Animal A to Z Picture Book Recommendations for Great Summer Reading

Summertime gives us a wonderful opportunity to get outdoors.  Kids love hiking in the park, going down the slide and playing ball at the playground, building sandcastles at the beach…sometimes it seems as if they have a boundless well of energy.   But even kids need to sit down in a cool spot to relax…that’s the perfect time to get out the books!

If you have young children, what will you are reading with them?  Studies show that reading to kids on a daily basis helps children succeed in school as it helps develop their literacy skills, build self-esteem and strengthen the parent-child connection.  What’s even better is that it is SO MUCH FUN for the kids and the adults!

Here’s a list of wonderful picture books…all about animals (a favorite subject for most kids) from A to Z.  Most can be found for FREE at your local library…I hope every parent is taking advantage of the amazing summer programs available at many libraries.

I’ve added a link if I found a review and activities for that particular book…many of the reviews are mine and a few of the links will take you to a review done by one of the contributors to Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday posts.  If you need any other picture books for summer reading and beyond, please check out her Perfect Picture Book page.  

  1. ARMADILLO: Milo Armadillo by Jane Fearnley
  2. BEAR: Gift-Bear for the King by Carl Memling
  3. CAT: Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag
  4. DINOSAUR: Dinosaur vs. The Library by Bob Shea
  5. ELEPHANT: Babar by Jean de Brunhoff
  6. GOLDFISH: Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet by Kelly DiPucchio
  7. HORSE: Indian Two Feet and His Horse by Margaret Friskey
  8. IGUANA: I Wanna Iguana by T.E.Watson
  9. JELLYFISH: Joy the Jellyfish by Kristen Collier

10. KANGEROO: Yes We Can! by Sam McBratney

11. LLAMA: Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

12. MOUSE: Frederick by Leo Lionni

13. NEWT: Newt by Matt Novak

14. OWL: Owl Moon

15. PIG: Sloppy Kisses by Elizabeth Winthrop

16. QUAIL: Looking After Me by Denise Leroy

17. RACOON: The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

18. SHEEP: Can’t Sleep Without Sheep by Susanna Leonard Hill

19. TIGER: Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus

20. UNICORN: Unicorn! Unicorn! By Geraldine McCaughean

21. VOLE: The Vole Brothers  by Roslyn Schwartz

22. WHALE: Pipaluk and the Whales by John Himmelman

23. XIPHIAS (SWORDFISH): Swimmy by Leo Lionni

24. YAK: Kami and the Yak by Andrea Stenn Stryer

25. ZEBRA: How the Zebra Got Its Stripes by Justine Fontes

Badge created by the talented Loni Edwards

I also wanted to add a note about a great creative writing activity going on right now…Susanna Leonard Hill has organized Summer Short and Sweetsif you have been thinking about writing for children and want to get your feet wet, this is the perfect opportunity.  The kid lit community that gathers there is generous, helpful, caring and inspiring.

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