! The story is based on the author/illustrator’s own experiences growing up in the High Arctic. The book showcases his unique artistic style, which blends traditional Inuit and modern art.
This is a sweet lift-the-flap board book about all the life to be discovered in a pond. These flaps are no ordinary ones – they are magic flaps! That means that behind each flap is another, smaller one. Together each flap set can tell a layered story, such as showing a tadpole growing into a frog or a kingfisher hunting his next meal. In addition to introducing animal facts for little ones, it also reinforces early language skills, through rhyming texts and opposite pairs. I also love how each animal is featured in its own mini-story but reappears again in the background of other illustrations in the book. A great first science book for kids.
Like so many children, Zoe wants a dog but can’t have one. I Have Seven Dogs is the story of her creative solution, inspired by a visit to her community garden. In the end, Zoe realizes that although she can’t have a dog of her own, she has many dog friends throughout her neighborhood! A great story about problem solving and the power of community to fill in the gaps in our individual stories.
Kitty & Cat: Opposites Attractis an adorable book about overcoming jealousy to form friendships. Kitty and Cat have nothing in common. Kitty is young and happy; Cat is old and grumpy. Can they learn to get along? The text is simple yet effective. At first, it seems like just another cute book of opposites, but it is soon apparent how the pairs of opposite words are used to drive the story along (as, for example, we see Cat PUSH and PULL Kitty outside the house) before ultimately coming to a satisfying conclusion (APART then TOGETHER). A unique twist on a classic genre.
Masks in the Forest is a unique, interactive storybook told with masks! A hunter goes into the forest, thinking he is the strongest. But will the creatures of the forest prove themselves more clever? As the story unfolds, children use masks to help act out the action. And of course, the masks are great for play afterwards! Notable characters include a deer, and owl, an enchanted bird, a forest giant, and a forest elf. Includes 9 pre-cut masks for use in reading this story aloud or inventing your own! Kids will love playing with this creative game/story book.
Did you ever wonder what cats do at night? Unlike us, they can see in the dark, so night is the perfect time to go exploring! This jubilee edition of the book by famed artist Dahlov Ipcar is one that children will want to pore over. Its interactive illustrations let children guess what the shadows form – what can the cat see that we can’t? Turn the page and find out! We follow the cat on its nighttime adventures through the farm, the woods, and all the way to town. And then the farmer dares to call it lazy when it wanders back home in the morning! He doesn’t understand what a long night it has been for the cat. A lovely book perfect to pass on to a new generation of animal lovers.
Our Cat’s Day takes young readers through a day in the life of a cat, always drawing parallels in the life of the cat’s young human friend. Both stretch when they wake up, though a cat always meows when he does it. They both eat breakfast, though the foods they eat are not the same. Children love to relive their day in the pages of a book and will especially love to learn how much their day is similar to a cat’s. Each page also includes a question for reflection: Cats love to cuddle. Who do you like to cuddle with? Written by a beloved Czech poet adn and featuring the warm, tender illustrations from a renowned artist, this is a book little ones will treasure.
Cinderella – with Dogs! proves that every story is made better with dogs! (Dog lovers will also enjoy how the stepsisters and stepmother own cats, not dogs). Cinderella wishes for a godmother, but instead she gets a fairy *dogmother*! At first she is disappointed, but she soon realizes that the fairy dogmother’s unusual methods (dressing her in an old dog blanket and sending her outside to chase squirrels) are actually just what she needs. I love how this book turns the traditional story on its head. The prince (also a dog lover, as it turns out), is charmed by Cinderella and asks her to marry him, but Cinderella convinces him to join her in chasing squirrels instead – after all, they hardly know each other! A wonderful book about defying expectations and learning to live in the now.
Dear Stray is a beautiful story about seeing beyond bad behavior and learning to build trust. A little girl adopts a prickly kitten, knowing that the two wild ones needed each other. Both get in trouble for being too wild and angry, but slowly they begin to forge a relationship that helps both of them to find moments of calm together. A wonderful reminder of how pets (even prickly ones) can help children regulate and learn to build caring relationships.
The Zoo Patrol Squad is back in the 4th installment of this graphic novel series! In this latest adventure, the latest case the fox and pig must solve involves a Renaissance Fair. Who is stealing the skeleton keys to the zoo? Can they catch the culprit before the zoo is in danger? This exciting story takes a lot of twists and turns, leaving you constantly guessing who the real bad guy is. Even better, in the end, the Zoo Patrol learns that even the bad guys can be reformed and made part of the solution.
Rica Baptista: Llamas, Iguanas, and My Very Best Friend is a fun middle grade read about a young girl with a plan. In this installment of the Rica Baptista series, Rica desperately wants a pet, but her parents tell her no. So Rica needs to prove to them that she is ready for the responsibility! Many children can relate to this situation, but, dig a little deeper, and we discover that Rica’s drive for a pet comes from her fear of losing her best friend. Once her friend moves, Rica reasons, a pet could help Rica from being so lonely. On one level, this is a fun story about Rica’s not so successful efforts to get a pet (and not just an ordinary pet – it needs to be something unusual!). But it is also a story about friendship and taking risks, as Rica learns that growing up isn’t just about getting what you want but about putting others before yourself and having the courage to take risks, even if that means acknowledging that your (somewhat annoying) older cousin is right. I love how Rica’s Cape Verdean heritage is woven into the story, including the importance of her tight knit extended family. Be sure to watch my interview with the author!
Saving H’non: Chang and the Elephant is a graphic novel based on a true adventure that is sure to inspired budding environmentalists everywhere. A young conservationist rescues an elephant for difficult and punishing labor then is tasked with finding a trainer to help the elephant return to the wild. It is a story of courage, persistence, and learning to have faith in each other. The artwork is stunning, and the scrapbook style includes a wealth of detailed information about elephants, their importance in the ecosystem, and how we can help them.
Animal FACTopia! is a fun romp through the animal world, with wild and hard to believe facts about creatures from around the globe. This is one of those books kids will spent hours poring over, as there are so many facts to explore. What is unique about the structure of the book is that you can follow different “paths” through it. Each fact is related to the next and is connected by a dotted line. But sometimes the path will split and head in different directions, leading you down a different trail of related facts. These diverging paths add to the lively, active feeling of the book. The illustrations are a mix of cartoons and photographs, creating a vibrant mix of images that draw the reader in. A great boredom buster for any animal lover!