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Chapter Books About Pets for the Whole Family

Is your child begging for a pet? Read one of these books about pets together for a humorous & realistic glimpse into pet ownership.

Kids begging for a pet, but the time isn't right? Enjoy 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?

Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary – There’s no end to the fun when Henry brings a mischief-loving mutt home in a cardboard box. Ribsy and Henry and Ribsy are essential sequels.

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?


Shared at: SHINE, 100 Happy Days, Literacy Musing Monday,


  1. What a great list! I immediately put James Herriot book in our thriftbooks cart! We really enjoy “Loving One Another” and Frog and Toad books if into those kinds of pets! 😉

    • Yes, the Frog and Toad series is a favorite. Our volume has been pored over again just this week! I included them in my list of books on friendship.

  2. You got most of my favorites, but I’d like to chime in with one of my recent favorites: Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. Thanks for sharing at the #LMMLinkup.

    • Well, now that Winn Dixie has been mentioned multiple times, we’ll definitely need to find a copy! We’ve enjoyed some of Kate’s other stories as well.

  3. Hi, loved your post. I am featuring it on the #LMMLinkup this week which goes live on Sunday at 6 p.m. Have your read Because of Winn Dixie? I loved this book for the older kids. I loved Kate’s Mercy books too

  4. nourishingmyscholar says:

    Awesome list of books! We will have to check out the ones we haven’t read yet. We just moved to a farm back in April and we have loads of animals now….even a snake.

    • I’m sure the animals add up quickly . . . and every farm needs a good snake to keep the rats down, right? Unfortunately, one of the pets my kids want is rats!

  5. You have Owls in the Family, but Mutt by Farley Mowatt is also so good! Some of the words are hard, though, so it’s better for older kids. This is such a great list. I love all of these books!

  6. King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry is one of my favorites. All of hers are good.
    Moses, the Kitten by James Herriot is another. Maybe it’s included
    In the treasury for children.
    There are several on your list that I am not familiar with, so I’ll check the library.

  7. What an awesome round-up of books Abi! My girls are obsessed with all things “pets” so this is a great reading list for us. Pinning to my Deliberate HOMESCHOOL board.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.

    • Hope you and the girls enjoy one of these read-alouds soon. I should warn you that reading Mercy Watson may cause cravings for “toast with a great deal of butter.” 🙂


  1. […]  By Abi at JoyInMyKitchen.com I have pets and love animals; so, this post drew me in immediately.  Look at the adorable picture used for the post, I just had to check it out. I  have read most of the books features and also highly recommend them. I would at Because of Winn Dixie.  What is your favorite pet book? Share. Remember to check out other hosts’  blogs to see which posts from last week were their favorites. Want to be the next to be featured! Just link up a post and if you are read the most, we will feature you. Also please make sure you link back to us so others will know about our link up and join in. We try to make it worth your while to linkup with us by promoting your posts across our social media networks. We also pin our most clicked and featured posts to our Pinterest Board each week! […]

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