Six of the Best! Our Favourite Children’s Books About Animals

woman reading a book

It’s no surprise that for generations, parents have been using children’s love of all things four (or sometimes eight!) legged to bring them into the exciting world of books. Here’s our round up of our very favourite animal books for kids:

The Wind in the Willows

The adventures of Ratty, Mole and Toad of Toad Hall have being enthralling children and the adults who read to them since 1908. Children fall in love with the characters for themselves while adults derive additional pleasure at recognising such a wide range of human emotions, foibles and behaviours. If you’ve somehow managed to miss reading this book, we envy you, you have the joy still to come.

The Cat in the Hat

Or any Dr Seuss book, The Fox in Socks is another animal related choice. Young children love rhythm and rhyme and Dr Seuss books are full of them. It aids memory and before you know it your kids will be telling the story to you, don’t even think of trying to skip a page, they’ll pull you up on it for sure.

Black Beauty

Another children’s classic, this dating from 1877 but it hasn’t lost it’s appeal. With 50 million copies sold Black Beauty is one of the best selling books of all time. It teaches kindness to animals and humans alike, something that any parent is always keen to promote.

Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner

Another young children’s book that charms adults too, who could resist the contrast between the bounding energy of Tigger, the existential despair of Eeyore or the naive charm of Pooh himself. Of course this book also gave rise to the favourite children’s game of ‘Pooh Sticks’. Well, we say children’s game, maybe there are adults who are far too dignified to play Pooh Sticks but the staff of Balham Doggy Centre aren’t among them!

Charlotte’s Web

The friendship between a pig and a spider might seem like an unlikely tale, and yet back in 2000 this book was listed by Publisher’s Weekly the best-selling children’s paperback of all time. It’s bit embarrassing to have to admit about crying about the death of a spider, but a children’s book that tackles the subject and also introduces the idea that the cycle of life continues is a rare thing.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

An award winning children’s picture book. First published back in 1969 and said to have sold the equivalent of a copy a minute since then. It’s still a firm favourite with children, parents and teachers, combining bright illustrations and simple educational text.

So there’s our top six, and we can hear you shouting from here! What about ‘The Jungle Book’, ‘Peter Rabbit’, ‘The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe’ and how could we possibly not include ‘Alice in Wonderland’?! All great books and we’re sorry if we’ve missed your personal favourite. Do tell us about it, if it’s not mentioned here. Since it’s never too late to have a happy childhood, it’s certainly never too late to discover a great children’s book, especially if it has animals in it!

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