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Children’s Fictional Picture Books about Animals

As you probably know, it’s World Book Day on Thursday. I talked about it last week, including the books participating in the scheme this year (you can read the post here if you missed it). I am sure you have been told already what your children should be bringing to school on the day, and how they should be dressed up. For my kids, the theme this year is animals, so they have to bring their favourite picture books about animals.

This is not, however, this year’s theme for World Book Day is ‘share a million stories‘. The idea is for you to register (with a chance of winning a prize, too) and log the stories you are sharing with any amount of kids you have access to. Whether you are a teacher and have a class to read to, or a parent and read to your children. The registration process is quick and easy and logging the books is very simple too. You can register here.

But, as I said, my kids’ school has gone for the animal theme, which is appropriate and easy because one of every two children’s books seems to be about animals of some description. I’m not going to recommend the best ones in history, but I want to recommend my favourite books about animals, those that I have read and re-read to my children and I still love. There is something about them that makes them easy to read out loud, is enjoyable and has a story or a good teachable element.

6 Animated Kid’s Books about Animals

The Detective Dog, by Julia Donaldson

My recommendations in picture books about animals. The Detective Dog by Julia Donaldson, cover.

This is one of my favourite picture books about animals because it puts together two of my favourite things in the plot: detectives, and books. To add to the story, there is a dog, some penguins, and yummy smelling rabbits. Add to that the fabulous rhymes of Julia Donaldson and it’s a winner!

Jacob O’Reilly Wants a Pet by Lynne Rickards

 Jacob O'Reilly Wants a Pet by Lynne Rickards cover

The title is pretty explicit. Jacob wants a pet. He does his best to be a good boy so his mum and dad will let him have one but he can’t quite convince them to let him have any of his options. And yes, a walrus is one of the options, but, in his defence, he did try for cats and dogs first.

I like this story for several reasons. First, it shows that having a pet is a responsibility and not just something to do for fun. It also shows the variety of pets to pick from and gives some pretty good information about extraordinary animals, such as the one on the cover.

The illustrations are great and it rhymes as well, which I love. And the ending is very nice. I’m not going to spoil it, though .

Little Monkey by Marta Altés

My recommendations in picture books about animals. Little Monkey by Marta Altes cover

This is a cute little story about a monkey who is constantly told she’s too small to do anything. I particularly enjoy this story because it’s one of those that shows how working hard and believing in yourself will help you achieve your goals, something that our children’s generation are in great need of.

The illustrations are colourful and dynamic and, while the text doesn’t rhyme, the rhythm is very good and easy to read aloud.

Jane Procter, Dragon Doctor by Patricia Valdez

My recommendations in picture books about animals. Joan Procter Dragon Doctor by Patricia Valdez cover

This book is fantastic because it talks about both an animal and a woman who is not talked about often in the Western world: Komodo Dragons and Joan Procter.

In a time when women were still fighting for their fundamental rights, this doctor in zoology made significant contributions to science, veterinary practice and zoo displays, contributing to scientific and other publications with her articles about reptilians and, more particularly, Komodo dragons.

The Story of the Little Mole who Knew it Was None of his Business by Werner Holzwarth.

The Story of the Little Mole who Knew it was None of his Business by Werner Holzwarth cover

This is a funny story about… well, the cover says it all, right down to the 30th Anniversary Edition. Now, I’m not one to enjoy poo jokes and stories, but the kids love this one. They find it hilarious, as kids would. Plus, if you live in the country side, there is a lot to learn from what animals make what number twos. Great picture book about animals, enjoyable at all ages.

It Takes Two to T’wit T’woo by Paula Knight

My recommendations in picture books about animals. It Takes Two to T'wit T'woo by Paula Knight cover.

As illustrated books about animals go, this one is pretty good.

To start with, you learn about the habits of owls and the reason why they make that particular sound.

Plus, the two main characters are quite engaging, for a children’s story of this kind.

Finally, you get to learn about the sounds many animals make. One of our favourite bedtime stories.

I hope you enjoyed the selection. It you want to add any others to the list, feel free to comment and let us know!


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