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How Tickles Saved Pickles photo courtesy Simon & Schuster; Sterling the Best Dog Ever photo courtesy Macmillan; Found Dogs photo courtesy Penguin Random House; Rescue and Jessica photo courtesy Candlewick; Kitten and The Night Watchman photo courtesy Simon & Schuster; The Duchess and Guy photo courtesy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

30 Great Books About Pets

Librarians and book experts recommend these great books about all types of pets, conventional and unconventional.

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We talk a lot about kids, but we wanted to give a shout-out to those other beloved family members who are with us every day (and can seem a bit more loyal than the kids). While there are tons of great pet books, these focus on rescue. And as animal lovers know well, it’s not always the pet that’s being rescued.

Rescue and Jessica

by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes; illustrated by Scott Magoon
(Candlewick, 2018)

Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes were injured during the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. This book tells the story of their real-life black lab service dog, Rescue. Rescue worries that he is not up for the job of being a service dog—he thought he would be a seeing eye dog like the others in his family. But after meeting Jessica, Rescue learns that he can help Jessica “see” a path to a different future by helping her with everyday tasks.

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Kitten and The Night Watchman

by John Sullivan; illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
(Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 2018)

Kitten and the Night Watchman is inspired by the true story of John Sullivan, who was visited by a stray cat while working as a night watchman. Every night, he worked alone, but when the kitten joined him, the night began to feel different. The cat became John’s companion for 17 years. It’s a book for lovers of cats as well as trucks and construction equipment.

Found Dogs 

by Erica Sirotich
(Dial Books for Young Readers, 2017)

Recommended by Denver Public Library children’s librarian Warren Shanks, this book lets the babies, toddlers, and preschoolers count all the sweet and silly dogs waiting at a shelter for adoption, through bouncy, rhyming text. The dogs don’t have to wait for long, though,
as people come through to adopt them all.

How Tickles Saved Pickles

by Maddie Johnson
(Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2018)

The photogenic Instagram star Pickles the Pig (@LivingWithPickles) was rescued as a piglet and is well loved by owner Maggie Johnson. But when Pickles became sick, he needed the help of a sow living on a farm far away. The true story of Pickles’ health journey is documented through inspiring photographs.

Sterling the Best Dog Ever

by Aidan Cassie
(Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2018)

Sterling the dog searches for a forever home in this humorous picture book. When he sees a sign for a cutlery company advertising “free shipping to homes around the world,” he decides to become the best fork ever. He’s delivered to a family, and even though he is not what they ordered, he might be just what they need.

The Duchess and Guy

by Nancy Furstinger, illustrated by Julia Bereciartu
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019)

Guy the beagle was living in a shelter when he was rescued by Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex and wife of Prince Harry. From there, Guy truly became the star in his own Cinderella story. He can now be spotted playing in Buckingham Palace, or escorting Queen Elizabeth.

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Librarians and book expert also recommend these great books about all types of pets, conventional and unconventional:

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