17 Best Picture Books About Animals Update 05/2022

There are so many books for kids about animals out there. Even in this small group of stories, they fit into a lot of different categories: teaching kids about animals and how they live; showing animals as stand-ins for people, which shows something about the human condition; and showing how animals and people live together. It doesn’t stop there. There are even books written from the point of view of an animal!

List: This could be fifteen million books, and it could also include board books, middle-grade novels, and nonfiction if someone wanted to read them all. It was hard to stop with the picture books, so I decided to focus on them and then add a few easy-reader books at the end.

Picture Books About Animals

Some Pets by Angela DiTerlizzi and Brendan Wenzel

Another book by the same author-illustrator team is called Some Bugs. This one is about a pet show that is taking place in a park in the city. This is a great way for kids to learn about how animals move, make noise, eat, and more. The writing is very simple and will be a big hit with little kids who want to read. The art is fun and colorful.

Ayobami and the Names of the Animals by Pilar López Ávila and Mar Azabal

A beautiful book that is both mythic and real at the same time. An important thing for Ayobami is going to school. To get there, she has to go through a very dangerous jungle. If you want to stay safe from animals, Ayobami uses her desire to learn to keep her safe from them. The result is a wonderful book about the power of language to defend and empower us.

Antoinette by Kelly DiPucchio and Christian Robinson

A friend of this duo’s Gaston. Rocky, Ricky, and Bruno are her three bulldog brothers. Her friends are smarter, faster, and stronger than she is. This adorable story is all about Antoinette and her quest to figure out what makes her unique. Just like Gaston taught an important lesson about diversity, this lovely follow-up teaches kids to value their own uniqueness.

Zoe and the Fawn by Catherine Jameson and Julie Flett

Zoe and her father find a beautiful fawn in the forest one day, but it’s alone. She and her father go on a search for the mother deer. As they go, Zoe learns their names in the Okanagan (Syilx). Flett’s art is always kind and beautiful.

Flo by Kyo Maclear and Jay Fleck

Because Flo is small, she is not like the other pandas. This frustrates the other pandas because, because she is so big, it takes her longer to do things, and that makes them angry. The bigger panda friends of Flo will have to find a way to like her slow and floppy ways of being. The hipster art on the gramophone is very cute, and the whole thing is lovely.

Mrs. Mole, I’m Home! by Jarvis

In this book, everything is bright, wacky, and fun. As long as Morris Mole works at Gordon Ratzy’s restaurant, he stays there until his body hurts and his eyes are tired. So tired, in fact, that he doesn’t notice that his glasses are on his head and gets lost as he crawls home.

The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland

During storytime, I often choose this set of bear books. It’s winter, and Bear is trying to go to sleep, but Moose and Sheep keep walking him up with their games. Everybody tries to make things right with Bear. But they all end up making him even more angry than before. People don’t know. This is going to be a silly, rhyme-filled time.

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees

It’s hard for Gerald the giraffe to dance because his knees are crooked, and his legs are wiggle wiggle. A kind cricket finally gets him to dance to a different kind of music. Funny story about not giving up.

How Do You Take A Bath? Kate McMullan and Sydney Hanson

In this picture book, you can see how animals like hippos, monkeys, and pigs bathe. The art is so cute that it’s hard to believe that it’s real. It’s good for little kids.

Princess Puffybottom…and Darryl by Susin Nielsen and Olivia Chin Mueller

This picture book is written by an award-winning children’s author. When I read this story, I get to read about mixed-race lesbian cat-moms! This is a huge, exciting thing for me. I’m here for everything about this book that is so cool.

Pandamonia by Chris Owen and Chris Nixon

They look like they were drawn by hand, and they go well with this noisy, fun book about a grumpy panda (a lot of these books have animals being grumps, which I’m just realizing now). The first time I read this book, I was blown away. I also love how the rhyming prose is full of great, new words for kids.

Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean E. Pendziwol and Isabelle Arsenault

This is a beautiful lullaby in book form. It has foxes, rabbits, owls, and deer, which are my favorite animals. This kind of writing, which is a little bit poetic, is very pretty and will make everyone feel better.

Stop Snoring, Bernard! by Zachariah OHora

Children will enjoy hearing you read this to them. Snoring. This book is gold because kids love it when grownups make a big deal out of snoring. It’s impossible for Bernard not to keep his friends awake all night because he has a small snoring problem. This is why. Bernard tries a lake, a puddle, and a fountain after his roommates send him away. The animals that live there also kick him out, and he fears that he won’t be able to find a place to sleep. He might. You should love your friends and family for who they are, even if they snore.

Puddle Pug by Kim Norman and Keika Yamaguchi

A story about two animal friends, Petunia the Pig and Percy the Pug, who are best friends and play together. Percy is a big fan of puddles, especially muddy ones. That’s where he meets Petunia and her family in the end. Because Petunia’s mom doesn’t want her piglets to make friends with pugs, Percy is chased away by his mother. There is no way Percy will be stopped. He keeps making friends with the piglets. In the last few weeks, Thunder Pug has come out as a sequel.

In the Quiet, Noisy Woods by Michael J. Rosen and Annie Won

When I see an adorable book about woodland animals, I can’t help but want to read it. This is surprising because I don’t like going into the woods. They are two cute little wolves who are trying to get back together with their pack in this book. It captures the sounds of a busy forest as we follow their adventures.

The Bumblebear by Nadia Shireen

Norman the Bear has a plan to eat a lot of honey. He dresses up as a bumblebee and sneaks into their bee school day so he can steal from them. Norman is having a lot of fun with the new class. He even learns how to buzz, wiggle, and fly. One bee starts to question Norman’s size. Definitely a must-have for children’s animal stories about bears that are cute and not dangerous.

The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater and The Fan Brothers

Art by the fans is beautiful, with all of these sea-bound foxes, deer, and pigeons. He can’t figure out what the world is like until he boards an antlered ship and makes new friends who can help.

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