Most kids love animals, so easy-to-read animal books are popular with kids and parents alike. Whether fiction or nonfiction, picture book or chapter book, there are plenty of fantastic animal stories on the market for kids of all ages to read and enjoy.
Easy-to-Read Animal Books
Some of the best-loved animal books for kids are simple picture books and nonfiction books about high-interest animals.
Popular Picture Books
Picture books lend themselves well to animal stories because the content is accessible to very young kids, and it's easy to fill out the stories with vibrant, high-quality photographs or full-color illustrations.
- The Lion and the Mouse is a book that may appeal to even the youngest children. It's a wordless story adapted from a popular Aesop's fable about a lion that befriends a mouse, and in the picture-book version, Jerry Pinkney's illustrations command the pages and give the story new life. For kids who don't yet know how to read but love to look at pictures and learn more about animals, this story is an excellent choice.
- Animal alphabet books are fun for preschool children and kids who are learning the alphabet to review and read themselves. Popular children's authors and illustrators such as Eric Carle, Richard Scarry, and Karen Lee lend their own touches to these easy-to-read animal books, and they make great bedtime stories for parents and children to read together.
Eric Carle Books
Eric Carle, one of the best-known children's authors of all time, has written and created art for a number of wonderful animal books, including:
Carle's books have sparse, simple, and fun text with cut-paper collage illustrations that are colorful and very appealing to kids.
Laura Joffe Numeroff Books
Laura Joffe Numeroff's If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series is a fun read-aloud book with a silly storyline that has proved to be popular with hundreds of kids. The book builds on progression and provides a simple structure in which kids can place and understand the story and its events. Numeroff's book has spawned several sequels that fit the same progression structure, including:
- If You Give a Pig a Pancake
- If You Give a Moose a Muffin
- If You Give a Cat a Cupcake
Kids who enjoy collecting facts about their favorite animals might prefer reading nonfiction over a storybook. Though encyclopedias and other fact-oriented books are usually heavy on text and light on illustrations, there are many books designed for kids that reverse the ratio.
- The Encyclopedia of Animals: A Complete Visual Guide is a great choice for curious kids who love animals and aren't intimidated by thick books (this one is more than 600 pages).
- National Geographic Readers are a series of books targeted toward kids who have beginning independent reading levels and who are interested in learning more about specific groups of animals.
- My Big Animal Book sorts different animals into categories and identifies each animal. Very young kids should be able to follow along with the book and point out favorite animals.
- Pictures, Poems, and Other Silly Animal Stuff Just for Kids combines a medley of features in one book and will keep kids with short attention spans entertained with top-quality photos and sparse text.