Is your child begging for a pet? Read one of these books about pets together for a humorous & realistic glimpse into pet ownership.
We’ve had a variety of pets over the years.
Chickens. A pair of rabbits. More chickens. A bin full of worms.
A cat. Fish. Hermit crabs. Another rabbit. More fish. A dog.
Countless crickets, roly-polys, butterflies and lightning bugs. An occasional frog or crayfish.
A couple attempts at rehabilitating wild birds.
No snakes, thankfully!
Currently we’re down to a cat and a dog – who aren’t friends. And frequent requests for a rat or a canary or another cat.
Not long ago, I caught my son looking up free kittens online. He was supposed to be looking for a used bicycle! I know, there are way, way worse things he could have been looking up. But I’ve already put my food down . . . no more pets until we move to the farm, which is still roughly 15 months away. So there’s no point in tormenting himself with fuzzy cuteness when the decision has already been made.
Anyway, in light of all that craziness, I’m going to share a list of our favorite books about pets. There are a gazillion books about pets . . . and we do love picture books. This list focuses on chapter books – the kind you can savor together over the course of several days.
Warning: Amazon affiliate links ahead. Your price does not change when you purchase through a link. Joy In My Kitchen will earn a small (tiny!) percentage. Thank you.
Favorite Chapter Books About Pets
Socks by Beverly Cleary – Socks is a contended cat . . . until baby Charles arrives. Can the Bricker family sort things out and include Socks once again?
Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo – 6 book series about the Watson family’s beloved porcine wonder, her neighbors and her mis-adventures; available as a set or individual volumes; subsequent stories about supporting characters are just as fun
Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes – Jerry and Rachel Pye are sure that buying Ginger is the smarts thing they’ve ever done . . . until someone steals him. Will they track down the thief or remain heart-broken?
The World According to Humphrey by Betty Birney – One little (unwanted) class pet makes a lot of friends and solves a lot of problems! We just spotted Summer According to Humphrey at the library, so it’s been added to our list of read-alouds.
The Tales of Olga da Polga by Michael Bond – Looks like you’ll have to buy a used copy, but you sure don’t want to miss this spunky guinea pig from the creator of Paddington Bear. If you really love her, there are many more Olga books to discover!
Appleblossom the Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan – Is Appleblossom, the smallest of Mama Possum’s babies, destined to be a world-class actress, an undercover pet or pet food?
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell – A classic equine autobiography set in 19th century England.
Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry – Another horse classic; young Paul and his sister Maureen work diligently to save up enough money to purchase a wild horse rounded up from Assateague Island.
Rascal by Sterling North – When the author was 11 years old, he brought home a baby raccoon, and a whole lot of mischief.
Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat – 2 owls and a passel of other critters make the author’s neighborhood an lively place to be.
James Herriot’s Treasury for Children – Everyone should be familiar with the English veterinarian’s menagerie of stories about pets wonderfully written and illustrated for children.
Chicken Feathers by Joy Cowley – This story of Josh and his sassy, talking chicken, Semolina is on our (ever-growing) read-aloud soon list.
Pax by Sara Pennypacker – Peter rescues Pax as a kit, but when his father enlists in the military, Pax must return to the wild. Yet Peter is determined to be re-united with his pet even though it means a 300 mile trek.
What age are these stories good for? I hate that question! Because it really just depends. Not so much on age but on reading level, interest, attention span, visual and/or auditory comprehension, and so on. Besides, I read Old Yeller to the twins when they were four, so I’m probably not the best person to ask anyway!
This particular list of books about pets covers a range of reading levels. That makes them perfect for reading aloud to just about any age. Older kids might think reading Socks or Mercy Watson is below them. But they might loiter around the edges of the room when you start to read out loud. Most younger kids won’t be able to tackle Black Beauty on their own but will probably enjoy hearing it read to them.
All that to say, know your kids, check out the descriptions on Amazon, pick one and enjoy!
Let me know . . .
Did I leave out your favorite book about pets?