Picture Books About Pets

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Picture Books About Pets

How Children and Pets Relate to Each Other

These charming picture books for children feature a wide variety of pets: dogs, a rabbit, a snake, a sloth, a horse, a bird, a woolly mammoth, a saber-toothed tiger, and a dodo bird. The books also deal with following aspects of pet ownership: picking out a pet, taking good care of your pet, being aware of what your pet needs, and becoming a responsible pet owner. 

If a child you know wants a pet or already has a pet, these books are perfect for illustrating both the joys and responsibilities of pet ownership. Or if the child just wants to read about pets, these books are perfect for that as well. 

Me & Dog by Gene Weingarten
This picture book tells the story of a dog who worships and adores his owner, a little boy. Throughout the story, the boy tries to explain how he wishes his dog understood that he "is Sid just an ordinary kid" and not "supreme Almighty Ruler, super-duper, boss, and king of absolutely everything." This book does an excellent job of illustrating the bonds of love and loyalty between a boy and his dog. The illustrations are very expressive and emotional.

Farewell Floppy by Benjamin Chaud 
A coming-of-age book that pulls at your heart. The boy decides that he's too "grown up" to have a rabbit as a best friend and that the rabbit is "pretty useless" as a playing companion. So, he decides to abandon Floppy in the woods. 

However, the story does have a happy ending: He realizes how much he misses Floppy and goes back to get him. But Floppy is gone! He finds Floppy in a little cabin behind the trees with a girl and her dog. Both of them decide that they will meet tomorrow to find other lost animals in the woods. 

The illustrations are bright and colorful. You feel like you are actually entering the woods. Also, the facial expressions on the boy really add to the story.

Pet Boy by Keith Graves
This picture book features a boy named Stanley who collects pets, plays with them for awhile, and then forgets about them. One day he walks into an alien pet store and realizes that he is for sale! His new owner is a three-eyed alien named Jopnar who keeps Stanley in a jar and wants him to fetch the orb and catch the flying saucer. Stanley refuses, runs away, and ends up in an alien pound. 

When Jopnar rescues Stanley and takes him back to Earth, Stanley develops an appreciation for his pets and treats them with loving care and devotion. This is a great story to illustrate the importance of taking care of your pets. The illustrations are vivid, bold, and colorful. 

Before You Were Mine by Maribeth Boelts
This is a heartwarming story about a boy who adopts a puppy from an animal shelter. In this story, he speculates on why somebody would give such a wonderful puppy up. Did they forget that puppies chew stuff, pee on the carpet, and bark at birds? Did they have to move to an apartment that didn't allow dogs? Did the puppy run away and get lost? In the end, the boy decides that it doesn't matter because now the puppy is home with him. The illustrations are soft, warm, and inviting.                                                                                                                                                                          
Sparky! by Jenny Offill and Chris Appelhans
This story features a very unusual pet: a sloth. The girl picks a sloth as pet because her mother said, "You can have any pet you want as long as it doesn't need to be walked or bathed or fed." When the girl's friend, Mary, brags about her talented cat and parrot, our heroine decides to put on a sloth talent show which is disastrous. However, at the end of the story, the girl has made her peace with having a sloth as a pet. The illustrations were rendered in watercolor and pencil. 

The Lost and Found Pony by Tracy Dockray 
This book tells the story of a pony's life. His first owner, a little girl, loves and adores him. But when she outgrows him, her parents sell him and he's bought by a circus. When the circus sells him, the little girl, who is now grown up, buys him back. This is a heart-warming feel good story with bright colorful illustrations that draw you into the story. The author includes a note on an equine rescue and sanctuary for older horses at the end.

My Snake Blake by Randy Siegel 
Explore this story about a boy and his extremely talented pet snake. The snake, Blake, can twist his body into letters to spell out words. He can also cook, find car keys and remote control clickers for the TV. He helps the boy with his homework and walks the dog for the boy when the boy is running late. The boy concludes the story by realizing that he would rather have his snake as a pet than any other pet, even a dog, cat, or horse. The illustrations are simple, expressive, and engaging.

Pick a Pup by Marsha Wilson Chall
Pick a Pup is about a boy who is so excited to be picking out a puppy of his very own from the animal shelter. But which puppy will he pick? As Sam and his grandmother walk down the street to the animal shelter, they pass all different types of dogs: a sleepy dog, a wide-awake dog, a pedigreed dog, a mixed breed dog, a woolly like a sheep dog, and a playful puppy. When Sam gets to the shelter, his puppy picks him! The illustrations are rendered in watercolor and digitally. The illustrations are also vivid, warm, and inviting. 

Me Want Pet! by Tammi Sauer 
A cave boy has rocks, sticks, and a club, but no pet. Each time he tries to bring a pet home, there is some reason why the pet cannot stay. At first, he brings a woolly mammoth home, but the woolly mammoth is too big. Then, he brings a saber-toothed tiger home, but the tiger causes his father to sneeze. The last pet he brings home is a baby dodo bird, but his grandmother says that the bird cannot stay because the bird is not potty-trained. Then there is a stampede and cave boy and dodo bird and saber-toothed tiger and woolly mammoth save the day. At the end of the story, cave boy can keep all of his pets. The illustrations are drawn in a simplistic style yet very expressive. 

Ava and the Real Lucille by Cari Best 
Two sisters, Ava and Arlie, enter a poem-writing contest to win a pet. Ava has her heart set on winning a dog and has named the dog Lucille. She is shocked and dismayed when she and Arlie receive their prize - a beautiful blue parakeet. Arlie and Ava and Arlie's mother fall in love with Lucille right away, but it takes awhile for Ava to love Lucille. Once she does, Lucille gets sick, and Ava nurses her back to health. This is a beautiful story about love and acceptance. The illustrations are colorful, engaging, and warm.