5 Terrific Animal Board Books

Our family reads quite a few board books, although I search out those with more in-depth topics and longer text to keep my two year old and preschooler engaged. These are five of our favorite animal board books from the last few weeks.

For other board book ideas, check out this post. Happy reading! 🙂

Best Ages: 0-3 years

  1. A Parade of Puppies by Charles Ghigna

A book that shows different breeds of dogs with adorable illustrations. It also features an animal rescue center, sure to please anyone who has adopted a pet!

2. ABC Insects compiled by The American Museum of Natural History

Bright and colorful with stunning photographs of the featured insects from A-Z. There is a brief description of each insect for lots of insect learning.

3. Busy Birdies by John Schindel

Fun rhyming phrases describe what birds do from nibbling to jumping to nesting. Close-up photographs show a variety of species.

4. Who’s Hiding in the Pond? by Christine Gunzi

Young children love lift-the-flap books, and I like this one in particular because of its unique setting in the pond. It includes a few unexpected items, such as a jar of tadpoles, and ends with a mirror that both my daughters enjoyed!

5. Fox on the Loose! by Matthew Porter

My two-year old likes this book. The animals on the farm work together to stop a sneaky and ravenous fox from getting the chickens… All while boasting robust vocabulary words for little readers!





Promoting the Library

We adore the library. Wherever we have lived, we always visit the library at least weekly, and participate in story time or special reading challenges. We get to know the librarians and take advantage of the phenomenal resources the public library has to offer. When I taught professionally in Chicago, I walked to the neighborhood library with my students at specific times in the year for research projects and sessions with the librarian about what exactly they had to offer area students, such as check-out of laptops and after-school tutoring and homework help. I think the public library is a valuable part of every community, for parents and teachers and everyone else.

So when my family checked out Book! Book Book! by Deborah Bruss at – you guessed it – the public library, my daughters and I got a kick out of imagining the farm animal characters visiting our local library. How would our children’s librarian respond to the bored barn animals who follow Hen to town in search of something fun to do… and end up entering the public library after seeing “happy faces” there? Which books would they check out?

I really liked that Book! Book Book! pulled together fun animal sounds and alliterations while touting the public library as an accessible source of entertainment and enjoyment for all. I hope you and your little ones appreciate the book, too!

Best Ages: pre-k – 2nd grade

For Parents:

  • Prior to reading Book! Book! Book!, point out the different animals in the illustration on the first page and make each animal sound together.
  • After reading, ask: If these farm animals came to our library, which books do you think we should recommend to them? Why?

For Teachers:

  • As a pre-reading activity, point out the different animals in the illustration on the first page and make the animal sound together.
  • Pull out books you have read aloud to the class in the last week or so. Take a vote of which book from that selection that your class would like to recommend to the farm animals. (Aim for a small selection of 2-3 books per voting round and do it a few times with different options to get a final list of 3 books.)
  • The farm animals were bored in Book! Book Book! and ended up visiting the public library. As a class, brainstorm ideas your of what your students can do when they are bored – besides screen time! Share this list with parents in your next class newsletter or ask to visit neighboring classes to share the ideas.