Four Great Books to Teach Your Children About Animals

My children love to learn about animals. Of course going to the zoo is number one on their list, but when we can’t venture out we do the next best thing. We stay in and read about the animals instead!

Here are four of my children’s best loved animal books:

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  1. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon –Stellaluna is my daughter’s all-time favorite book. She has loved bats since she was very small and finding such a beautifully written and illustrated story about her beloved animal was a wonderful accomplishment. The story is about a baby bat, Stellaluna, who is separated from her mother and ends up in a bird’s nest. The mother bird tries to treat the baby bat like her other babies, but Stellaluna is different. From hanging upside down to sleep to hating the taste of the worms the mother bird brings Stellaluna just doesn’t seem to fit. However that doesn’t mean her bird siblings love her any less. A great book to talk to children about the differences between birds and bats and how family can come in all shapes and sizes.

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  1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle – A children’s classic, this colorfully illustrated book shows the life cycle of the butterfly. I loved to read this book with my children to point out the colors, names and shapes of the different kinds of produce. We also discussed how what the caterpillar ate effected what he looked like and what that meant to our health and eating habits as well.

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  1. Are You My Mother? By  P.D. Eastman – A very simple and classic story, this book follows around a baby bird that has hatched and is looking for his mother. He goes from creature to creature and even to cars and non-living items to see where he belongs. This book is a great opportunity to talk about why each animal is suited to be the parent of the same kind of animal. Like why a dog would make a bad mother for a baby bird.

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  1. Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino – Another book about an animal looking for his mother, this sweet tale is adorable to look at and fun to read. With a great rhyming scheme and a pause before the reveal your children will have a great time finishing the rhymes with you. A baby llama goes looking for his mother and asks each animal what their mother is like. This helps children to understand what makes animals unique and helps them to recognize the differences between animal types.

These are just a few of the animal books my children loved to read. Even to this day my daughter will pull out Stellaluna and read it again. Take the opportunity of reading to your children to discuss how animals live and grow and share with them a love of nature. Try one of these books during reading time tonight!

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