Wild Kingdom!

The Bear Necessities Monkey Business Mice are Nice!
Something Fishy Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Frog Stories to Make You Hoppy
Reading with Rabbits Rise and Shine! Tales from the Barnyard Books for the Birds
Squirrely for Books Elephant Books are Big Fun Pet Store!

The Bear Necessities

We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
Yum, Yum, Yummy by Martin Waddell
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
Where's My Teddy? by Jez Alborough
Moon Game by Frank Asch (lots of good bear books by this author!)
Two Greedy Bears by Mirra Ginsburg
A Kiss for Little Bear by Else Homelund Minarik
Goldilocks and the Three Bears (traditional, I prefer the edition illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky)
Grusha by Barbara Bustetter Falk
The Candlewick Book of Bear Stories published by Candlewick
Corduroy by Don Freeman
Teddy Bear's Picnic by Jimmy Kennedy (I like the version illustrated by Alexandra Day)
A Honey of a Day by Janet Marshall
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear by Steve Scott
Old Bear Tales by Jane Hissey (sweet Old Bear videos available from Library Video Company, 1-800-843-3620)

Monkey Business

The Complete Adventures of Curious George by Margret and H.A. Rey
Counting Crocodiles by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
Little Gorilla by Ruth Bornstein
My Friend Gorilla and One Gorillaby Atsuko Morozumi
Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
Also, by the same author, try Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree,
Don't Wake Up Mama!: A Five Little Monkeys Story
and Five Little Monkeys with Nothing to Do
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
Altoona Baboona by Janie Bynum
The Escape of Marvin the Ape by Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner

Mice are Nice!

Loudmouse by Richard Wilbur
Here Comes the Cat by Vladimir Vagin, illustrated by Frank Asch
Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley
Cookie Count by Robert Sabuda
Mouse House by Rumer Godden
Milo and the Magical Stones by Marcus Pfister
Frederick by Leo Lionni
The Mouse that Snored by Bernard Waber A Dark, Dark Tale by Ruth Brown
A Rat's Tale by Tor Seidler (chapter book; good serial read-aloud)
The School Mouse by Dick King-Smith (chapter book; good serial read-aloud)
A FUN MOUSE CRAFT! Cut a long strip and two circles from gray construction paper. Cut two smaller circles out of pink construction paper. Staple the gray strip into a loop that fits the circumference of the head. Glue the gray circles on the outside of the strip, on opposite sides. Glue the pink circles inside the gray circles. Tah-dah! Mouse ears! Use eyeliner pencil for washable whiskers!

Something Fishy

Big Al by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Yoshi
A Fish Out of Water by Helen Palmer, illustrated by P.D. Eastman
Into the A, B, Sea by Deborah Lee Rose
Sukey and the Mermaid by Robert San Souci
Nicholas Pipe by Robert San Souci
Swimmy by Leo Lionni
Mermaid's Lullaby by Kate Spohn
Fish Faces by Norbert Wu
Little Fish Lost by Nancy Van Laan
"The Kingdom Under the Sea" from Magical Tales from Many Lands by Margaret Mayo, illustrated by Jane Ray
Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
A Million Fish...More or Less by Patricia McKissack
One Lonely Sea Horse by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers
Artwork by Edward Ham and Edward Lai, 2nd grade

UNDERWATER RELIEF SCENES! Children can draw colorful scenes of what they know and imagine to live beneath the waves using wax crayons. Then, cover the drawings completely with blue and green watercolor paints to make the pictures wonderfully watery!

CATCH A MAGIC FISH! Cut about an inch into the tip of a plastic drinking straw, slide in a long piece of yarn. This is the fishing pole. Then, decorate a cut-out construction paper fish with glitter, googlie eyes, paint, marker...the more, the merrier! Punch a hole where the mouth should be and tie the other end of the yarn, and tah-dah, fish on a stick! For a variation, attach a magnet to the end of the yarn and decorate several fish, putting metal paper clips where their mouths would be. How many can you catch?

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf (or Fox)?

The Gunniwolf by Wilhemina Harper
Wolves by Seymour Simon
Max, the Stubborn Little Wolf by Marie-Odile Judes
Don't Fidget a Feather! by Erica Silverman
Flossie and the Fox by Patricia McKissack
The Story of the Kind Wolf by Peter Nikl
Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night or Father Fox's Pennyrhymes, both by Wendy Watson
The Three Little Pigs retold by Paul Galdone
What's the Time, Mr. Wolf? by Carol Jones
Tale of a Tail by Judit Z. Bodnar
The Gingerbread Boyretold by Paul Galdone
What's in Fox's Sack? retold by Paul Galdone
Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev, illustrated by Barbara Cooney
Big Wolf and Little Wolf by Sharon Phillips Denslow
The Best Place by Susan Meddaugh
Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf by Catharine Storr (out of print, but this hilarious chapter book is well worth the hunt!)

A FUN ANIMAL RESEARCH ACTIVITY! Before reading stories about foxes or wolves, discuss and list everything already believed to be known about these animals. After reading the stories, do all the beliefs still hold true? Children can pick other animals to explore facts and fallacies through nonfiction and folk literature.. Are owls really wise? Are pigs really dirty? Are lions really the king of the jungle?

Frog Stories to Make You Hoppy

The Frog Princess by Laura Cecil
The Princess and Froggie by Harve and Kaethe Zemach
Pondlarker by Fred Gwynn
Growing Frogs by Vivian French
Jump, Frog, Jump! by Robert Kalan
Hop Jump by Ellen Stoll Walsh
The Frog Prince by Jan Ormerod
Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel (or any books featuring Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel)
Toad by Marcia Brown
The Wide-Mouthed Frog : A Pop-Up Book by Keith Faulkner and Jonathan Lambert
Peach & Blue by Sarah S. Kilborne and Steve Johnson
Froggy Gets Dressed and the Froggy series by Jonathan London
Friend Frog by Alma Flor Ada
Look Out for the Big Bad Fish by Sheridan Corin
Frog Went A-Courting by John Langstaff, illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky

Squirrely for Books

Nuts to You! by Lois Ehlert
Squirrels by Brian Wildsmith
Miss Suzy by Miriam Young
Phewtus the Squirrel by V.H. Drummond
The Flying Acorns by James Stevenson
Squirrel Park by Lisa Campbell Ernst
Pee Wee's Tale by Johnna Hurwitz (short chapter book)

Rise and Shine! Tales from the Barn Yard

Minerva Louise at School by Janet Morgan Stoeke (all Minerva Louise books by this author are lots of fun!)
The Rooster's Gift by Pam Conrad
Hilda Hen's Happy Birthday by Mary Wormell
The Wonderful Feast by Esphyr Slobodkina
Cat Goes Fiddle-i-Fee by Paul Galdone
Why Not? by Mary Wormell
The Emperor's Old Clothes by Kathryn Lasky
Picnic Farm by Christine Morton
Alvah and Arvilla by Mary Lyn Ray
The Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
Click, Clack, Moo! Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
Mary Had a Little Lamb by Josepha Hale, illustrated by Salley Mavor
Teaching hint: our classes had a great time thinking up alternative rhymes, filling in our own names and dream pets. "Vincent had a little anaconda, its skin was scaly as my grandmother's elbow..." and "Sarah had a little shark, its teeth were sharp as pins..." (I did not insist they rhymes; free verse!) They drew pictures to go with their rhymes, and we made an attractive bulletin board. This book is a must for any collection; it has really unique illustrations, and offers historical background on this classic rhyme. My three-year-old son loves it, too! (To see other books for toddlers, click here.)
Piggie Pie by Margie Palatini
Five Little Piggies by David Martin
How Big is a Pig? by Clare Beaton
Aunt Pitty Patty's Piggy by Jim Aylesworth
A Pig Is Moving In! by Claudia Fries (pig in the city story)
The Tale of Gilbert Alexander Pig by Gael Crisp
Otis by Janie Bynum
Two Cool Cows by Toby Speed
Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm by Jerdine Nolen
The Emperor's Old Clothes by Kathryn Lasky
No Milk! by Jennifer Ericsson
Brown Cow, Green Grass, Yellow, Mellow Sun by Ellen Jackson
How Now Brown Cow: Poems About Cows by Alice Schertle and Amanda Schaffer
The Wee Little Woman by Byron Barton
The Tiny, Tiny Boy and the Big, Big Cow by Nancy Van Laan
Journey Cake, Ho! by Ruth Sawyer
The Milk Makers by Gail Gibbons
The Cow Went Over the Mountain by Jeanette Krinsley
Rooster's Gift by Pam Conrad
Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell
Barnyard Tracks by Dee Dee Duffy
The Wonderful Farm by Marce Aymé
Artwork by Andreas Schwartz, 2nd grade

Books for the Birds

Craft: You can make a whole treeful of bird finger puppets! Just cut out a small bird shape from construction paper; keep it simple, with a head, wings and tail. Glue on googlie eyes. Cut a tiny diamond shape and fold it in half, gluing on the bottom half to your bird for a beak that opens and closes. Glue on a feather at the tail and put tape loops on the back of the wings. Insert index finger and thumb into the loops to make the wings flap! Adapted from the excellent idea book I Can Make Puppets by Mary Wallace. I did this with the primary grades for a crow unit, but you can also make sensational peacocks, pigeons and owls this way!
The Songs of Birds: Stories and Poems from Many Cultures collected by Hugh Lupton
Six Crows by Leo Lionni
Clever Crow by Cynthia DeFelice
Crow Boy by Taro Yashima
Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell
Come Along, Daisy! by Jane Simmons
Cold Little Duck, Duck, Duck by Lisa Westberg Peters
Don't Fidget a Feather! by Erica Silverman
The Goose That Was Almost Cooked by Marc Simont
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
The Chick and the Duckling by Mirra Ginsburg
Flap Your Wings! by P.D. Eastman
The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock by Bill Peet
"Gertrude McFuzz" from Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss
Petunia by Roger DuVoisin
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Owliver by Robert Kraus
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
Owl Eyes by Frieda Gates
The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear, illustrated by Jan Brett
Hoot by Jane Hissey
Barn Owls by Tony Johnston
Tree of Birds by Susan Meddaugh
Cuckoo by Lois Ehlert
The Emperor and the Nightingale by Meilo So
The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) by Philmeon Sturges
On the Wing by Douglas Florian
Some penguin suggestions in the Antarctica section of Trip Around the World

Reading with Rabbits

Curious George Flies a Kite by Margret and H.A. Rey
Thunder Bunny by Rodney Greenblatt
The Gingerbread Rabbit by Randall Jarrell
Sun is Falling, Night is Calling by Laura Leuck
The Bouncy Baby Bunny by Joan Bowden
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Lollopyby Joyce Dunbar
Hopper's Treetop Adventure by Marcus Pfister
Harvey Hare, Postman Extraordinaire by Bernadette Watts
Little Bunny on the Move by Peter McCarty

Elephant Books are Big Fun

Elmer and the Elmer series by David McKee
Nellie's Knot by Ken Brown
Emily's Own Elephant by Philippa Pearce
Baby Elephant by Meilo So
Elympics by X. J. Kennedy
Little Bull : Growing Up in Africa's Elephant Kingdom by Ellen Foley James
The Elephant and the Bad Baby by Elfrida Vipont

Pet Store!

I'm Not Going to Chase the Cat Today! by Jessica Harper
Adventures of a Taxi Dog by Debra and Sal Barracca
Charles of the Wild by John and Ann Hassett
I Want a Dog by Diane Kaur Khalsa
Bark, George! by Jules Feiffer
Nobody's Dog by Charlotte Graeber
It's About Dogs, poems by Tony Johnston
Charlie's Checklist by Rory S. Lerman
Martha Walks the Dog by Susan Meddaugh
Any Kind of Dog by Lynn Reiser
Where's Al? by Byron Barton
Little Dog Poems by Kristine O'Connell George
Good Dog, Carl and the "Carl" series by Alexandra Day
Cannonball Simp by John Burningham
Circus Family Dog by Andrew Clements
My Dog, My Hero by Betsey Byars, Betsy Duffey and Laurie Meyers (short stories) Some Swell Pup : Or Are You Sure You Want a Dog? by Maurice Sendak and Matthew Margolis (note: not a great read-aloud, but a fun book for any pet-theme collection)
The Story of Mrs. Lovewright and Purrless, Her Cat by Lore Segal
Me and My Cat? by Satoshi Kitamura
The Grannyman by Judith Byron Schachner
Little Bo by Julie Andrews Edwards
Rich Cat, Poor Cat by Bernard Waber
Ginger by Charlotte Voake
The Good Luck Cat by Joy Harlo
Pitschi by Hans Fischer
Rotten Ralphseries by Jack Gantos
Purrfectly Purrfect by Patricia Lauber (short chapter book)
Pet Show! by Ezra Jack Keats
Tight Times by Barbara Shook Hazen
Mr. Betts and Mr. Potts by Rod Hull
"The Voracious Vacuum Cleaner" from Stuff and Nonsense! edited by Laura Cecil
Dinosaur Bob by William Joyce
Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff
One Guinea Pig is Not Enough by Kate Duke
Ten Minutes to Bedtime by Peggy Rathmann
I Love Guinea Pigs by Dick King-Smith
Crictor by Tomi Ungerer
Poonam's Pet by Andrew Davies
There's a Zoo in Room 22! poems by Judy Sierra
Artwork by Alice Marc, 2nd grade

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