10 books like Animals and Where They Live

By John Feltwell,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Animals and Where They Live. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

Why Do Cats Meow?

By Joan Holub,

Book cover of Why Do Cats Meow?

Like my book, this one draws young readers into the topic of animal adaptations with a question. Although the book doesn’t have a table of contents for easy perusing, it does provide a model for picking and choosing the chapters of interest. It’s likely to be a young reader’s first experience with the scanning procedure we use in nonfiction materials--as opposed to the page after page reading necessary in fiction stories. The book consists of 20 chapters each addressing a question about cat behavior. The explanatory paragraph is from 3-10 sentences long, pitched at a late 1st-grade reader. The visuals are a combination of photographs and drawings.

Why Do Cats Meow?

By Joan Holub,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Why Do Cats Meow? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Many children love cats, and there is so much to know about America's most popular pet. Why do they meow, hiss, and purr? Why do they have whiskers, tails, and claws? Beginning readers can find out the answers to those questions and many more in this fun, fact-packed book filled with colorful feline photos and drawings.


Scholastic True or False

By Melvin Berger, Gilda Berger,

Book cover of Scholastic True or False: Mammals

The “test your knowledge” format of this book is appealing to a wide age range of youngsters. A simple question like “All mammals eat meat. TRUE or FALSE?” is followed by a one word answer (FALSE) and then a one sentence answer in large font: Cows and many other mammals usually eat plants. The subsequent paragraph goes into more detail about the topic. In this case, it explains how the shape of an animal’s teeth provides a clue to its diet. Full disclosure: Many kids who peruse the book on their own skip over the paragraphs. Captivating photos of animals in nature abound.

Scholastic True or False

By Melvin Berger, Gilda Berger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Scholastic True or False as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fun, photographic nonfiction at its best! True or False? You decide!

Let’s face it, kids love to ask and answer questions, which is why the Scholastic True or False series is packed full of fun questions like "Do all mammals live on land?" and "Is the mouse the smallest mammal?" Kids will read the question on the right-hand page and then flip it over to find out the answer. It’s the truth--the Scholastic True or False series is a hit!


Building Beavers

By Kathleen Martin-James,

Book cover of Building Beavers

What I love about the books in the Lerner’s Pull Ahead series is the natural language that’s used and the depth of information that’s provided. In an effort to be readable, many non-fiction books aimed at young elementary students are so concise as to wind up being superficial. But this series explores concepts in depth. In Building Beavers, 12 sentences are devoted to the construction of a beaver lodge. The books include 27 pages of text (two to three sentences per page.) At the end of the book, there is a map showing where in the world the animal is found and a diagram of the animal’s body parts as well as a glossary and an index. There are no headings or chapter titles, however. The detailed photographs provide an excellent complement to the text.

Building Beavers

By Kathleen Martin-James,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Building Beavers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Who built the first dam in North America? A beaver! Learn how beavers--much like humans--change the landscape to suit their needs. Stunning photos and engaging text show beavers eating, swimming, escaping from predators, and growing from playful kits into industrious adults.


Reptiles

By Catriona Clarke, Connie McLennan (illustrator),

Book cover of Reptiles

You really can’t go wrong with a book from Usborne publishers. Reptiles is a gem. It has all the features of a traditional non-fiction book--chapter titles, table of contents, glossary, and a list of related websites--and it bestows information in kid-friendly language. When a procedure is outlined, such as temperature regulation for a desert lizard through a long hot day, the process is distilled into 4 numbered steps. The small size of the book (6” x 8”), the beautiful integration of photographs and illustrations, and the high interest level of the topics covered makes this book a surefire winner with kids.

Reptiles

By Catriona Clarke, Connie McLennan (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Reptiles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a fantastic brand new addition to the "Beginners" series, designed to provide an informative introduction to trees and plant-life for young readers. Children can learn about some of the most fascinating cold-blooded creatures in the world from reptiles that can fly, walk on water, and climb on ceilings. This book offers terrific reading practice for children who prefer fact to fiction. It is developed with a reading expert from Roehampton University to help young readers grow in confidence. It is great value for money.


If Not for the Cat

By Jack Prelutsky, Ted Rand (illustrator),

Book cover of If Not for the Cat

After writing 14 children’s books about art appreciation, I decided to try my hand at children’s poetry. When I read this collection of haiku by Jack Prelutsky, it was a revelation. Each poem is a first-person description of an animal, full of rich, unexpected language. By writing in first-person, Prelutsky broke one of haiku’s cardinal rules. But it worked—and inspired me to write my own collection in the first person as well. Here’s one of my favorites poems in his book:

Raucously we caw.
Your straw men do not fool us.
We burgle your corn.

If Not for the Cat

By Jack Prelutsky, Ted Rand (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If Not for the Cat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Seventeen haiku composed by master poet Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by renowned artist Ted Rand ask you to think about seventeen favorite residents of the animal kingdom in a new way. 

On these glorious and colorful pages you will meet a mouse, a skunk, a beaver, a hummingbird, ants, bald eagles, jellyfish, and many others. Who is who? The answer is right in front of you. But how can you tell? Think and wonder and look and puzzle it out!

A creature whispers:

If not for the cat,
And the scarcity of cheese,
I could be content.

Who is this…


My Friends

By Taro Gomi,

Book cover of My Friends

All the books I’m drawn to have striking and beautiful illustrations and this one is no exception. I love the joyful and varied way that friendship is expressed in this board book. I purchased the book when my daughter was still in preschool (she’s in high school now), and the message of finding camaraderie in as many places as possible still resonates deeply.

My Friends

By Taro Gomi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Friends as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A little girl learns to walk, climb, and study the earth from her friends, most of whom are animals.


Wildlife Ranger Action Guide

By Mary Kay Carson,

Book cover of Wildlife Ranger Action Guide: Track, Spot & Provide Healthy Habitat for Creatures Close to Home

This book challenges kids to get outside and observe the wildlife in their own communities—the BEST way to connect to nature. Written as a field guide, this book is meant to be shoved in a backpack and consulted on the trail. Mary Kay Carson shows kids how to record observations in a nature journal and includes many projects with materials found around the house. Before you know it, your kids will be local wildlife experts. When kids understand nature, they care about it, and when they care, they protect it. 

Perfect for ages 6-12.

Wildlife Ranger Action Guide

By Mary Kay Carson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wildlife Ranger Action Guide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kids can make the world better for wild animals, starting right in their own backyards! With hands-on activities, from a Wildlife Spotting Fort to a Sand Print Track Trap, along with habitat projects and wildlife field guides, this book teaches young nature observers how identify which animals live nearby. DIY projects such as making a Frog Pond out of a kiddie pool, planting a pollinator garden for bees, painting a bat house, and building a lodge for lizards help kids create a welcome haven for animal friends. Throughout the book, habitat maps and fun facts profile 84 North American wildlife…


On the Night You Were Born

By Nancy Tillman,

Book cover of On the Night You Were Born

As parents, we want our children to somehow fathom the immensity of our love and carry it with them throughout their lives. Each time I read this book to my child as a baby and especially now as a three-year-old, I feel like I am able to convey how special she is and how the world was never the same after the day she was born. The beautiful language selected is captivating for the listener and the message so pithy, that I find myself expressing many of the lines in a mere whisper.

On the Night You Were Born

By Nancy Tillman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked On the Night You Were Born as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On the night you were born,
the moon smiled with such wonder
that the stars peeked in to see you
and the night wind whispered.
"Life will never be the same."
On the night you were born, the whole world came alive with thanksgiving. The moon stayed up till morning. The geese flew home to celebrate. Polar bears danced.
On the night you were born you brought wonder and magic to the world. Here is a book that celebrates you. It is meant to be carried wherever life takes you, over all the roads, through all the years.
This debut…


Armadillo Tattletale

By Helen Ketteman, Keith Graves (illustrator),

Book cover of Armadillo Tattletale

This is a wonderful tale about an armadillo, who loves to hide and spy on other animals and tell tall tales (lies) about what he hears. Cute fable of sorts on why the armadillo has such small ears. The book claims he started with very tall ears and every time he eavesdropped in other’s conversations, his ears got smaller. As a preschool teacher and grandmother, I encourage the children to “tell” us adults what is happening to get someone OUT of trouble, rather than to “tattle” on someone to get them IN trouble, which is not helpful. Through lyrical text and vivid illustrations, children learn that it is important to respect the privacy of others and avoid telling lies that hurt feelings.

Armadillo Tattletale

By Helen Ketteman, Keith Graves (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Armadillo Tattletale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What happens when your ears are too big for your head? Helen Ketteman's endearing tale of how the Armadillo came to have small ears reminds youngsters and oldsters alike to listen with care. With memorably quirky illustrations by Keith Graves.


World of Wonders

By Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Fumi Nakamura (illustrator),

Book cover of World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments

There’s this rumor that poets look longer and harder at the ornaments of the world than do anyone else.  They keep looking, and looking, and looking, after most everyone else has long ago looked away, moved on. Here, in the wonderful world of poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s first book of nonfiction, whimsy and reverence twine like the DNA helices of the flora and fauna she examines. In her essay on the firefly, I adore the part when the insects “…lose their light rhythm for a few minutes after a single car’s headlights pass. Sometimes it takes hours for them to recalibrate their blinking patterns.”

World of Wonders

By Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Fumi Nakamura (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked World of Wonders as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Hands-down one of the most beautiful books of the year." -NPR

From beloved, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil comes a debut work of nonfiction-a collection of essays about the natural world, and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us.

As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home: the grounds of a Kansas mental institution, where her Filipina mother was a doctor; the open skies and tall mountains of Arizona, where she hiked with her Indian father; and the chillier climes of western New York and Ohio. But no matter where she was transplanted-no matter how awkward the fit…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in animals, adaptation, and the indigenous peoples of the Americas?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about animals, adaptation, and the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Animals Explore 146 books about animals
Adaptation Explore 18 books about adaptation
The Indigenous Peoples Of The Americas Explore 52 books about the indigenous peoples of the Americas