Awesome Animal Books For Kids Who Love All Creatures

animal books for kids | the fairy glitch mother

The dog says, “woof.” The cat says, “meow.” The cow says, “moo.” And the baby says, “wow.” Some of the first sounds our children will make are animal sounds. They are fascinated by them and relatively easy to replicate. They are incredibly easy concepts to teach them at first, and because of it, that is why animal books for kids are some of the best early reading choices to make for your children.

At home, we started with pets, followed by farm and forest animals, and then we went to more exotic ones from the jungle and other faraway places (from penguins to whales).

There are so many books about animals for children or with animals as the key protagonists that the list could go on and on forever. I have split the list into age groups; of course, books can go beyond age, or you can read earlier – they are all child friendly, so feel free to decide what is best for you 😉 I just thought splitting them might help, and I used as a reference what my children enjoyed most at different stages.

Here are our favorite animal books for kids.

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you; when you buy through the links, we may earn a small commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks! 

In this post:

Animal books for 0 to 2-year-old kids

animal books for kids - the very hungry caterpillar | the fairy glitch mother

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle

A classic story for little ones about a tiny caterpillar that is very hungry and eats for a whole week… and I do not want to spoil the ending 😉 It teaches children about the days of the week, counting small numbers, fruits and about change.

animal books for kids - brown bear brown bear what to you see | the fairy glitch mother

2. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – Bill Martin Jr. & Eric Carle

A short rhythmic story with vivid animal illustrations from Eric Carle that is perfect to introduce colours to your little one. This book is a great board book to have in your little library.

animal books for kids - first 100 animals | the fairy glitch mother

3. First 100 Animals – Roger Priddy

Great book with photographs of animals and their names. Colorful and real, it will help your toddler understand the concept of the animal and link it to the real image of it. Illustrations are great but being able to see what the animals really look like is fantastic for children that are learning how our world works.

animal books for kids - dog books for kids - where's the dog? | the fairy glitch mother

4. Where’s the Dog? – Ingela P Arrhenius

A very simple but vibrant book with felt flaps that your child will love to discover. It is very sturdy and fun with a mirror at the end. Where is Mr. Mouse? And Cat? And Bird? And Dog? And you? This is one of our favorite animal books for babies.

animal books for kids - where's mr lion? | the fairy glitch mother

5. Where’s Mr. Lion? – Ingela P Arrhenius

Another lovely book by Ingela P. Again, very simple but with colorful illustrations with felt flaps that your child will love to lift and discover who is underneath. Elephant, Giraffe, Crocodile and Lion are your new best friends here. There are many more in the series that you might love.

animal books for kids - farm sounds usborne | the fairy glitch mother

6. Farm Sounds – Usborne Sound Books

This is a nice sturdy book with lovely rich illustrations where your toddler can hear some farm animals’ sounds. They can easily press it and enjoy it by themselves.

animal books for kids - usborne jungle sounds | the fairy glitch mother

7. Jungle Sounds – Usborne Sound Books

Another lovely illustrated Usborne Sound Book, but with jungle sounds instead. You can hear the jungle at night, a tiger, a parrot, an elephant, a frog and more. It’s great for them to pick up and enjoy on their own.

animal books for kids - shhh whe have a plan | the fairy glitch mother

8. Shh! We have a plan! – Chris Haughton

“Look! A bird!! “Hello, birdie!” “Shhhhh! We have a plan.” Tiptoe slowly. Tiptoe slowly. Now Stop! My children love all of Chris Haughton’s books, but this is their favorite. It is excellent for reenacting. It has a straightforward, repetitive text, which allows them to memorize quickly, and we act on it every single time. His style of illustration is modern and monochromatic, but they say so much. I think it is brilliant. We’ve had to buy a second board book because my son loved it so much that he tore it apart.

animal books for kids - books for 2 year olds - oh no, george! | the fairy glitch mother

9. Oh, No, George! – Chris Haughton

George is an excellent dog with a big heart. But sometimes, his impulses take over, and he can’t help himself. He thought he’d be good, he said he’d be good… but he wasn’t. It deals with his emotions and how he learns from his mistakes. Like “Shhh! We have a plan”, the illustrations are modern and monochromatic and communicate greatly what is happening. Beautiful and sweet and great to chat about making sad choices and how to learn from our mistakes.

animal books for kids - dog books for kids - where's spot? | the fairy glitch mother

10. Where’s Spot – Eric Hill

This is a classic. I remember reading it over and over when I was a child. Maybe you did too. Spot’s mother is looking for Spot all around the house. Is he under the bed? Inside the piano? Behind the door? And in each hiding place, we see other animals waiting, from a bear to a crocodile. It is fun and excellent to build anticipation and get a reaction.

julia donaldson book collection - hide-and-seek pig | the fairy glitch mother

11. Hide-And-Seek-Pig – Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Fun lift the flap book with rhyming story where we help Pig find Hen, and on the way we discover many other animals. Lovely story and illustrations from the creators of The Gruffalo.

bedtime books for toddlers - guess how much i love you | the fairy glitch mother

12. Guess How Much I Love You – Sam McBratley & Anita Jeram

It is a sweet story of Little Nutbrown Hare and his father Big Nutbrown Hare. The little hare asks his dad “Guess how much I love you?” and it is a tender competition of who loves each other more: “I love you this wide!” “I love you this high!” “I love you that far!”. A charming story with beautiful illustrations with its famous quote “I love you to the moon… and back.”

bedtime books for toddlers - if animals kissed goodnight | the fairy glitch mother

13. If Animals Kissed Good Night – Ann Withford Paul & David Walker

A lovely story of animals and their babies kissing good night to each other in their own sweet ways. The peacocks would dance, the pythons would twirl and twist, the wolves would kiss and howl, and the bears would kiss and growl. I find it adorable.

Warning! After reading reviews on Amazon, I realized a few people find this book inappropriate for kids. I personally do not see an issue with hugging and kissing my children – I guess it is cultural, and we do it all the time – I thought it was a charming book. But if you think it might make you uncomfortable, this book might not be for your family. Please check some of the others 😉 This book has 50 thousand reviews on Amazon and has five stars, so it is very loved by many, but I wanted to share the warning just in case.

bedtime books for toddlers - goodnight tractor | the fairy glitch mother

14. Goodnight Tractor – Michelle Robinson & Nick East

This is such a charming story about a little boy that wishes goodnight to his truck, his toys and animals around the farm. With a very serene rhyming text and beautiful and relatable illustrations this can become your toddler’s favorite if he loves all things farm related. This book also belongs to the Goodnight Series, and is a great read for ages one and up. If you are interested in other bedtime stories you’ll find more here.

animal books for kids - little blue truck | the fairy glitch mother

15. Little Blue Truck – Alice Schertle & Jill McElmurry

Little Blue Truck is the friendliest truck you have ever seen. He says hi and is very nice to all the animals around the farm. And when Little Blue is in trouble, they all turn up to help him out. A nice story about kindness and friendship and the first of the Little Blue Truck series which are lovely.

animal books for kids - orange pear apple bear | the fairy glitch mother

16. Orange Pear Apple Bear – Emily Gravet

Deliciously simple. Perfectly fun. This book plays with just five words: apple, pear, orange, bear and there. The illustrations are very nice and caught my children’s attention.

animal books for kids - animals | the fairy glitch mother

17. Animals Ingela P. Arrhenius

The biggest book you’ll probably own, it has lovely huge animal illustrations with a scandi look. There is no story, just lovely illustrations with the name of the animal. It is beautiful to use as decoration on your child’s shelves, and you can even frame some pages and it would make for amazing wall art.

Animal books for kids: 3 to 5 year olds

animal books for kids - the snail and the whale | the fairy glitch mother

18. The Snail and the Whale – Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

This is a tale about friendship, a tale about dreaming big even if you are small and a tale about helping one another. It is a fantastic book with beautiful illustrations. Friends come in all shapes and sizes, ask the Snail and the Whale 😉 It is also a great movie for toddlers – just 25 minutes long and brilliantly animated (we have it in DVD but it is also sometimes on Amazon Prime).

animal books for kids - julia donaldson book collection - the gruffalo | the fairy glitch mother

19. The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

This tale is a modern classic and one of our favourite books at home. (We even have all the characters as plush animals so we can tell the story even better). If you haven’t heard the story it is a brilliant one about a mouse who outsmarts every predator he finds in his way, even the big and scary Gruffalo. It all starts with a stroll in the woods and it is simply wonderful.

animal books for kids - strictly no elephants | the fairy glitch mother

20. Strictly No Elephants – Lisa Mantchev & Taeeun Yoo

This is a lovely and gorgeously illustrated story about a boy and his pet elephant, and the message and values are fantastic. It is a book about friendship, diversity, inclusion, accepting each others’ differences and helping one another. I highly recommend it.

animal books for kids - don't let the pigeon drive the bus | the fairy glitch mother

21. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! – Mo Willems

This book is simply brilliant and my children find it hilarious. A pigeon has a dream: he wants to drive a bus. The bus driver leaves and asks us to look after the bus and not to let the pigeon drive it. So once he leaves the pigeon tries many different ways to convince us of driving it – to which we say No – leading to a big tantrum and – SPOILER ALERT – him not getting what he wants (because of course it is a ridiculous idea for a pigeon to drive a bus). It is a great example of a toddler tantrum, and a way to make them understand that sometimes they can’t get what they want. We laugh each time.

animal books for kids - oi frog! | the fairy glitch mother

22. Oi Frog! Kes Gray & Jim Field

Hilarious laugh out loud book where we discover there is a ridiculous seating system for animals that says they can only sit on things they rhyme with. Frog finds sitting on a log uncomfortable and would like to sit someplace else, but * SPOILER * cat says it’s not about being comfortable but about doing “the right thing”. I believe it is an interesting read at another level, it opens the door to questioning why we do certain things, is “the right thing to do” really the right or the only thing we can do?

dog books for kids - oi dog! | the fairy glitch mother

23. Oi Dog! Kes & Claire Gray & Jim Field

This book is the sequel from “Oi Frog!” where frog decides to change the rules. He doesn’t want to sit on a log – he wants to sit on a dog instead. And so all the rules from the previous book get messed with and it is brilliant. Really funny too.

animal books for kids - how to hide a lion | the fairy glitch mother

24. How to Hide a Lion – Helen Stephens

Little Iris has a new friend – a big and friendly lion. But she must hide him around the house – because, as you may imagine, moms and dads can be a bit funny about having a lion around. Behind a curtain, under the bed, behind the sofa… will she be able to hide him forever? It is a lovely book with timeless illustrations that you will all enjoy.

animal books for kids - julia donaldson book collection - superworm | the fairy glitch mother

25. Superworm – Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

ASuperworm is super-long and super-strong and the friendly hero to the garden creatures. When Superworm is in trouble they all come together and hatch a plan to save him from a wizard lizard that has him under his spell. A nice tale about helping and friendship from the creators of the Gruffalo.

animal books for kids - the highway rat - book | the fairy glitch mother

26. The Highway Rat – Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

This is the tale of the Highway rat, a bandit that rides the highway stealing the traveler’s food – especially craving cakes and biscuits – and leaving everyone hungry and afraid. Eventually the rat is tricked by a clever duck and he gets his comeuppance by ending working in a cake-shop – his greatest temptation of all. It is an engaging story and has also been animated and can be found usually in Amazon – although we have the DVD and my 2 year old son loves it and knows it by heart.

animal books for kids - elmer | the fairy glitch mother

27. Elmer – David McKee

Elmer is a colorful elephant like no other he wishes he could be grey like the rest… until he realizes that his being different makes everyone much happier. This is a nice story about accepting & celebrating differences, diversity, and one self. It is lovely.

animal books for kids - five minute's peace | the fairy glitch mother

28. Five Minute’s Peace – Jill Murphy

Mama Large is a mom of 3 elephants and is exhausted by the chaos in her house… she just longs for 5 minute’s peace – “me time” in the bath – (already I feel this story is talking about me 😅) – do you think she’ll be able to enjoy them peacefully? I invite you to find out.

animal books for kids - giraffes can't dance | the fairy glitch mother

29. Giraffe’s Can’t Dance – Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees

Gerald Giraffe wants to dance, but it is not as easy for him as for other animals with his long body. He feels discouraged when the rest of the animals laugh at him, and it makes him sad. But at last, he finds he can dance to his own tune with the encouragement of an unlikely friend. It is a sweet tale of encouragement and inspiration for every child who likes to dream big.

animal books for kids -rumble in the jungle | the fairy glitch mother

30. Rumble in the Jungle – Giles Andreae & David Wojtowwycz

They read this book at my daughter’s nursery, and for a time, we would read it every night. It’s a collection of poems, each one about a particular animal. Lions, Chimpanzees, Elephants, Snakes, and the whole lot. Filled with bright illustrations and three ants that you must find hidden on each page.

animal books for kids - commotion in the ocean | the fairy glitch mother

31. Commotion in the OceanGiles Andreae & David Wojtowwycz

Another collection of delightful rhymes but for animals that live in the Ocean. You’ll find dolphins, penguins, sharks, and whales – and three starfish hidden on each page.

animal books for kids - the wonky donkey | the fairy glitch mother

32. The Wonkey Donkey – Craig Smith & Katz Cowley

This is a cumulative and funny story about a spunky, hanky-panky, cranky, stinky, dinky, lanky, honky-tonky, winky-wonky donkey! It is a great book to read aloud and laugh all the way through.

animal books for kids - the tiger who came to tea | the fairy glitch mother

33. A Tiger came to Tea – Judith Kerr

This timeless English classic has been around for over 50 years. Sophie hears a knock on the door and is surprised by a big stripy visitor. They invite him in for tea (dinner), and he is very, very hungry. It is sweet and fun.

animal books for kids - alan's big scary teeth | the fairy glitch mother

34. Alan’s Big Scary Teeth – Jarvis

Alan comes from a great line of scary crocodiles. But is that really who he is and who he wants to be? It is a heart-warming tale about self-discovery and letting others see you for who you really are. Placed in the jungle with colorful animals, Jarvis’ illustrations are absolutely gorgeous.

animal books for kids - the koala who could | the fairy glitch mother

35. The Koala Who Could – Rachel Bright & Jim Field

Kevin is a koala that likes his life just as it is, hanging from his favorite tree. But when change comes along, and he steps outside his comfort zone, he is more surprised than anyone! It is a lovely rhyming book about change with beautiful illustrations that will win you over.

animal books for kids - cockatoos | the fairy glitch mother

36. Cockatoos – Quentin Blake

Professor Dupont’s ten cockatoos have decided to teach him a lesson and are hiding around the house. This is a fun counting book that will keep your child entertained counting cockatoos.

animal books for kids - julia donaldson book collection - detective dog | the fairy glitch mother

37. Detective Dog – Julia Donaldson & Sara Ogilvie

Peter’s dog Nell has an amazing sense of smell. When she is not saving cases she goes with Peter to school where they enjoy listening the children’s reading all kinds of books. But one day, they go to school to find out that they have all disappeared! Can they solve the case and find all the missing books? It is a fun story about books, passion for reading and the friendship between a boy and his dog.

Animal books for kids: 6-year-olds and above

In this group, I decided to focus more on nonfiction books and books that would teach young readers about animals and nature from home.

animal books for kids - usborne lift-the-flap questions and answers about animals | the fairy glitch mother

38. Lift-the-flap Questions and Answers about Animals – Usborne – Katie Daynes & Marie-Ève Tremblay

This is a great book for learning about animals. Filled with questions and answers that will not only teach your child facts about animals, but I can assure you will also learn from.

animal books for kids - what do you do with a tail like this | the fairy glitch mother

39. What Do You Do With A Tail Like This – Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

Great nonfiction books to learn about animals and how they use the same body parts in such different ways. With child-friendly text, it is a quick and easy read. We found this animation on youtube that is wonderful as well. Steve Jenkins is a great author who focuses on teaching about animals in a very engaging way.

animal books for kids - national geographic little kids big books | the fairy glitch mother

40. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Animals – Catherine Hughes

This book is great for starting with actual facts and images of animals. It focuses on 32 great-interest animals like dolphins, cheetahs, penguins, butterflies, giraffes, and more. It is very colorful and filled with photography, with short sentences in a big font that is ideal for early readers who are very interested in wildlife or for parents or grandparents to read aloud.

animal books for kids - the animal book dk smithsonian | the fairy glitch mother

41. The Animal Book: A Visual Encyclopedia of Life on Earth – DK Smithsonian – David Burnie & Smithsonian Institution

An amazing visual encyclopedia for older children (8+) with over 1,500 species of animals that range from bacteria to polar bears and anything in between. It explores a wide variety of habitats, shares facts, and provides a great learning experience for curious children about animal life.

Fantastic animal books for your kids

We hope this list of 40 fantastic animal books for kids has given you plenty of inspiration for your next trip to the library or bookstore. Whether your child loves furry friends, underwater creatures, or exotic beasts, there is something here for everyone.

This list has something for every age and interest, from board books to chapter books. Reading about animals can help children develop empathy, learn about the natural world, and foster a love of reading that will last a lifetime. So why not pick up one of these titles and get started?

Thank you for joining us on this journey through 40 excellent animal books for kids. We hope this collection has brought you and your family joy, laughter, and maybe even a few new animal friends. Remember, reading with your child is one of the best ways to bond, learn, and have fun together. Keep exploring and discovering new books, and happy reading! *

P.S. If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy the following as well!

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Updated on: March 10, 2024

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