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Children's Early Reader/Picture Books

adopting_ginger Adopting Ginger by Linda Griffin, 2012
A family adopts Ginger, a friendly dog, from the animal shelter. After bringing her home, they find she is very scared and nervous. The family uses patience and positive reinforcement to help Ginger settle in.
Adoption, Care of Animals, Companion Animals, Dogs
blue_chicu Always Blue for Chicu by Karen Dugan
The Gryphon Press, 2010
This book tells the journey of a parrot who is taken from the wild and sold as a pet. He gets tossed from one home to the next and finally ends up exactly where he should be.
Birds, Exotic Pets, Wildlife
ape Ape by Martin Jenkins
Candlewick Press, 2007
This collection of high quality portrait-style paintings of apes highlights the differences and similarities between apes all over the world. Bonobos, chimpanzees, gorillas, and others are depicted in natural poses and interacting with other primates. Brief captions offered throughout the book describe individual behaviors by species.
Nonfiction, Wildlife
are_you_ready_ Are You Ready for Me? by Claire Buchwald
The Gryphon Press, 2007
Dogs in an animal shelter ask children how they will care for them. This book is a great reference for a child who is thinking about adopting a dog because it reviews all the responsibilities of caring for a dog.
Adoption, Care of Animals, Companion Animals, Dogs
astro_sealion Astro the Steller Sea Lion by Jeanne Walker Harvey
Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2010
This book tells the true story of Astro, a Steller Sea Lion who was orphaned at birth and taken in by rehabilitators at The Marine Mammal Center in CA. When Astro is released back into the ocean, things do not go quite as planned and Astro goes on quite an adventure.
Marine Mammals, Wild Rescues, Wildlife
baby_whale_journey Baby Whale’s Journey by Jonathan London
Scholastic, 1999
This story is about a sperm whale family and their adventures under the sea. The book discusses predators and prey and how the whale family survives in the vast ocean.
Animal Families, Marine Mammals, Wildlife
before_you_were_mine Before You Were Mine by Maribeth Boelts
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2007
This book celebrates the enjoyment that comes from adopting a shelter dog and addresses the many questions regarding his or her past that may be unanswered.
Adoption, Dogs, Companion Animals
 boy_who_loved_all_animals Boy Who Loved All Living Things, The: The Imaginary Childhood Journal of Albert Schweitzer by Sheila Hamanaka
Animal Welfare Institute, 2006
Presented in scrapbook style, this book is a fictional journal of a young Albert Schweitzer. It describes possible situations which could have led him to become concerned with animal welfare at such a young age.
Animal Welfare, Companion Animals, Wildlife
 bravest_cat Bravest Cat, The: The True Story of Scarlett by Laura Driscoll
Groset & Dunlap, 1997
Read the true story about a special cat who saves her kittens from a fire and how the community steps in to find homes for all of the furry victims.
Cats, Companion Animals
 buddy_unchained Buddy Unchained by Daisy Bix
The Gryphon Press, 2006
This colorful book follows Buddy’s transformation from a neglected, outside dog to a loved, inside pet. It teaches children what pets need to live fulfilled lives.
Adoption, Care of Animals, Companion Animals, Dogs
 carolinas_story Carolina’s Story by Donna Rathmell
Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2005
Carolina, a loggerhead sea turtle, is cared for and nursed back to health at the Sea Turtle Hospital at the South Carolina Aquarium. The book features actual photographs of Carolina and an interactive activity to follow up the story.
Turtles, Wild Rescues, Wildlife
 dancing_manatees Dancing with Manatees by Faith McNulty and illustrated by Lena Shiffman
Cartwheel Books, 1994
Faith and her friend Woody, a biologist, explore the watery Florida habitat to help manatees. Faith learns about how manatees are accidentally hurt by people when they use motorboats and discard fishing lines in manatee habitat. Faith also gets to see how the gentle manatees survive and communicate. There is a helpful page in the beginning of the book with tips about how to read to children and how to help them read to you. The colorful drawings of the manatees in their natural habitat are cute as well as accurate.
Fiction, Wild Animals
 dog_isnt_just_christmas Dog Isn’t Just for Christmas, A by Beth Peterson
BookSurge, LLC, 2005
A young puppy experiences several changes throughout his first year of life, including being given up by his family to an animal shelter. This story illustrates the love that a companion animal hopes to give and receive from a family and the negative outcomes that can sometimes result from giving an animal as a gift.
Dogs, Companion Animals, Adoption, Care of Animals
 dog_who_cried_wolf Dog Who Cried Wolf, The by Keiko Kasza
Scholastic, 2005
When Michelle reads her dog, Moka, a book about wolves, he decides he wants to be a wolf. This takes him on many adventures until he finally realizes he is happiest being a dog.
Companion Animals
 flamingo_sunset Flamingo Sunset by Jonathan London
Marshall Cavendish Corp, 2008
Flamingo Sunset focuses on one flamingo family and explains how the birds care for their young. Beautiful pictures help tell the story vividly and realistically.
Animal Families, Birds, Wildlife
 home_for_dakota Home for Dakota, A by Jan Zita Grover
The Gryphon Press, 2008
This book describes the journey of dog No. 241, who was rescued from a puppy mill. Renamed Dakota, she goes on a journey to find a safe, forever home.
Adoption, Companion Animals, Dogs, Puppy Mills
 home_for_nathan Home for Nathan, A by Claudia M. Roll
The William Snyder Foundation for Animals, 1999
This is a colorful book that traces the true story of an unwanted cat as he is cared for at an animal shelter then finally adopted into the loving home that every cat deserves.
Adoption, Cats, Companion Animals
 honey_paw_lightfoot Honey Paw and Lightfoot by Jonathan London
Raincoast Books, 1995
Honey Paw is a wild grizzly bear that gives birth to Lightfoot. Honey Paw teaches Lightfoot how to hunt, graze, and protect himself in the forest.
Animal Families, Bears, Wildlife
 its_raining_its_raining It’s Raining Cats and Cats by Jeanne Prevost and Amelia Hanse
The Gryphon Press, 2008
What might happen if a family’s cat wasn’t spayed? This book imagines the chaotic outcome and helps explain this important surgery to children.
Cats, Companion Animals, Spay/Neuter
 alligator Izzie Lizzie Alligator by Suzanne Tate
The Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society, 1999
Izzie Lizzie Alligator has only a few of her eggs hatch due to a chemical spill in the water. Helpful humans clean up the water so that more of her babies hatch next time.
Alligators, Animal Families, Environment, Wild Rescues, Wildlife
 little_sibu Little Sibu: An Orangutan Tale by Sally Grindley
Peachtree Publishing, 1999
Little Sibu enjoys swinging through treetops and playing in the Indonesian rainforest. As he grows older, his mother teaches him how to care for himself.  With his mother’s help, will Sibu be prepared to one day live on his own?
Animal Families, Primates, Wildlife
 little_swan Little Swan by Jonathan London
Marshall Cavendish Corp, 2009
Ko-hoh and his siblings must learn to swim, feed, and fly. With the help of his parents, he becomes a beautiful, grown swan.
Animal Families, Birds, Wildlife
 lucky Lucky: A Dog’s Best Friend by Gus Clarke
Kane/Miller Book Publishers, Inc., 2005
Lucky is a friendly little dog who is just that…lucky! He has food to eat, shelter, and friends; but he is missing one thing—a home. Lucky describes day-to-day life in an animal shelter in a colorful picture book.
Adoption, Companion Animals, Dogs
 lucky_bird Lucky: Based on a True Story by Monica Engebretson
The Avian Welfare Coalition, 2009
Lucky, a wild rainbow lorikeet is captured to be a pet. With the help of a young Indonesian boy, Lucky finally regains freedom.
Birds, Exotic Pets, Wildlife
 marshall_miracle_dog Marshall the Miracle Dog by Cynthia Willenbrock
The Marshall Movement, 2010
This book tells the story of Marshall, the victim of an abusive hoarding situation, who learns to turn his tragedy into triumph. Marshall’s incredible transformation is sure to inspire us all!
Dogs, Rescue, Adoption, Companion Animals
 max_talks_to_me Max Talks to Me by Claire Buckwald and Karen Ritz
The Gryphon Press, 2007
This book describes the bond between Alex and his dog, Max. While Max never speaks aloud, Alex knows just how to listen.
Care of Animals, Companion Animals, Dogs
 moon_bear Moon Bear by Brenda Guilberson
Henry Holt and Company, 2010
Follow an Asiatic Black Bear (Moon bear) as she wakes from hibernation and enjoys the summer.
Bears, Wildlife
 night rabbits Night Rabbits by Lee Posey
Peachtree Publishers, 2007
Written from the point of view of a girl who loves to watch the wild rabbits, this imagery-laden story shows how humans can learn to co-exist with surrounding wildlife.
Backyard Animals, Rabbits, Wildlife
 osprey_adventure Osprey Adventure by Jennifer Keats Curtis
Tidewater Publishers, 2007
A wonderful true story of how a boy and his father (Pete McGowan, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Biologist) save ospreys’ lives. The story teaches children not to throw trash or fishing line on the beach because it can get in the ospreys’ nests and injure them.
Animal Families, Birds, Environment, Wild Rescues, Wildlife
 pablo_puppy Pablo Puppy’s Search for the Perfect Person by Sheila Hamanaka
Animal Welfare Institute, 2008
This story of a puppy and an older dog living in a shelter educates children about the needs of dogs and the value of humane treatment toward animals.
Adoption, Care of Animals, Companion Animals, Dogs
 pishu Pi-shu: The Little Panda by John Butler
Peachtree Publishers, 2001
Follow along as young Pi-shu grows and learns how to be a Panda. Follow him and his mother as they flee from encroaching human activity.
Animal Families, Bears, Wildlife
 pick_a_pup Pick a Pup by Marsha Wilson Chall
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011
Join young Sam as he faces the challenge of choosing from several dogs at his local animal shelter.
Dogs, Adoption, Companion Animals
 place_for_birds Place For Birds, A by Melissa Stewart
Peachtree Publishers, 2009
This beautifully illustrated and informative book teaches readers the importance of birds to our ecosystem, offering several examples of things we can do to help support these creatures.
Birds, Environment, Wildlife, Sustainability
 place_for_butterflies Place for Butterflies, A by Mellissa Stewart
Peachtree Publishers, 2006
This winner of the Green Earth Book Award is not only gorgeously illustrated, but also clearly and concisely guides readers through the mysterious and sometimes perplexing world of American butterflies. Although the book is designed for child readers, adults are also likely to learn a great deal! Additionally, this easy-to-read book seamlessly explains the interconnected relationship that each butterfly shares with his or her particular environment. The book also incorporates geography, the importance of a healthy environment, and advice for how children can both help and experience butterflies where they live.
Nonfiction, Wildlife, Environment
 rescue_pup Rescue Pup by Brenda Fiorini
John Reinhardt Book Design, 2010
Based on a true story, readers follow Buddy on his journey after escaping from an abandoned house, eventually being adopted from a shelter. This story emphasizes the need for love, compassion, and responsibility in the care of animals.
Dogs, Adoption, Rescue, Companion Animals
Rosebud…A Princess Finally! by Garyl McIntire Edwards
Illustrations by Thomas Block, 2017
Readers learn how Rosebud the beagle was born into a home where she was neglected. After she is abandoned, Rosebud experiences hardships as a stray but is later rescued by a couple.
Dogs, Adoption, Rescue, Companion Animals
 small_brown_dog Small Brown Dog with a Wet Pink Nose, A by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen
Little, Brown, 2010
Amelia wants a small brown dog with a wet pink nose. To fulfill this wish, she adopts an imaginary dog. When her make-believe dog runs away, Amelia’s parents are in for quite a surprise!
Adoption, Companion Animals, Dogs
 tails_not_pulling Tails Are Not for Pulling by Elizabeth Verdick
Free Spirit Publishing, 2005
This book teaches children how to kindly interact with animals. It reviews some animal body language and the best ways to approach a new animal.
This title is available in a longer format for ages 4-7 and a shorter board-book for younger readers.
Cats, Care of Animals, Companion Animals, Dogs, Safety
 dont_eat_animals That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things by Ruby Roth
North Atlantic Books, 2009
This well-illustrated book gives a vast overview of the many animals and other living beings who suffer due to human wants and exploitation. Roth reminds children that we are all earthlings with emotions, and every one of us has the right to live and grow peacefully. Finally, the author lends guidance towards what children can do to live a fulfilling life that is not at the expense of another living being. 
Animal Families, Wildlife, Environment, Sustainability, Farm Animals
 turtle_summer Turtle Summer: A Journal for My Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe
Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2007
Written like a scrapbook, this book tells the story of how volunteers protect endangered sea turtles’ nests. There are also lots of extra pictures and activities at the end of the book.
Turtles, Wild Rescues, Wildlife
 turtles_in_my_sandbox Turtles in My Sandbox by Jennifer Keats Curtis
Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2006
Maggie finds turtle eggs in her sandbox and becomes a “turtle-sitter” to help baby diamondback terrapins. With the help of experts, she releases them in the bay where they belong.
Turtles, Wild Rescues, Wildlife
 two_bobbies Two Bobbies by Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery
Walker Publishing Company, 2008
This is the true story of a dog and cat who survive Hurricane Katrina by staying together. There is a surprise twist highlights the unbelievable bond between animals.
Cats, Companion Animals, Dogs
 urban_roosts Urban Roosts: Where Birds Nest in the City by Barbara Bash
Little, Brown and Company, 1990
Thirteen different species of birds have adapted to living in cities across the country. From pigeons to owls, Bash gives detailed descriptions of the birds and the places in the city they call home. Wonderful illustrations depict exactly where birds are found in the city.
Backyard Animals, Birds, Wildlife
 widget Widget by Lyn Rossiter McFarland
Scholastic Inc, 2001
Widget is a stray dog who is homeless, cold, wet, and hungry. He finds his way to a warm, cozy home but then has to convince the six female felines in residence to accept him.
Adoption, Cats, Companion Animals, Dogs
Sir_buddy_mr_pupples The Adventures of Sir Buddy and Mr. Pupples by Richard McEwan
Halo Publishing International, 2014
This is an engaging story about a lost puppy. The story encourages families to help stray and lost pets.


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