Books for young animal lovers

By Mindy Rhiger


April and May have been busy months.  I’ve blogged about books for Earth Day, Arbor Day, Mother’s Day, Midwifery Month, and Osteoporosis Awareness Month.  Since I know many Mothering families are animal lovers, I didn’t want to pass up the chance to blog about books for National Pet Month.  It’s a great opportunity to talk with kids about pet adoption–or maybe adopt a pet of your own.


As always, books are a great place to start:


Fleabag               Saving Audie                    Buddy Unchained


A homeless dog finds a family in Fleabag by Helen Stephens.  This heart-warming story told from the dog’s perspective is a great example of the bond that kids can share with dogs.  Buddy Unchained by Daisy Bix also tells of a dog in need of rescue.  This award-winning picture book tells of a dog’s life before he was adopted by a loving family.  It is a must-read for animal welfare advocates, along with Saving Audie: A Pit Bull Puppy Gets a Second Chance by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent about a dog rescued from Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring.


Pick a Pup             One Pup's Up                    Shoot for the Moon


My three-year-old loved Pick a Pup by Marsha Wilson Chall.  The bouncy rhymes make for a great read-aloud, and the adorable illustrations show a variety of dogs.  We also liked Marsha Wilson Chall’s One Pup’s Up, which would be a great choice for a family with a puppy (or puppies).


Do you know a dog lover who is graduating?  Skip the usual grad gift books this year. Instead give Shoot for the Moon! Lessons on Life From a Dog Named Rudy by Corrine Humphrey.  It’s a purchase you can feel good about because a portion of the proceeds go to help Friends of Animals Utah help more homeless dogs find good homes.


Won TonBut perhaps you feel more like the sentiment expressed in Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw: “Dogs have hair. Cats, fur / Dogs whine, yip, howl, bark. Cats purrr / I say: No contest.”  In which case, you will love Won Ton, a shelter cat who is wary of the family who takes him home.  The illustrations are striking, and the poems are touching.

These are just a few of the many, many books about pets that are out there.  What are some of your favorites?


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