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52 Awesome Animal Books For Elementary Students

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Most of the kids I have met REALLY like animals and love books about animals.

They may prefer dogs, cats, or horses, or they may be drawn to more exotic animals like meerkats, penguins, or capybaras.

And I know for sure that a kiddo’s interest is like super glue. It makes things stick so animal books for elementary students are a perfect way to make the learning stick!

Find the best animal books for elementary school kids in this list of books.

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The Power Of Interest-Led Reading

Animal books for kids are a powerful tool when it comes to learning. Kids gain a lot of knowledge by reading about their favorite animals.

They may learn about biology, biomes, geography, and weather and climate. Books about animals may also include tons of really cool science concepts like hibernation, camouflage, how animals adapt to their environment, what animals eat, how they grow and develop, and more.

So if your child is an animal lover, engage their interest with these great books.

More than 50 Awesome Animal Books For Elementary Students

These animal books for kids will engage your child’s curiosity about the amazing world of creatures around them.

Cutest Animals of the World

The Cutest Animals
of the World Book for Kids

Jack Lewis

This fun picture book is perfect for kids who enjoy animals of all kinds. They’ll find full-color photos of some of the world’s most charming creatures. From the sea, to the trees, to the ground, to the sky, every type of adorable animal is included.


Why do Animals Do That

Why Do Animals Do That? 101 Random, Interesting, and Wacky Things Animals Do

Scott Matthews

This book contains 101 fascinating and entertaining facts that reveal the curious, quirky, and sometimes bizarre actions of all sorts of creatures. Readers can learn some of the secrets behind curious animal behaviors.


The Backyard Bug Book for Kids

The Backyard Bug Book for Kids:
Storybook, Insect Facts, and Activities

Lauren Davidson

This book is full of information about all of your child’s favorite backyard creepy crawlies. In addition to facts and information, you’ll find amazing pictures and fun activities.


You Stole My Name Book

You Stole My Name: The Curious Case
of Animals with Shared Names

Dennis McGregor

This beautiful book is full of gorgeous illustrations to take the reader through the animal kingdom. Your child will learn intriguing stories about animals and their names.


Fascinating Animal Book for Kids

Fascinating Animal Book for Kids:
500 Wild Facts!

Ginjer Clark

This one is a perfect read at bedtime or really anytime! Your child will learn over 500 amazing facts about animals from frogs to foxes and snakes to sharks.


Animal BFFs

Animal BFFs:
Even Animals Have Best Friends!

Sophie Corrigan

Kids will love this book about fun animal pairings – and they’ll learn about true animal partnerships in the wild. The illustrations are super charming too!


Encyclopedia of Animals

Encyclopedia of Animals 

DK Books

DK makes terrific, engaging encyclopedias that kids love. They’ll learn a ton from this expansive animal encyclopedia, and be pulled in by fabulous photos and fun facts.


The Longest Journey

The Longest Journey:
An Arctic Tern’s Migration

Amy Hevron

This is a great example of a beautiful picture book that combines geography and even math with animal learning.


James Herriot's Treasure for children

James Herriot’s Treasury for Children:
Warm and Joyful Tales by the
Author of All Creatures Great and Small

James Herriot

This book is classic James Heriot, curated for a young audience. It’s also terrific on audio, narrated by the legendary Jim Dale.


Bones

Bones: An Inside Look at the Animal Kingdom

Jules Howard

Recommended for kids 7 and up by the publisher, this book is all about animal skeletons. Be sure to preview for your family if you have sensitive kiddos.


Song of the Wild first book

Song of the Wild: A First Book of Animals

Nicola Davies

Introduce your animal lovers to poetry using this book – it’s sweet and funny and would be perfect for an animal-themed poetry tea time.


Life-Size Zoo

 Teruyuki Komiya

This book helps kids get up close to giraffe eyelashes, and learn fascinating facts too. Did you know that sloths poo just once a week?



More Life Size Zoo

More Life-Size Zoo

 Teruyuki Komiya

A follow-up to Life-Size Zoo, this one gives kids a close-up look at more creatures big and small.


A Curious Collection Animal Book

A Curious Collection of Peculiar Creatures

Sami Bayly

Part of the Curious Collection of Creatures Series, this book features animals kids might not know a lot about yet like a fangtooth moray eel and a monkey slug caterpillar.


Mad About Monkeys Book

Mad About Monkeys

Owen Davey

From the largest to the smallest monkeys (and the monkeys in the middle) your kids will learn so much and may fall in love with Davey’s signature illustration style that includes maps, charts and more. There are 7 books so far in this series, including: Smart About Sharks and Crazy About Cats.


Actual Size Animal Books

Actual Size 

Steve Jenkins

By Steve Jenkins, a Caldecott medalist, this one is packed with gorgeous collage and a few surprises.


Photo Ark Animal Book for Kids

The Photo Ark: One Man’s Quest to Document the World’s Animals

Joel Sartore

This was an ambitious project by Joel Sartore, who set out to document as many animals as possible, especially those that are endangered.

This book is the first in a 4-book series including Photo Ark Wonders: Celebrating Diversity in the Animal Kingdom, Photo Ark Insects and Birds of the Photo Ark.


Over and Under Animal Book for Kids

Over and Under the Canyon

Kate Messner

In this latest installment in the Over and Under series, kids will learn about Bighorn Sheep, Roadrunners and Geckos. 


Animal Teachers

Animal Teachers

Janet Halfmann

If your kids have ever asked how baby animals learn to do what they do – like fly, swim or build – this is a great pick. Let the animal teachers be your child’s teachers.


Born in the Wild

Born in the Wild:
Baby Mammals and Their Parents

Lita Judge

This book is both sweet and informative. Kids will learn what animals need to thrive – food, water, shelter, and love.


Moto and Me Animal Book

Moto and Me

Suzi Eszterhas

This is the true story of a wildlife photographer who fostered an orphaned wildcat. Warning: Moto returns to the wild, so this might not be a fit for your sensitive kiddos.


Life and Time of the Ant

Life and Times of the Ant

Charles Micucci

Engaging illustrations will help teach kids about little ants and their BIG power. Ants have jobs, and they have the biggest brain of any insect!


Finding Winnie book

Finding Winnie:
The Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear

Lindsay Mattick

Not only were Winnie the Pooh and Christoper Robin real, Winnie was rescued in 1914 and even went to war. The beautiful illustrations by Sophie Blackall won this book a Caldecott award.


Owen and Mzee animal book

Owen and Mzee

Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff and Dr. Paula Kahumbu

Another true story – this book is about a baby tortoise and a giant hippo who became best friends following a tsunami.


52 Educational Animal Books for Kids contains a variety of books your child will love.

Every Day Birds Animal Book

Every Day Birds

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

The papercut artwork shines in this book that introduces younger elementary kids to twenty different types of birds. Help your child become familiar will popular birds they are likely to spot.


Giant Squid Animal Book

Giant Squid

Candace Fleming

Giant squid are known to be elusive – in fact, it was just a few years ago that scientists got definite proof of their existence. But kids will feel like they are getting an up-close look in this book that received a Sibert Award Honor for informational books.


Tarra and Bella Book

Tarra and Bella

Carol Buckley

Another unexpected animal pairing – Tarra and Bella tells the story of a retired circus elephant who struggled to make friends until she met Bella the dog.


Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key
Taught the World about Kindness

Donna Janell Bowman

Our family loved this picture book biography about a formerly enslaved man who went on to help sick and wounded animals and even taught horse Jim Key to read.


Bird Talk Animal Book

Bird Talk: What Birds Are Saying and Why

Lita Judge

Birds communicate in many ways – some of it we hear, and some of it we can see, like dancing. But what are birds talking about and what can we learn from them?


Kate and Pippin Animal Book

Kate and Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story

Martin Springett

Photographer Isobel Springett discovered abandoned fawn Pippin and decided to introduce her to Great Dane Kate. Kate helps Pippin become an independent deer, but Pippin returns to visit foster mom/best friend Kate.


Cat Tales

Cat Tales: True Stories of Kindness and Companionship With Kitties

Aline Alexander Newman

If you have a kiddo who loves cats, grab this book and maybe a box of tissues. Meet a deaf cat who learns sign language, a cat that loves rock climbing and a hero cat who saved his family from a fire. 


Emperor's Egg

The Emperor’s Egg

Martin Jenkins

The Emperor’s Egg is one of 52 (!) Read and Wonder books. Nick Jr. says it’s a great pick for a 2-year old or “your second-grader’s science report.” This book highlights “nature’s most devoted dad,” so it’s a great gift for Father’s Day. 

Other stand-outs in the series that feature animals are Think of an Eel, Big Blue Whale and a Field Full of Horses.


Kid's Atlas of Dogs

Atlas of Dogs 

Kelsey Heaton

Your dog lover will adore this book’s fun facts, engaging illustrations, maps and diagrams packed with pooch profiles.


Smithsonian Dinosaur

Smithsonian Dinosaur!

John Woodward and DK

Using CGI technology to reveal a look into the prehistoric world, this book is perfect if your child is ready to take their dino love to the next level.


World's Most Extreme Animals Book

World’s Most Extreme Animals

Karen McGhee

Extreme Animals teaches kids about animals with incredible traits – a spider with super-stretch legs, and a whale that can make a noise as loud as an airplane.


Adorable Animals

National Geographic Readers:
Adorable Animals (and more)

Assorted Authors

If you have an emerging reader who loves animals, National Geographic makes tons of readers about animals. Kids can practice reading while learning about:


Weirdest Animals of the World

The Weirdest Animals of the World
Book for Kids

Jack Lewis

This book is full of fascinating color photos of some of the world’s most curious creatures. This surprising collection showcases many unusual and strange species such as giant isopods, dugongs, maned wolves, and jabirus!


Big Book of Animals

Big Book of Animals (LEGO Nonfiction)

Penelope Arion

Obsessions collide! That’s right – LEGO minifigures lead your kids through this book packed with photos, fun facts and plenty of humor.


Butt Face Animal Book

Butt or Face: A Hilarious
Animal Guessing Game Book for Kids

Kari Lavelle

Speaking of humor, this book takes a silly idea, but makes it educational. Kids will love guessing if photos feature a front end … or back. There’s even a Number Two (sorry!) called Revenge of the Butts available for pre-order.


Animals in Winter

Animals in Winter

Henrietta Bancroft and Richard G. Van Gelder

Find out what happens to the animals in the wintertime. Who migrates, who sleeps in a den, and who can handle life in the cold?


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