Books by Theme

More Bugs, Birds & Animals

There are birds, bugs, and animals in fact and fiction, in words and pictures. You can count them, classify them and imagine what it might be like to be them. You can visit them in a zoo or even find out more about zoos of old — and all in the books suggested here.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

A Night at the Zoo

By: Kathy Caple
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

What happens to Pop's cell phone when he and Sam fall asleep at the zoo? It passes from one animal to the next! Cartoon illustrations and straightforward text are just right to create and easy, amusing, fanciful adventure.

Animal School: What Class Are You?

By: Michelle Lord
Illustrated by: Michael Garland
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This look at vertebrates glimpses mammals, fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians though rhyming couplets and attractive, textured woodcuts. A brief outline of characteristics and examples in each category and further resources are also included.

Creature Colors

By: Andrew Zuckerman
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Each dramatic photograph of an animal (such as a pink flamingo) on a white background is accompanied by one word: its color. In Creature Numbers, Animals from 1 to 10 bounce, swim, and pose on the equally open pages of a companion book for a fine, fun introduction to basic concepts.

Discover More: Birds

By: Penelope Arlon, Tory Gordon-Harris
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Bird basics — from characteristics to colors — are briefly introduced in an attractive, accessible package. In addition to a table of contents, glossary and index, this series provides additional material on birding (bird-watching) via an online, downloadable book.

Feeding Time at the Zoo

By: Sherry Shahan
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Beginning readers will appreciate the easy language and color photographs that describe necessary preparations and what zookeepers then feed animals. Children are shown at a petting zoo and eating a snack themselves in the book’s final images.

If You Were a Dog

By: Jamie Swenson
Illustrated by: Chris Raschka
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Effervescent language and lively illustrations ask readers what kind of dog, cat, fist, bird, bug, frog, or dinosaur they’d be — but since they are not, they can "arrooo! like a dog, hiss! like a cat," or even "chomp, stomp, roar! like a dinosaur" in this playful, imaginative book.

Nuts to You!

By: Lynne Rae Perkins
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When a squirrel is snatched up by a hungry hawk (but not eaten), his courageous friends go after him. Together they discover another squirrel society and save their homes from devastation in this clever, quite funny, and often insightful tale that provides a glimpse into what squirrel civilization might be.

Teacher's Pets

By: Stephanie Calmenson, Joanna Cole
Illustrated by: Heather Ross
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Dog lovers everywhere will appreciate the canine shenanigans of best friends, Lucie and Kate. They are neighbors in a no-dogs-allowed apartment but they use their amazing dog-bone necklaces to become dogs! Dog jokes and dog notes by the authors conclude this playful novel.

The Storm Whale

By: Benji Davies
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

"Noi lived with his dad and six cats by the sea." But he was lonely until he rescues a baby whale that reconnects Noi with his busy fisherman father. Gentle language is enhanced by mellow, warmly hued illustrations of their seaside home.

What's New? The Zoo: A Zippy History of Zoos

By: Kathleen Krull
Illustrated by: Marcellus Hall
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A spunky look at zoos from all over the world beginning 4400 years ago in the Sumerian city of Ur and ending at the present day San Diego Zoo. The many places worldwide and zoos' purposes are presented in informative text and lighthearted cartoon illustrations.

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Maria Salvadore
Maria Salvadore
September 16, 2016

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"The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I [haven't] read." — Abraham Lincoln