Delightful Literature for Animal-Loving Kids!
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The movie ended happily and we were all smiling. Except Rose. She was sobbing. 

“What happened?” my husband asked gently. 

“The horse died,” she sobbed. 

After much investigation we realized a horse had been shot and gone down in battle. Not a character in the story, mind you. Just one horse on a battlefield. At the moment, I realized the depth of my daughter’s love for animals. 

Do you have an animal lover in your home?

Provide some reading material he/she will love. Your animal lover will love to read these engaging classic stories! Here are some books and series have delighted my own children and I know your kids will love them too! 

Thornton Burgess Animal Books

Thornton Burgess’s vintage animal stories introduce us to different animals with charm and quirks. Hidden underneath these delightful story lines is a wealth of information about animals. They are wonderful books for young readers and great read alouds for science unit studies.

Purchase Thorton Burgess Animals Stories Boxed Set at Amazon.

There are over 100 stories, but here are just a few!

  • The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver
  • Baby Possum has a Scare
  • Little Joe Otter
  • Buster Bear Invites Old Mister Toad to DIne
  • Everybody Lends Jerry Muskrat a Hand
  • Old Granny Fox
  • Johnny Chuck Loses His Temper 
  • Striped Chipmunk has a Secret
  • Grandfather Frog Gets a Ride
  • Peter Rabbit & Reddy Fox 

Beatrix Potter Books

Beatrix Potter was an artist who grew up loving animals and watching them intently. Her stories are so sweet and infused with her love of animals. I can never decide which I like better–the stories or her lovely illustrations. 

  • The Tale of Benjamin Bunny
  • The Tale of Jeremy Fisher
  • The Tale so Squirrel Nutkin
  • The Tale of Tom Kitten
  • Jemima Puddleduck
  • The Tailor o Gloucester
  • The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle

Purchase The Complete Peter Rabbit Library Boxed Set at Amazon.

Purchase The Peter Rabbit Collection Audio Book at Amazon.

Dr. Doolittle and his Funny Animals

Hugh Lofting wrote a set of books about a vet who talks to his animals. And they talk back! You will love these zany stories! 

  • The Story of Dr. Doolittle
  • Dr. Doolittle’s Post Office
  • The Voyages of Dr. Doolittle 
  • Dr. Doolittle’s Circus
  • Dr. Doolittle’s Zoo
  • Dr. Doolittle’s Caravan

Purchase Dr. Doolittle: Complete Collection by Hugh Lofting at Amazon.

Charlotte’s Web

Enter into the world of Charlotte the Spider’s farm where the race is on to save the life of Wilbur the Pig! This classic was the first chapter book my oldest daughter Katie Beth read! She cried at the end and your kids will, too. 

Purchase Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White at Amazon.

Marguerite Henry’s Horse Books

When Marguerite was a little girl, she got a bad case of scarlet fever that left her bedridden until the age of 12. So, she read and read and read. Soon, she started writing! She published her first story at the age of 11. Marguerite’s love of reading and later writing resulted in a wealth of delightful literature all about horses! 

My sister grew up loving horses and I think she owned every single one of Marguerite’s books! 

Purchase Justin Morgan Had a Horse by Marguerite Henry at Amazon.

Picture Books

  • The Auction
  • The Big Race 
  • The Capture 
  • Going Home
  • The Storm
  • The Whirlpool


  • Misty of Chincoteague
  • Sea Star
  • Stormy, Misty’s Foal
  • Misty’s Twilight
  • King of the Wind 
  • Born to Trot 
  • Brighty of the Canyon
  • Justin Morgan had a Horse
  • Black Gold 
  • San Domingo
  • Mustang
  • …..   and many more!

Purchase Marguerite Henry’s Stable of Classics by Marguerite Henry at Amazon.

Dog Books

Children love dogs and there are too many dog books to list, so I will just share my very favorites! 

Picture Books

  • The Pokey Little Puppy by Jeanette Sebring Lowrey
  • Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
  • Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill 
  • Pretzel by Margaret Rey
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
  • Madeline’s Rescus by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Good Dog Carl by Alexandra Day


  • Lassie Come Home by Eric Knight
  • Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard
  • Snow Dog by Jim Kjelgaard 
  • Irish Red by Jim Kjelgaard
  • The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto by Natalie Standiford
  • The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erikson
  • The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
  • Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
  • Ribsy by Beverly Cleary
  • Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • Sounder by William H. Armstrong
  • Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

James Herriot’s Books

James Herriot is the pen name for James Alfred Wright, a British veterinary surgeon who compiled his tales of caring for animals in Yorkshire. The stories are warm and inspiring, full of old-time common sense and virtue. These books, written for adults, will be enjoyed by middle and high schoolers, too.

  • All Things Bright and Beautiful
  • All Creatures Great and Small
  • All Things Wise and Wonderful 

If those book titles sound familiar, they are stanzas from an old hymn! 

Let me know if you can add to this list. Leave any classic/wholesome animal stories/book titles in the comments below. (Please include authors).

Until next time, Happy Homeschooling!


Meredith Curtis

Tell the world what you have found here!

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