Being a pet owner is a big responsibility. Children love the idea of pets and their companionship that they offer- but do they know all that is involved with being a responsible pet owner? I was recently persuaded to become a fish owner. We went to the store, stocked up on all the necessary supplies, and picked out the perfect fish. It has been a fun learning experience for us as a family. As of yet, my little ones still rush to the bowl each morning to greet their new family member and decide who gets to feed it breakfast.
Prior to deciding upon a fish as our new pet, we discussed all of the responsibilities involved with owning various animals. I love to teach and learn new topics through literature; naturally we found a variety of books about pets. Check out some of these books about pets for kids that we have listed below. We hope it helps you in your journey of learning more about pets and maybe even becoming a new pet owner like ourselves!
GET A FULL WEEK OF PET THEME LESSON PLANS YOUR PRESCHOOL CLASSROOM
Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd
Dog’s Colorful Day makes learning colors and numbers fun as you follow along his messy adventure collecting colorful spots all over. This is a great interactive book that had my little ones hooked the whole way through! We were even able to weave in the importance of caring for a dog as he needed a bath to wash off all his colors.
I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff
I Wanna Iguana captures a young boy’s desire to persuade his mom to let him have a pet iguana. Through detailed and humorous written exchanges, the boy and mom go back and forth with their reasons for having (or not having) an iguana as a pet. The colorful illustrations definitely captivate the imagination of what life with a full grown iguana might actually be like! A great read aloud for teaching point of view and persuasive writing!
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by James Dean
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes has become a favorite on our bookshelf as it has a catchy rhythm and rhyme to read or sing aloud. We love Pete’s easy going personality as he demonstrate resilience with positive responses as he continues to step in things that mess up his brand new white shoes. This book is very interactive and well loved!
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
Harry the Dirty Dog is a classic story about a white dog with black spots that does not want to take a bath. Instead, he decides to hide the scrub brush and go on an adventure all the while getting very dirty. When he tries to return home, he is almost unrecognizable by his own family!
The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems
The Pigeon Wants a Puppy is a fun read by Mo Willems that once again shows the demanding Pigeon’s persuasiveness and tantrums in a playful way. Pigeon is certain that he wants a puppy and will take excellent care of it- until he actually gets one and realizes that he may not want a big, slobbery, hairy pup! This book is great for demonstrating the desire for a pet and the actual realization of all that caring for a pet entails.
Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev
Strictly No Elephants is a touching story that spreads the message of friendship and inclusion. When a boy and his (small) pet elephant are excluded from the pet club meeting, they stick together and find another excluded pair to share a similar story. A new pet club is started and “ALL ARE WELCOME!” An excellent book that includes exotic pets to teach tolerance.
Tails are Not for Pulling by Elizabeth Verdick
Tails are Not for Pulling is a book for pet owners that teaches how to interact with and care for pets. Young readers will learn what is considered appropriate for interacting with animals and what to listen/watch for if an animal is “telling” you hands off. We liked the tips for parents at the end of the book to further teach small children how to treat animals with kindness and respect.
May I Pet Your Dog? By Stephanie Calmenson
This how-to guide for kids meetings dogs and dogs meeting kids is an excellent way to introduce interaction with unknown dogs. Using a kind and gentle dachshund as the main character, young readers will learn the guidelines for cautiously approaching and getting permission from the dog and owner to proceed with an interaction.
What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss
What Pet Should I Get? touches on the age old childhood desire to get a pet, but also how difficult it may be to choose just ONE. Dr. Seuss takes you through a rhythmic adventure of two siblings trying to settle on which pet to get. Silly and outlandish animals are presented by Seuss, sparking lots of conversations about the many different kinds of pets out there! We loved imagining what it might be like to own a Yent!
“Let’s Get a Pup!” by Bob Graham
“Let’s Get a Pup!” Said Kate is a touching adoption story that tells of a little girl who wanted a puppy. After examining a variety of pups at the local shelter, they found the right one- however, an older dog tugged at their heart strings as they were leaving, finding room for just one more!
Oh, Theodore! by Susan Katz
Oh, Theodore! is a poetic story of a little boy who wanted a pet and had to reluctantly settle on a guinea pig. Theodore the guinea pig ends up teaching him so much about caring for a pet. We especially enjoyed the themes of patience, responsibility, and love woven throughout.
I am the Dog I am the Cat by Donald Hall
I am the Dog I am the Cat is a poem that goes back and forth between a dog and a cat, touching on their stark preferences. As their differences are analyzed, you also learn more about what makes these two animals some of our best companions. This text would be perfect for a compare and contrast venn diagram.
Pets at the White House by Marge Kennedy
Pets at the White House is a nonfiction Scholastic newsreader that introduces readers to the names and breeds of animals that have graced the White House. From the seven goats, three ponies, a raccoon, dogs, cats, and even more- it’s fun to discover the animals who have been pets of the Presidents of the United States. We enjoyed how it gave more of a glimpse into the personalities and real lives of past presidents.
A Fish Out of Water by Helen Palmer
A Fish Out of Water is a fun and whimsical tale that teaches the very important lesson that being a pet owner is a big responsibility. When the young pet owner doesn’t follow instructions and over feeds his goldfish, silly chaos ensues. We loved imagining all that might happen with our new fish if we didn’t care for it properly.
Lola Gets a Cat by Anna McQuinn
If your child wants a new pet, consider sharing Lola Gets a Cat with them.
Pet Show! by Ezra Jack Keats
Archie’s pet runs away in Pet Show! But his fast thinking helps him come up with a brilliant idea!
The Perfect Pet by Margie Palatini
The Perfect Pet is a fantastic book to share with your child if they REALLY want a pet.
Look & Learn: Pets by National Geographic Kids
Look & Learn: Pets introduces your children to many different types of family-friendly pets.
Little Kids First Big Book of Pets by Catherine Hughes
Your little learners will learn everything there is to know about pets in Little Kids First Big Book of Pets.
I’ll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm
Losing a pet can be hard, but I’ll Always Love You can be a comforting read to a child who has just lost their pet.
GET A FULL WEEK OF PET THEME LEARNING AND PLAY
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:
1) Small Pets Number Cards (0-35)-4 sets with different animal options for math and calendar activities.
2) Large Pets Number Cards (1-10)
3) Pet Picture Cards
4) Pet Picture and Word Cards
5) Pet or Wild Animal Sorting Mat and Cards
6) Pet Letter Puzzles
7) Pet Roll and Graph Mats and Cubes (2 versions in both color and black and white)
8) I Have a Pet Emergent Reader (3 versions)
9) Feed Your Pet Math Game (3 game boards in color and black and white, 6 game cube variations for differentiation)
10) Sight Word Squawk Word Cards
11) Pet Theme Color Matching Activity Mats and Game Pieces
12) Beginning Sound Sort (/a/, /p/, /e/, /t/)
13) Shape Pet Food Sorting Mats
GET YOUR LESSON PLANS
All of our products are also available on Teachers Pay Teachers if you prefer to shop there.
More Resources for Little Book Lovers
The best way to encourage a love of reading is to provide kids with many opportunities to engage with a wide variety of books that are of interest to them. That’s why we share so many books lists on Fantastic Fun and Learning. We want to make it easy for you to find great books your kids will love. Over the years we’ve also discovered some helpful tools for connecting kids and books.
Digital libraries are one very handy way to do this. Epic! is one of our favorite online libraries. It’s full of over 25,000 books, learning videos, quizzes and more for kids 12 and under…and it’s free for educators. Click here to learn more and sign up.
Book Boxes are another fun way to get kids excited about reading. What kid doesn’t love to get a special delivery in the mail?! The crew over at Bookroo finds the best little known books that you won’t already have in your library, and they send them to you each month. Take a peak inside a Bookroo Box here.
Book-Based Activities are also a lot of fun for kids. Jodie over at Growing Book by Book has saved us all a ton of time and created a full year of Book-Based Activity Calendars so that you can extend the fun with a special book each week.