With all the changes in the past year, pets remain a stable force of unconditional love for many families. (“What pandemic? And who cares, anyway?” all the pets would say.) After your pets get all the walks, snuggles, and ball tosses they need, read these books with your kids at the end of the day.
By Guojing (Schwartz & Wade, 2019)
Boulder Library Patron Services Manager Tim McClelland recommends this wordless picture book about a woman developing trust with a stray dog. Day after day, the woman tries to befriend the dog, but the dog runs away. A storm finally forces the two together, and a trusting bond of friendship forms.
By Barbara Sandri, Francesco Giubbilini, and Camilla Pintonato (Princeton Architectural Press, 2021)
Learn everything you need to know about the fast-growing hobby of backyard-chicken ownership with this fun and informative encyclopedia. You’ll learn about chicken origins, breeds, and anatomy, as well as the basics of chicken care through colorful illustrations.
By Tomie dePaola (Holiday House, 2019)
A multi-award-winning author and illustrator of more than 270 books before his death in 2020, dePaola gives cat-loving kids a wide range of resources for pet ownership. Find care and feeding information, trivia, and instructions to make cat toys, alongside dePaola’s signature illustration style.
By Joanna Cotler (Philomel, April 27, 2021)
A girl imagines what it would be like if she were a dog, and realizes that many of her human emotions are also what dogs feel: I might look big, but I’d feel small. It’s sure to help your kids understand one another’s differences and emotions, and remember that they are loved no matter what, while learning to understand the family dog, too.
By Elizabeth Stevens Omlor; illustrated by Neesha Hudson (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2018)
Simple, sparse text walks readers through a day of a girl caring for her dog. Some ways she cares for the dog are necessary and some are fun. The illustrations show that pet care and training is hard work and often doesn’t go as planned, but at the end of the day, she simply loves her dog.
By Kelly Bennett; illustrated by Noah Z. Jones (Candlewick Press, 2005)
When a little boy gets Norman the goldfish as a pet, it’s not what he had in mind. He sets out to trade Norman for a “better” pet—one that can run and catch. The boy cleans Norman’s bowl and takes him to school, music practice, and the pet store with the intent of trading him. Along the way, the boy discovers that Norman, just by behaving like only a fish can, is a pretty great pet after all.
Librarians and book experts also recommend:
- Can I Sit with You? By Sarah Jacoby
- How To Potty Train Your Porcupine by Tom Toro
- Dog Training for Kids by Vanessa Estrada-Marin
- I Found a Kitty! by Troy Cummings
- Spencer’s New Pet by Jessie Sima
- Pet Dad by Elanna Allen
- Can I Keep It? by Lisa Jobe
- My Pet Book by Bob Staake
- Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown
- A Pet for Petunia by Paul Schmid
- Tails Are Not for Pulling by Elizabeth Verdick; illustrated by Marieka Heinlen
- Biscuit Feeds the Pets by Alyssa Satin Capucilli; illustrated by Pat Schories
- A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka
- Pirate’s Perfect Pet by Beth Ferry
- What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss
- Rory the Dinosaur Wants A Pet by Liz Climo
- Lizard from the Park by Matt Pett
- Ah-Choo! by Lana Wayne Koehler and Gloria G. Adams; illustrated by Ken Min
- Judy Moody and Friends: Triple Pet Trouble by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Erwin Madrid
- Maisy Gets a Pet by Lucy Cousins
- Avalanche Dog Heroes by Elizabeth Rusch
- Good Dogs series by Rachel Wenitsky and David Sidorov; illustrated by Tor Freeman
- The Invisible Leash by Patrice Karst and illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
Chickenology: Princeton Architectural Press. Tomie dePaola’s Cats and Kittens: Holiday House. Stormy, If I Were a Dog, Walk Your Dog: Penguin Random House. Not Norman: Candlewick. Background: Getty Images.