Farms are a common thing around our town, there are hobby farms, chickens in our neighborhood and last fall a horse rescue group actually rode the rescued horses around our town as in to my driveway asking people for donations. Add to that the small heard of cattle in Texas that my father in law has and you’ll see why my kids love farm animals and I am guessing yours might too. Here are 21 books about farms and the animals on them you may want to check out.
Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker is a simple counting book with minimal text. What is lacks in words it delivers in illustrations. The rich colors of the hens, the golden hay and the yellow chicks were all expertly executed. We read the board book version of this and I would suggest that this is a book for that age, who will love pictures more and more with every turn of the page. The text that is included is rhyming and pleasant but the illustrations steal the show.
How Big Is a Pig? by Claire Beaton is a favorite in our house and has been for both my kids. 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. My daughter loves taking this one in the stroller while I run and because it’s a board book I can give it to her without worrying that after a few miles it’s ripped and ruined.
Lulu the Big Little Chick by Paulette Bogan is an old familiar tale about a little chick who is frustrated about being too little to do anything so instead she decides to go far far away. When I started reading this to my presently obsessed with superheros son he didn’t want to read it unless the chick had super powers. I convinced him to read it with me to find out and it took all of one page before he was hooked. He was so worried about how far the little chick would go and why would she want to go in the first place?! The cartoon like illustrations were a perfect compliment and fresh addition to a familiar tale.
Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton always makes me laugh. There is something about the facial expressions her animals always have that crack me up, and lets me honest if the book is good for the adult reading it, it’s always a plus. Super bright colors on each page is a huge plus for my baby girl as I flip the pages, and even though she doesn’t get the humor yet she will soon enough and it’s a book that will grow with her. * Now at 2 she gets the humor and still loves the book!
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown is one of my very favorite books to read to my daughter before bed although it took a while before she warmed up to it. I was worried because I loved reading it to my son and couldn’t wait to share it with her. The story is simple readers see a day in the life of a big red barn and all the animals inside. Each animal is introduced in the seamless text that reads like a melodic poem. It’s calm , soothing and Felicia Bond’s illustrations are perfect, I love how the sky subtly changes as the night beckons. A wonderful book for anytime, but especially poignant before bed.
The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle was a favorite of my son’s from the get go. We have the board book edition and what I love about it, is that the spider web in it is raised and offers a sensory element to reading the story. This is a story of hard work, persistence and also helps reinforce farm animal sounds. Perfect for toddlers !
Peek-a-Moo! (Lift-the-flap Books) by Maria Torres Cimarusti is a great and simple book about farm animal sounds with flaps to lift for toddlers who need a little extra action to keep them interested. The book is a quick read which is perfect for those eager to move, not so eager to stay still toddlers. Great bold illustrations as well.
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin is a hilarious look at working conditions on a farm and cows going on strike. I have yet to read this book without giggling and in the 2003-2004 school year I think I read it 500 times! The story has a wonderful message of fairness and negotiation . During a transit strike we read this to a Kindergarten class to help explain after we were asked why the bus drivers didn’t want to work- it was a great tool!
Eggs and Legs: Counting by Twos by Michael Dahl is a cute book with silly illustrations and a fun concept to teach counting by twos. The book counts from 0-20 by 2s but each page has multiple depictions of each number including dots to count and the number in the text. This was super useful to show my son as we counted by 2s that we weren’t skipping the numbers, just grouping them to count faster. Fun and useful book.
The Grumpy Morning by Pamela Duncan Edwards is a great book. I think I got it as a freebie with a scholastic order years ago, either way I am so glad I have it. The book follows all the animals on a farm as they wake up grumpy and hungry and needing attention from the farmer. As a teacher I love this book because I could talk about whining, and demanding and ask my students if there are better ways to get what you want. As a parent I love it because the text is musical and my son loves seeing all the animals and what sounds they make since he is still a little young to appreciate the lesson about feelings at 16 months.
One Little Chicken: A Counting Book by David Elliot was a great library find. You count chickens as they dance all different styles, my favorite being the chickens who dance the hula ! The rhyming text is really fun and the pictures will make you giggle, I mean there are chickens in leotards doing ballet! Totally tickled my funny bone. The best part though is that it gets the reader involved after counting to ten, the chickens turn the tables stare at the reader and implore them to dance! One of my new favorite counting books.
Does a Cow Say Boo? by Judy Hindley was a hit with my 2 year old and I thought it was fun look at the sounds that animals living on the farm make. What I specifically liked about this was that each animal didn’t just say one sound instead the author includes a few for each. The illustrations are cute and cheery and the end of the book is a surprise for young readers … although older children will probably let you know what is going to happen .
Sally Goes to the Farmby Stephen Huneck Sally is a black lab who goes to the farm to meet Molly a yellow lab and see what it’s like to be on a farm. I liked this book and my daughter did too . It’s text is very very short but the illustrations are magnificent. We both giggled at the dogs drinking milk from a cow being milked. Does that really happen on a farm? I have no clue but it sure made my daughter laugh. This is also a good book for my son ( an emergent reader) to read to my daughter because of the length of text and how well the illustrations support it.
Barn Dance! by Pat Hutchins is a goofy book about what really goes on when you think animals are sleeping! Mama Sheep, Mama Pig and Mama Cow get down and dance their hooves off until the fall asleep in the hay but that’s not the end of the story . Once they are asleep their babies sneak out and dance too! I like how silly it is, the independent spirit but really my favorite things about this book is that the Mama animals all have flowers behind their ears , it tickles me every time I read the book.
Punk Farm by Jarrett J. Krosoczka . I wanted to love this book but it was just meh. I like the idea for it very much and some of the details were hilarious like horse acting as a bouncer for the punk show but the meat of the book just didn’t do it for me. Most of the book is a variation of Old MacDonald with different instrument sounds and by the second animal I was so over singing this song, maybe I just don’t like that song… I have been teased with it most of my life. My kids liked the book and we all loved the illustrations.
This Little Chick by John Lawrence is just about the perfect board book for my daughter right now, she didn’t even try to eat it! The rhymes are melodic the text full of animal sounds is spot on for our littlest readers . My son and I had fun reading this old favorite to my daughter for the first time. The illustrations are fantastic with lots of contrast and is the perfect length for a quick snuggle and read for wiggly babies who are eager to move.
Baby Says “Moo!”by JoAnn Early Macken was a huge hit with my 2 year old. I should warn you that she loves anything with a baby of any sort in it but even if she wasn’t baby crazy I think she would have loved this book. In it the baby and family go from the city to the farm asking about the sounds the people and animals make around them. No matter what the baby says “Moo” . The text is sweet and rhymes and the bright , colorful illustrations are so adorable. Very sweet book for children learning about animal sounds.
Bob by Tracey Campbell Pearson is a goofy story about a Rooster who doesn’t know how to cock a doodle do ! He asks his barnyard friends but they are cats, dogs, cows and more. He learns how to meow , bark and moo! Eventually he does find an older rooster to show him the ropes but it’s the other sounds that end up saving Bob and his friends from a sly fox. I Really enjoyed the book, my son thought it was funny and the message about learning about other languages is a lovely one to teach your child.
Grunt by John Richardson is a classic running away from home story. This one is about a pig who is different from all his siblings and can only grunt instead of squeal, and thinks that because he is different his family must not want him. Of course in the end mama is overjoyed to see him come home and he discovers his family does love him. I am biased against books like this cause I just don’t like them, I don’t like that a child( or piglet) has to run away to find out they are loved. Maybe it’s just my own pet peeve , regardless this book is ok, but I won’t be adding it to my bookshelf.
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? Kids even young ones get the message loud and clear as well! The illustrations are amazing and your child will love the farm animals and the tractor at the end. Oh and please tell me I am not the only one waiting for “Duck on a Tractor” ? I’d buy it in a heartbeat !
Wee Little Chick by Lauren Thompson is a sweet almost saccharine book about a little chick that may be small but is just as capable as everyone else. Honestly I was sorta lukewarm to the story. When I sat down to write about it I had to grab the book to remember what I wanted to say, which is normally a big clue that it is not too memorable. What I didn’t forget was how much I loved the illustrations by John Butler. Soft , gentle, feathery illustrations of farm animals that are full of realistic detail. We all loved the illustrations. SO while there was nothing wrong or off putting about the text it didn’t leave a lasting impression but the illustrations are what make this book stand out.This post contains affiliate links.