Picture Books for Your Little Zookeeper
It’s no secret that I love animals more than humans. Fluffy animals, spiky animals, animals with gills and fins, animals with loooooooong tails—you name it, they’re all the best. If your kid is anything like me, then they probably hold ambitions to work with animals one day—whether as a zookeeper, vet, or children’s book marketer (HA! just kidding; books are its own special creature). My much cooler, older cousin is a real zookeeper. She works with otters, anteaters, and lemurs!
So, how can you support your child’s ambitions? By reading animal books with them of course! Don’t know where to start? No worries, I’ve got you covered.
Kaavan grew up in captivity in a Pakistani zoo. For years, he lived in poor conditions with only one friend, an elephant named Saheli. After Saheli died, Kaavan was overcome by grief and his health worsened. When animal rights activists around the world were alerted to Kaavan’s deteriorating condition, Dr. Amir Khalil visited the elephant to see what could be done.
Thanks to the virality of Kaavan’s story—and with the publicity and fundraising efforts of pop culture icon Cher—Dr. Khalil was able to orchestrate moving Kaavan to the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary, where he now lives with other elephants. Because of the care and help of so many, Kaavan is no longer the world’s loneliest elephant. And that is the best news of all.
We are curious, strong, and fierce / We are creators, explorers, and seekers / We can climb, leap and run… We are WILD.
This gloriously illustrated gift book for all ages is an ode to the kindred spirits of children and animals. With socio-emotional themes woven throughout, Wild Beings celebrates our universal and unbreakable bonds with Mother Nature, igniting a passion for playing and exploring the outdoors. As with her stunning debut picture book Sail, Dorien Brouwers leads us on a transformative journey through the wilderness to find our voice.
Up on the hill, Wallaby licks a puddle’s last drop. Skink slips into the shade. Echidna hides in grass as dry as tinder. Under the hill, Wombat carves out a cave that’s all his own. Then—KABOOM!—lightning strikes.
Written in simple and concise language perfect for a read aloud, award-winning author Sarah L. Thomson invites readers to see through the eyes of a wombat as a fire rages through Australian outback. Nearly 3 billion animals were affected by the Australian wildfires of 2019-2020, and wombats played a crucial part in allowing their homes to transform as safe havens for other animals whose homes were destroyed in the fires. Paired with stunning and richly layered art by Charles Santoso, Wombat Underground teaches us that the time of greatest danger is also the time to open our door to those in the greatest need.
Do camels really store water in their humps?
Do wombats have cube-shaped poop?
Do polar bears eat penguins?
Do you eat spiders in your sleep???
In this hilariously helpful guide to the facts and fakes of the animal kingdom, you might be surprised to learn what’s true…and what’s a big pile of poop. And speaking of poop, there’s a lot of that smelly stuff in this book, too — everything from how it’s made to which animals eat their own waste. (Yuck!) But will you be able to guess what’s real and what’s made up? Find out in this comical collection of weird habits, cool facts, and sneaky myths about all kinds of animals!
What animal lover doesn’t sometimes wish they were an animal? I regularly wish I was my dog, Finn, and had a tail to wag too. But take it from Scarlet, it’s not always easy to be different.
When Scarlet was born, her parents did the usual counting. Two eyes. One nose. Ten fingers. Ten toes. Also: one long, fluffy, fuzzy, furry tail. That was a surprise.
Born a bit different than expected, Scarlet has always embraced her uniqueness. When she starts preschool, though, she finds it can be a little scary to stand out from the crowd. But with the help of some new friends, Scarlet’s infectious enthusiasm has everyone celebrating what makes her special!
Secret cities buzz and bustle
with itty-bitty hard work hustle.
Crouch down low—hush. You’ll see
how bugs build a community!
Ready with their magnifying glass, camera, and scrapbook, two young sisters head into nature to discover all the bugs they can. And these critters are hard at work! From carpenter ants chewing up old trees (like builders clearing a construction site) to butterflies spreading pollen (like gardeners planting seeds) to crickets making beautiful sounds (like musicians playing instruments), bugs belong to a busy world just like people.
With amazingly detailed photographic illustrations of realistic creatures and environments—created with coffee grounds, flower petals, foam footballs, and more—and a bouncy, rhyming text, Hustle Bustle Bugs will have young readers looking more closely at the grass, leaves, and trees around them—and appreciating the community they share!
Okay, sure, these cryptids might not actually be found in a zoo… but imagine if they could! I’d personally love to see a dragon.From the vicious three-headed Chimera of ancient Greece to the peaceful Navagunjara of India— a creature made from parts from nine different animals—to the awe-inspiring dragons of Europe and East Asia, this exciting introduction to mythological creatures celebrates the wondrous beings featured in stories from all over the world. Including a vast array of fierce monsters, powerful spirits, ancient gods, and helpful beasts, Legendary Creatures is the perfect primer to engage young readers interested in the fascinating world of mythology.
Bums in the jungle, bums in the town — bums in the treetops, hanging upside down. Bums in the farmyard, bums in the park — lots of teeny-tiny bums glowing in the dark!
Follow the bouncy read aloud rhyme, count the animals, then join in with the jiggly, wiggly dance finale!
Zookeepers have many important tasks, including animal training. How do you think you potty train a porcupine? I guess you’ll have to read to find out!
Two children bring home a pet porcupine, but they can only keep her if she’s house-trained! After a whirlwind of increasingly zany approaches, the kids learn that sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to ask nicely. With Tom’s wit and dynamic artwork, this delightful story about learning to pee will bring joy and heart to young readers.
Discover your new favorite animal in this engaging book filled with obscure creatures you wouldn’t normally read about!
From sloths to spoonbills and panda ants to pangolins, little geniuses will love learning about all of the unusual, adorable animals that live on this planet. More than 50 little-known flyers, swimmers, and crawlers are included in this book, whimsically illustrated by artist Hsinping Pan. Cuddly Critters for Little Geniuses will remind you that nature contains many wonders — and these cute and curious creatures are no exception!
Everybody loves Leopold the giraffe. He inspires awe and wonder. His adoring fans gaze and cheer. Best of all, they feed him lots of deeeelicious snacks! But, one day, a shiny, bobble-headed new rival comes in and ruins everything…a giraffe-shaped balloon! Just how far will Leopold go to prove that he’s the hero of the zoo? Readers learn that actions speak far louder than looks in this laugh-out-loud face-off from Elise Parsley—the New York Times bestselling creator of the Magnolia Says DON’T! series.
In his characteristic heartwarming style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of the young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. As the young Jane observes the natural world around her with wonder, she dreams of “a life living with and helping all animals,” until one day she finds that her dream has come true. With anecdotes taken directly from Jane Goodall’s autobiography, McDonnell makes this very true story accessible for the very young—and young at heart.
One of the world’s most inspiring women, Dr. Jane Goodall is a renowned humanitarian, conservationist, animal activist, environmentalist, and United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 1977 she founded the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), a global nonprofit organization that empowers people to make a difference for all living things.