The best books with lovable animal characters

The Books I Picked & Why

I Don't Want to Eat Bugs

By Rachel Branton, Tim Petersen

Book cover of I Don't Want to Eat Bugs

Why this book?

This is a cute children’s story great for bedtime, or anytime! It follows the story of little Lisbon as she is hunting for a snack. All her animal friends have suggestions that work great for them, but Lisbon is a human! She doesn’t want to eat bugs or any of their animal food!

This is a great read-aloud book for parents with children, but the font was specifically chosen to make it easier for children to read as well.

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The Tale of Peter Rabbit

By Beatrix Potter

Book cover of The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Why this book?

This was one of the first stories I remembered my parents reading to me when I was little. I liked Peter Rabbit immediately, despite his bad habit of disobeying his mother, and I loved the sweet and colorful illustrations that go along with the story. When poor Peter Rabbit became trapped in Mr. MacGregor's garden, I found myself riveted, unable to put the story down. Poor Peter, stuck in MacGregor's garden, not knowing how to get out! Children will love cheering for Peter as he is mercilessly pursued by the malicious MacGregor, trapped under a flower pot, frightened by a cat, and robbed of his coat and shoes, all while trying to find a way to escape the terrifying labyrinth of Mr. MacGregor’s garden! 

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Charlotte's Web

By E.B. White

Book cover of Charlotte's Web

Why this book?

When I read this wonderful book about unlikely friendship and compassion as a child, I quickly grew to love little Wilbur. He is a sweet, friendly pig, the runt of a litter, saved from an early death by the compassionate Fern, and later given to her Uncle Homer. I thought he was simply going to a new home, but when I learned that Wilbur was being raised for meat, I became nearly as upset about the whole thing as Wilbur did when he found out! How could his life be saved by Fern, only to end up on Uncle Homer's dinner table? The injustice! But then Charlotte steps in. Wonderful, compassionate Charlotte. And while, normally, I am not a huge fan of spiders, I loved Charlotte.

In fact, I think Charlotte is one of my favorite characters in literature. She is a beautiful spider who lives on a web in the doorway of Wilbur's barn, and she comes up with a plan that she hopes will guarantee Wilbur a long life! When words praising Wilbur start showing up in her web, all the people are mystified. But Wilbur, Charlotte, the other animals in the barn, and of course, the reader know where the words come from.

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The Golden Owl

By Lana Axe

Book cover of The Golden Owl

Why this book?

Readers who like cat protagonists, steampunk, or both, will love Calico Cogg, the main protagonist of this story. I liked the spunky little cat from the moment I met her, and did not want to put this story down. Clever Calico Cogg began life as an ordinary cat but after she was saved from the streets of Ticswyk, a city in an exciting steampunk world, by Lionel Cogg, a kindly inventor, he enhances her with implants that make her stronger and more agile than a regular cat. I found her talents as impressive as her audience did at the beginning of the book. What can Calico Cogg not do, right?  But then, when her beloved human Lionel is kidnapped, Calico's skills are put to the ultimate test! Even with her enhanced skills, it’s a race against time if she’s going to rescue her human! I was on the edge of my seat, wanting to see if Calico would succeed!

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Detective Trigger and the Ruby Collar: Book One

By M.A. Owens

Book cover of Detective Trigger and the Ruby Collar: Book One

Why this book?

I really enjoyed reading this fun book for young kids about Detective Trigger, a Chihuahua hired to find a missing collar. Written in the style of a classic gumshoe mystery, but with animal characters, this story is certain to entertain young kids; even adults who can appreciate the playfulness of animals characters going about their business instead of human characters, would like this book. Struggling to make a living and do his part to restore order in a city run by corrupt cats, Detective Trigger sets out to uncover the mystery, and I found myself as invested in finding out the answers as I imagined Trigger was, himself.

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