These children's literature books have the best classic animal stories loved by kids for more than fifty years. Humans may have changed in that time, but our furry friends have not.
By Beatrix Potter
The story and pictures of Peter Rabbit and Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail have charmed kids and adults for over 100 years.
By Thorton BurgessTalking Animals - Nature Study
Yes, it is confusing, but this is not the same rabbit as Peter Rabbit above. Never mind that Peter Cottontail did have the name Peter Rabbit and changed it. Or that the Peter Rabbit created by Beatrix Potter had a sister named Cottontail. However, those who like animal stories in general, and rabbit stories in particular, will be happy to read one of Burgess' most well-read books.
My Father's Dragon
By Ruth GannettTalking Animals - Humor
Reading Level: 3-4th grade (Great read out loud book to children as young as four years.)
A silly story about a boy who goes to an island to rescue a baby dragon, and tricks the fiercest of wildest animals with mundane objects in his back pack. This unusual story provides a unique opportunity for teaching children first and third person narratives and point of view. It is narrated by an unidentified child (first person), but the main character is the narrator's father when he was a boy (point of view). Moreover, it is obviously fiction, but is written as if the author was writing a true biography.
By AesopTalking Animals
Short entertaining animal stories with a moral lesson. While Aesop's Fables are often mistaken as stories for very young children because of the talking animals, the ethical lessons are actually geared for slightly older children who can understand cause and effect.
Wind in the Willows
By Kenneth GrahameTalking Animals
Rat, Mole, Mr. Toad, and Mr. Badger share adventures and misadventures in this tale of friendship.
By E.B. WhiteTalking Animals
A story about Charlotte, a kind spider, and the barnyard of animals around her. A first chapter book for many students.
The Trumpet of the Swan
By E.B. WhiteTalking Animals
A swan does not have his voice, but instead learns to play a trumpet. A story about overcoming disabilities.
Animals You Will Never Forget
By Readers DigestCollection of 72 True Stories
I was given this book as a gift from my grandmother years ago. It was a treasured volume of animal stories that I read and re-read for years. A valuable addition to the library of any animal lover!
The Story of Dr. Doolittle
Hugh LoftingA man with many talking animals - fiction
Dr. Doolittle is a doctor but animals prefer his company more than humans. He is able to speak their languages. This is the first in a series of books with the doctor and his menagerie of talking animals.
The Jungle Book
Rudyard KiplingFiction - Talking animals - child raised by wolves
Like most classical animal stories, the original is much different than movie versions. The first three chapters tell the story of Mowgli, a boy who was raised by wolves in the jungle. The next four stories are a collection of animal stories from India.
Edgar Rice BurroughsFor those who liked Jungle Book, here is another story of a human raised in the jungle to become its master. Tarzan becomes King of the Apes, until a woman named Jane appears in the jungle.
Bambi: A Life In The Woods
Felix SaltenA beautifully written book describing life in the forests. This is not a preschool book, but one for older and thoughtful children. Considers questions on life and death. Great for nature study.
Elizabeth YatesA touching story of a boy and pet sheep, Biddy. Peter's father has a sheep farm, and he becomes attached to the lamb that was not expected to live. The wise old shepherd, Benj, shows Peter how to tend to the needs of the sheep as he learns lessons of the cycle of life.
Born Free: A Lioness of Two Worlds
A true story of a lion cub who was raised by the author so that she could live free as a mature lioness in the grasslands of Kenya. A touching story that was made into a movie.
Horse StoriesA dog may be man's best friend, but horses seem to be literature's favorite four-legged hero. Those who love animal stories will also enjoy these heart warming classic horse stories.
Dog StoriesHere is a great list of the world's best dog stories - both true and fiction. This will keep dog lovers reading for weeks with classic dog stories for children.
More Animal Stories? Try FablesFables are short stories that have an ethical lesson. Fables often have animals as their main character. If you like stories with talking animals, read our list of short fables for kids.
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Camp Hill, Pennsylvania