So many books and not enough time! I love this feeling. Having an endless supply of so many wonderful books on my reading list. But what if you don't have a list? What if you have a kid who loves to read, but keeps reading that same old series about the boy who is sassy to his parents and is always disobedient, and you know there's better books out there, you just can't think of any right now.
Here's a list of books for the young animal lovers out there. Books where the main character either makes a friend with an animal, or the main character is an animal. Either way, if you love animals, this is a good place to start. Perfect for the kids who are proficient at reading chapter books, maybe about grades 2 to 6 (although every kid is so individual in their reading skills, so you be the best judge here). Also very suitable for a family read aloud. I love those cozy moments when we're all snuggled up together listening to the same story. I have other book lists if your looking for more ideas.
Written by Marguerite Henry in 1947. Picturesquely set in the small island town of Chincoteague, Virginia. The story of the Beebe family catching and raising a filly born to a wild horse. A Newbery Honor Book. An especially wonderful book for any one who's horse crazy, like my girls. Another bonus is that there are many more books by M. Henry about Misty.
Written by Fred Gipson in 1956. Received a Newbery Honor. While young Travis' father leaves the family ranch to go off on a cattle drive, Travis reluctantly takes in an old dingy yellow dog who has wandered onto the ranch uninvited. Through many attempts by Travis to get rid of this dog, they become close friends, with many wonderful times together. This book is a tear jerker though, because Old Yeller contracts rabies from an infected wolf, and Travis is forced to kill him to prevent any harm to his family. Ending on a good note, this book walks the reader through the many emotions of being friends with an animal.
Written by Thomas Burgess in 1919. Gently teaches the lessons of conversation and a love of wildlife through the fascinating subject of bird life. The readers learn about the birds' physical appearance, behavior, eating and nesting habits, songs and calls via the characters of Jenny Wren, Melody the Wood Thrush, Spooky the Screech Owl and dozens of other common birds.
Written by Sterling North in 1963. A Newbery Honor Book. Set in 1918, Sterling finds himself the caretaker of a baby raccoon. A year in the life of a boy and his raccoon, Rascal enjoys such comforts as sleeping in Sterling's bed and attending the county fair. As Rascal ages, though, Sterling notices that the raccoon is having normal springtime urges and needs a different environment than Sterling can provide.
Written by Rudyard Kipling, first published in magazines in 1893. The Jungle Book is a collection of five tales that are fables, using animals with human characteristics (anthropomorphic) to give moral lessons. The most popular being the adventures of an abandoned "man cub" named Mowgli who is raised by wolves in the Indian jungle. Mowgli befriends a bear and a black panther and together they fight their enemy the tiger.
Written by Avi in 1995. Set in Dimwood Forest, a family of mice inhabit an abandoned farmhouse. The young mouse, Poppy, discovers that her family must relocate to where there is a more abundant food supply. However, the family is refused permission from the tyrannical owl Ocax to move to the new area. Poppy befriends the porcupine Ereth and together they devise a plan to battle the evil owl. The first in a series of books about Poppy.
Written by Marguerite Henry in 1945. Another book for the horse lovers! The schoolmaster, Justin Morgan, takes two colts as payment for an old debt. Justin enlists a bit of help to train the horses from his student Joel Gross. The younger of the two grows into a small but sturdy workhorse who becomes one of the greatest breeding stallions of all times. Marguerite Henry wrote many more award winning children books about horses.
Written by E.B. White in 1952. The story of a pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered by the farmer, Charlotte tries to persuade the farmer to let him live by writing messages in her web praising Wilbur. A fun tale, complete with trips to the fair and buttermilk baths.
Written by Beverly Cleary in 1965. It's Ralph the mouse's lucky day when young Keith comes to stay at the Inn where Ralph lives. Keith has a shiny miniature motorcycle just the right size for Ralph to ride. Oh! The adventures Ralph has! Three more books in this series and you're going to want to read them all!
Written by Beverly Cleary in 1954. Henry's dad makes a deal with him. If Henry can get his cat chasing, food stealing dog to behave for two months, then Henry can go with his dad on a fishing trip. Henry thinks this is going to be easy, but he hasn't figured on Ribsy's sense for trouble making. Written in true Beverly Cleary hilarious fashion. Four more books on Henry's adventures to enjoy!
Many of these books start off a series that will keep your little reader busy and excited for the next story! Most of these books can be found at your local library, thrift shop, or your own book shelves. Each title here is an affiliate link to Amazon where, if you choose to purchase, a bit comes back my way at no additional cost to you. I appreciate your support in this way.