My children love to read. It is a great way to spend time together as a family. Of all the books we read, however, our top books are the ones with animals in them. I don’t know what it is about animals, but my children love to read and learn all they can about them. Just so you know, my daughter’s top animal pick is a bat and my son’s is a frog. That might have something to do with at least two of the books on my list:

1. Adventures of Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel – As I said, my son is a big frog fan. When he saw the simple cover to this classic children’s book he had to have it. Even though it was a little higher reading level than he was at, we still enjoyed reading it together. The two friends, Frog and Toad, adventure together and find the real meaning of friendship and helping others. Very sweet and simple, this book is perfect for a child who is learning to read on his own.

2. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon –Now here is my daughter’s favorite book. She has always loved bats but we could never find any books that showed them in a positive light. At least not ones besides technical books. However this beautifully illustrated and written book features a loveable baby bat that gets separated from her mother and lands in a bird’s nest. The story shows children the differences between bats and birds and also gives a great message about how you do not have to be alike to be family.

3. Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman –A fun classic with bright illustrations this story has my children rolling in laughter. A baby bird hatches and goes on a search to find his mother. He asks many animals and many non-living items too if they are his mother. From the gruff dog to the scary construction equipment, your children will learn what makes each animal suited to be a mother to its own kind and will be happy when the bird finally makes it to his mother.

4. If  You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff–I love this book. Between the cute illustrations and the funny story line there is so much to love. The story is also great because it helps children to understand why it is important to set boundaries and say no. A little mouse asks for something small… and then something a little bigger… and then a little bigger until it becomes a disaster! Now when my children start to try to put off  bedtime or get out of doing something I say to them “If you give a mouse a cookie…”

They know exactly what I mean!

5. Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino –This book is fun to read because of the illustrations and the great musical rhyming of the text. When you read it to your children they quickly are able to “read” along with you as they pick up the beat. What they really love though is the pause where the get to guess what animal is being described before you turn the page. A baby llama goes on a search to find out what other mothers are like. Each animal he meets describes his mother. A great way to teach children the differences between animals as well!

6. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf – This is a book I remember my mother reading to me as a child. The story is about a bull in Spain that does not run and fight like the other bulls. Instead he likes to sit and smell the flowers. When he gets chosen to be a part of the bull fight he refuses to fight. This is a great book to teach children that you do not have to give in to peerpressure; you only have to be true to yourself.


Author Bio: Rachel Thomas

Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to