If your child loves animals, these books about animals is the list for you!
“Animalia” by Graeme Base is iconic in teaching circles, you can loose yourself for hours in the detailed illustrations. The book is an alphabet book on steroids! Each page had a wonderful paragraph in each letter such as for the letter L “Lazy Lions lounging in the local library.” The pages are filled to the gills with pictures of things that start with that letter as well. Parents and kids alike will fall in love!
“How Big Is A Pig” by Claire Beaton has fast become a favorite in our house around bedtime. I love the felt illustrations, the detail amazes me and helps distract me from noticing that I have read it 20 times in as many minutes. The story itself is great too, it focuses on opposites in the farm yard with a zippy rhyming text.
“Stellaluna” by Janell Canon has long been a favorite when teaching about bats. I will warn you it’s a little long for fidgety toddlers but they will still enjoy it even if you skip a few pages. The story follows a little bat who loses her mother and is adopted into a family of birds. She never really feels like she belongs even though she is happy. and likes her bird family. That’s not the end though, there is a surprise reunion and Stellaluna saves the day before the end of this book!
“1, 2, 3 To The ZOO” by Eric Carle is fun counting book perfect for toddlers. Actually, as I type this my toddler is reading it. There are no words, just pictures, and numbers and that makes it perfect for toddlers who are just learning both numbers and animals because parents can read it slowly counting, naming the animals and making the animal sounds, or more quickly just counting!
“Have you seen my cat?” by Eric Carle is a fun look at different kinds of cats large and small around the globe in an easy repetitive book with predictably great illustrations.
“Oh, Tucker!” by Steven Kroll is a cute story about a clumsy excited dog, with colorful illustrations and kids love how he “whams” into everything!
“An Extraordinary Egg” by Leo Lionni is a very cute story about three frogs who find a wonderful egg, thinking it must be a chicken egg they are excited to have a new friend when the chicken hatches, even though it’s really an alligator! Kids love this story because they think these are the silliest frogs ever for not knowing that the chicken isn’t a chicken at all!
“Fredrick” by Leo Lionni is a fable about the importance of imagination. When all the mice are working hard to gather things for winter Fredrick is quietly taking in the sun and colors. They will need to help get them through the dark, cold hungry days ahead. The other mice don’t see why this is so important until everything they have gathered runs out. And they need Fredrick and his imagination to help them make it! Great commentary about art being vital. Your toddler may not pick up on that but you will!
“Brian Banana Duck Sunshine Yellow” by Australian author Chris McKimmie is a whimsical book, that may get some parents wondering if the author is a creative genius or an avid drinker. Kids will love the silly storyline and adults will enjoy the bits of dry wit put in especially for them. There are a few terms that are not seen often in the United States so this book would also be a fun one to use while teaching an international theme. I loved it!
“Brown Bear Brown Bear” by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle is a classic, it is genius in its simplicity. So often we think things have to have fancy bells and whistles to keep toddlers and preschoolers interested and this book proves us wrong yet again. I haven’t met a child who hasn’t responded well to this book about colors and animals!
“Hungry Harry” by Joanne Partis is a cute book about a hungry little frog out searching for his first meal on his own! This is a fun book to read to children learning their letter sounds since it is easy to exaggerate the sounds in Hungry and Harry. It’s a fun story too!
“Good Night Gorilla” by Peggy Rathmann is a silly story about a zookeeper and his charges that follow him home to bed. Luckily his wife is on her toes and gets those silly animals back to the zoo! This book is good for the 1-3 crowd. After that most kids I know have lost interest in the limited text. I love to use this book as a bedtime story.
“One Duck Stuck” by Phyllis Root looks like an everyday book. But inside you will find a brilliantly repetitive storyline, that promotes teamwork, and mathematical skills! My students a few years ago were nuts about this book and yours will be too!
“Inside a Zoo in the City” by Alyssa Satin Capucilli is a rebus read along. So children who can’t read words yet can help read this with pictures put right into the text! The story is repetitive and builds with one animal and page at a time. Preschoolers love these books and the repetitive nature of it makes it interactive and fun!
“Duck on a Bike” by David Shannon tickles my funny bone. I love this book, the message is awesome too. Just because it’s never been done before doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try! Also how cute is a duck riding a bike? The illustrations are amazing and your child will love the farm animals.
“Little Penguin’s Tale” by Audrey Wood is a funny cautionary tale about a curious and wild penguin. When the tale almost ends in doom and gloom the narrator changes the end a little bit. So the readers and other little penguins aren’t too sad. Still, the message is clear that you can’t ignore the rules without some consequences!
“McDuff moves in” by Rosemary Wells will pull at your heart strings. McDuff escapes the dog catcher and goes at it alone, that is until he finds Fred and Lucy!
Do you have any other books about animals that you would add to my list? Comment below or share on my Facebook page!
For more quick tips on helping your child learn to read check out my book; Raising A Rock-Star Reader. It is packed with fun ideas for families, book lists, and advice for parents.