Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion: Harry is introduced in a hilarious story of misplaced dirt. You can’t help but fall in love with Harry even if he is a bit naughty. If you like this one, be sure to check out the other three books featuring Harry the dirty dog.
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown: I get such a kick out of reading this book a loud! The only right way to do it is to be completely shocked when Mr. Tiger decides he doesn’t want to wear clothes and pretend to refuse to allow your children to look at the picture. Oh’ the giggles that will ensue because of course tigers and other animals don’t wear clothes anyway!
Who Wants Arthur? by Amanda Graham is just plain fun. A pet store dog tries everything to attract attention so he can have a forever home. Even though this book is out of print it is pretty easy to get a copy and well worth it!
Five o’clock Charlie is only one of many amazing horse books by Marguerite Henry. If you like this one, check out her others!
You may have heard of Balto, the famous sled dog, but what about Togo by Robert J. Blake? Read the story of another of the dogs on the team that saved a town and inspired the Iditarod race.
Little Polar Bear by by Hans De Beer is a sweet story full of many animal characters.
We love books with humor and Night Animals by Gianna Marino is just the type we like, with a surprise ending that leaves everyone giggling.
Through poetry and short informational sentences, Dear Treefrog by Joyce Sidman opens a world by showing similarities between us and the animals we encounter. Be sure to check out Sidman’s other books as well. They are also fantastic!
Robins!: How They Grow Up by Eileen Christelow: The very first time we read this book we knew it was a keeper. Two teenage Robins explain their life cycle in a straight forward conversational way. We loved learning all the nitty-gritty details of a robin’s life. Be sure to read the author’s note in the back for a small chuckle.
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell: Horse lovers with love Black Beauty, animal lovers will too! Even if horses are not the fortunate favorite, all enjoy the story of Black Beaty and his enduring good temper through good and bad situations. This book is a classic for a reason.
Wild Animals I Have Known by Ernest Thompson Seton: Seaton, an amateur animal observer shares what he has seen and learned through short stories. The stories are interesting, but the ending almost always ends in tragedy. Even so, we enjoyed learning about the behaviors of rabbits, crows, and dogs.
*The Tarantula in My Purse and 172 Other Wild Petsby Jean Craighead George: One of our absolute favorite animal read alouds of all time! Jean grew up collecting and caring for wild pets and naturally passed this on to her own children. Some stories made us laugh, others made us sad, but we enjoyed them all.
The Rise of Wolf 8: Witnessing the Triumph of Yellowstone’s Underdog by Rick McIntyre: While all my children listened to the audio version, this non-fiction book may be enjoyed more by older children. Rick, a long time wolf watcher, tells the fascinating story of wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park. I appreciated the straightforward interpretation of wolf behavior without the anthropomorphism so common in a book of this type. This book even inspired us to take our family to Yellowstone to see the wolves!
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford is best enjoyed as a read aloud. A story of resilience and adventure!
Another story of canine devotion, Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight will delight dog lovers everywhere!
The All Creatures Great and Small series by James Herriot is certainly for advanced readers or as a read aloud. While these books give an excellent description of what it was like to be a vet in the early 20th century, they mention vices some parents may not be ready to have their children read about.
Pam is the author of The Your Morning Basket Guide and Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning for Purpose and Peace. She also is the host of three popular podcasts -- The Homeschool Snapshots Podcast, Your Morning Basket, and The Homeschool Solutions Show. She lives in the Deep South with her husband and three kids, where she is the go-to lady for great curriculum recommendations or a just a pep talk on a rough day.