BOOK LIST: Books about pets and caring for animals
Wanting a pet is not an unusual request for a child, which is why books about pets are not hard to come by. Hopefully, our eclectic list of pet-themed books will help you wade through the many titles on the market.
Despite the fact that we are a pet-less family, all the books listed below are favourites in our home. I’m almost certain that Cam chooses these books each day as leverage to convince us that we really need a pet.
While some of these books are tender and ever-so-sweet, others are quite quirky and hilarious. Dogs feature heavily in most of these books but rhinos get a few mentions too.
Ted, by Leila Rudge, Walker Books (2013)
Leila Rudge has created a lovable character in this book. Ted, a unique canine, finds a perfect place to live after escaping a pet shop in search of a new home. You’ll just love the hilarious ending and the utterly delightful illustrations.
Daisy and the Puppy by Lisa Shanahan and Sara Acton, Scholastic Press (2013)
This is the sweetest tale of a family who craves a pet. It becomes a ritual for Daisy and her siblings to visit the pet shop every Thursday. Finally, after a shopping trip with her mum, Daisy comes home with a black, scruffy dog instead of party shoes.
A family finds a dog on their doorstep. Despite their grandad’s warnings, the family becomes very attached to Pooka. The owner eventually comes looking for Pooka, and the family learns that Pooka is one very special dog with many other people to love and befriend.
Looking for Rex, by Jan Ormerod and Carol Thompson, Little Hare Books (2012)
This is a very tender tale about a grandfather who has lost his wife. His grandchildren are keen to look after him and suggest that he gets a pet dog. Gramps tries very hard to resist, but the children’s cheeky efforts prove too convincing.
Oh No, George!, By Chris Haughton, Walker Books (2012)
Harris’ dog, George, tries hard to be obedient but temptation proves too strong. This is one story that will make you laugh out loud. Katrina Germein and Tamsin Ainslie, Scholastic (2010)
This is the story of a very charming little dog who makes himself at home with a family who are holidaying at the beach.
This is a quirky story, made more charming with its multi-media illustrations. A new pet falls from the sky for Millicent. It takes her a few days to realise that her new pet is a meerkat, which certainly explains why he was behaving strangely.
Sam the Cat by Sam Bowring and Andrew McLean, Working Title Press (2012)
There are some unusual changes that Sam the Cat must come to accept when a new baby joins his family. Told with a great insight into the traits of cats, this story delves subtly into the themes of new siblings, jealousy and sibling rivalry.
Zoe and Beans by Chloe and Mick Inkpen, Macmillan
There are a number of books in this series, all painting the wonderful adventures that Zoe experiences with her beloved dog, Beans.
Wanted: The Perfect Pet by Fiona Robertson, Penguin Books (2009)
Fiona Robertson has crafted a clever story of a boy, Henry, who would do anything for a pet dog. A must read.
As usual, Bob Graham portrays a sincere family in this story. Amongst dogs of all shapes and sizes, Kate spots two dogs at a rescue centre that she’d like as pets.
Pink by Janet A Holmes and Jonathon Bentley, Little Hare Books (2011)
Teamed with Jonathan’s adorable illustrations is a story of how an unlikely pet proves to be just what this little girl is looking for. This books is filled with all shades of pink- just perfect for little girls (and boys) who are obsessed with pink.
More books- caring for animals (both real and pretend):
How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham, Walker Books (2009)
This is such a heartwarming story of a kind-hearted young boy. He is the only person to notice an injured bird in the big city, and manages to care for the bird until he is ready to fly again.
Puggle by Catriona Hoy and Andrew Plant, Working Title Press
A puggle is rescued from the side of the road and cared for until he’s ready to live in the wild.
A Bit Lost by Chris Haugton, Walker Books (2011)
When a small owl falls from her nest, it takes a team of forest animals to lead him back to his mummy.
Rhinos Don’t Eat Pancakes by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie, Simon & Schuster (2011)
Complemented by retro-inspired illustrations and matte pages, we meet Daisy whose parents never listen to her. Not even when she tries to tell them about her newest friend, a big, purple rhino who loves eating pancakes.
For all Creatures by Glenda Millard and Rebecca Cool, Walker Books (2012)
Written using a series of beautiful four-line stanzas, it is a divine ode to all the creatures that roam our earth, from fleas to whales.
My Rhinoceros by Jon Agee, Scholastic (2011)
Another quirky but entertaining story. A boy walks away from an exotic pet store with a rhinoceros. Initially disappointed with his new pet, he eventually discovers that his rhinoceros has some pretty amazing skills.