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10 Animal Inspired Books for Kids

It’s National Read A Book Day!

Written by Nandita Batheja

In honor of National Read A Book Day we put together a list of ten children’s books you can read with your kids.

We hope you journey on a story-adventure with your little ones today! Reading can be one of the most magical, intimate, eye-opening experiences—whether we slip into those pages alone or in company. 

Reading with your kids can also be a beautiful way to spend time together and to foster a love for stories. So take a trip to the library and bring home some treasures for you and your kids to explore!

For inspiration, here are some animal-inspired books to check out.


Little Owl’s Night by Divya Srinivasan

Good for ages 3 – 5 yrs


Called “dazzling,” “graceful” and “verbally gorgeous” by reviewers, Little Owl’s Night is about an owl who wakes up in the forest just as evening arrives. He sees his friends—Hedgehog, Skunk, Frog and Cricket—nibbling on food and singing through the night. He watches as the full moon rises and wonders why anyone would want to miss it. Little Owl feels curious about daytime: could it possibly be as wonderful?

 Image courtesy: Amazon


The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson

Good for ages 3 – 5 yrs


Allegedly Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite book, The Story of Ferdinand is about a bull who prefers to live peacefully among flowers rather than fight and butt against other bulls. Unfortunately, Ferdinand is picked for the bullfights in Madrid—what will he do?

This is a story that embodies pacifism and nonviolence. It carries a powerful message for today’s tumultuous world, just as it did when it was first published in 1936.

Image courtesy: Penguin Random House


Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Good for ages 2 – 5 yrs


Good Night, Gorilla is a timeless story about a mischievous Gorilla who doesn’t want to go to bed. Gorilla follows the zoo keeper around, sneakily letting all the other animals out and having them join the night stroll. Kids who like to stay up late will love this book.

Image courtesy: Amazon 


Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins

Good for ages 8 – 12 yrs


Funny, adventurous, moving and beautifully illustrated, Nuts to You is a story about three squirrels who are all best friends. One day, one of the squirrels is suddenly snatched by a hawk and carried away! The other two squirrels embark on a journey to save their friend.

Join these squirrel adventurers as they navigate a sometimes friendly, sometimes scary world to rescue their friend. This book is a great one to read aloud, and it also shows kids why we want to take care of the plants and animals on our planet.

Image courtesy: Amazon 


When Anju Loved Being an Elephant by Wendy Henrichs

Good for ages 6 – 9 yrs


When Anju Loved Being and Elephant is a touching story about an Indonesian elephant named Anju who is forced to leave her home. She grew up on the island of Sumatra where her mother and her herd family loved and protected her. Anju loved being an elephant! She loved the lakes and refreshing mud holes of their island. Then everything changed. Anju was stolen and sold to an American circus. She is forced to spend years traveling around the country, entertaining people. Then she is put in a small zoo for 23 years. Anju no longer loved being an elephant—is it possible for that to change?

This is a beautiful book to share with your kids that gently introduces some very real but hard truths in our world.

Image courtesy:


The Wild Reveler by Pamella Dixon-Harvey

Good for ages 6 – 8 yrs

Written by poet, sculptor and horse lover Pamella Dixon-Harvey, The Wild Reveler is a story for adults and children alike. It’s a poetically written fantasy about a herd of mustangs rescued by The Wild Reveler. Join them in their fight for survival as their land and their environment become increasingly endangered. 

Image courtesy: Amazon


Do Animals Have Feelings Too? by David Rice, illustrated by Trudy Calvert

Good for ages 5 – 9 yrs


A collection of true stories about animal behavior, Do Animals Have Feelings Too? gets children to think about others’ feelings, whether human or animal. Enjoy these stories of animals helping one another, tricking one another and more. You and your kids can decide whether these are acts of compassion and trickster-ness, or just animals being animals!

Image courtesy:


A Dog’s Tales and Woes by Cynthia M. Peterson

Good for all ages


A book for any animal lover, A Dog’s Tales and Woesis a series of sonnets from a dog’s perspective. Read about all the ups and downs of being an animal in a tumultuous world—whether it’s the heartbreak of being neglected and lost, or the joy of being found and loved. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of this book will be donated to rescue organizations, so you can support these loveable pups as you read all about them!

Image courtesy: Amazon


Wee Little Chick by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by John Butler

Good for ages 2 – 5 yrs


From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Thompson comes Wee Little Chick, a story about a tiny chick who doesn’t realize she’s the smallest chick on the farm. What does she know, then? That she can chirp louder, eat more and stand taller than anyone else!

This is a great story book for kids to learn that they can and should be proud of who they are, no matter how they look or what others assume!

Image courtesy: Amazon


How Big Is A Pig by Clare Beaton

Good for ages 1 – 4 yrs


How Big Is A Pig follows a curious pig as he goes around to ask the other barnyard animals all kinds of questions. This is a great book to read aloud with your kids, full of rhymes, question-and-answer text and big, colorful pictures!

Image courtesy: Amazon

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10 Animal Inspired Books for Kids

t’s National Read A Book Day! Written by Nandita Batheja In honor of National Read A Book Day we put together a list of ten children’s books you can read with your kids. We hope you journey on a stor
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