The best books with anthropomorphism

Who picked these books? Meet our 48 experts.

48 authors created a book list connected to anthropomorphism, and here are their favorite anthropomorphism books.
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What type of anthropomorphism book?


Book cover of Frog and Toad Are Friends

Will Hillenbrand Author Of The Voice in the Hollow

From the list on igniting the imagination of young readers.

Who am I?

Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, my dyslexia made reading a challenge. However, my close encounters with books led to a meaningful and expressive life. From my family's barbershop, I absorbed colorful conversations and tall tales, fueling my imagination. Expressing those narratives through drawings at my kitchen table granted me solace. Driven by a desire to bring stories to life, I leaped and pursued an education in art. In a picture book art class, my calling as an author and illustrator became clear. Transforming words into vivid illustrations and breathing life into children's literature became my heartfelt pursuit. With over 75 books now in my repertoire, I am truly fortunate.

Will's book list on igniting the imagination of young readers

Discover why each book is one of Will's favorite books.

Why did Will love this book?

Upon reading this story, I found myself laughing and gaining a deeper understanding of the complexities of friendship. It became clear to me that friendships have their ups and downs, just like the two anthropomorphic creatures in these short tales, Frog and Toad.

As I delved into their amusing adventures, I realized that despite their differences, these unlikely friends were brought together by their love for one another. Frog, with his cheery and relaxed demeanor, stood taller and green. Toad, on the other hand, was shorter and stout, with a brown shade. Though more serious and uptight, he was equally caring and friendly.

Through their attempts at flying kites, cleaning houses, and exploring the reasons for isolation, I was reminded that even the most diverse beings can be bound by a deep connection. It's a testament to the incredible power of friendship, where laughter and understanding can bridge the gaps…

By Arnold Lobel,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Frog and Toad Are Friends as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This beautiful commemorative picture book edition of the Caldecott Honor title Frog and Toad Are Friends is the perfect way to celebrate Frog and Toad's 50th anniversary!

This handsome edition features matte paper, remastered artwork, and a green ribbon book marker. It makes a lovely gift for collectors, fans of children's literature, and anyone and everyone who loves Frog and Toad!

First published in 1970, Frog and Toad Are Friends was the first of the four beloved Frog and Toad books. This special edition contains all of the original stories-from the story about going swimming, to finding lost buttons!


Watership Down

By Richard Adams,

Book cover of Watership Down

Steve Pemberton Author Of The Lighthouse Effect: How Ordinary People Can Have an Extraordinary Impact in the World

From the list on demonstrating the power of the human spirit.

Who am I?

I’m most drawn to stories of overcoming. My own childhood was about exactly that-overcoming a multi-generational inheritance of family separation and orphaned children. When I wrote my first book about that story, A Chance in the World, an unanticipated magic unfolded: I began to receive stories of strangers from all across the world who wrote to tell me their own story of overcoming. Each and every day I hear from someone and the steady stream of those stories of overcoming affirms something I have to come to learn: we all have a story and none of us look like that story.

Steve's book list on demonstrating the power of the human spirit

Discover why each book is one of Steve's favorite books.

Why did Steve love this book?

At first glance, it appears to be a book about rabbits but it’s much more about humanity.

Watership Down was my childhood favorite story. Its themes of home, overcoming incredible obstacles, and finding a few good friends along the way are lessons I still carry with me. When I first read it as a young boy, I was lost in the gaps of the foster care system.

This book gave me a vision – and a plan – for how to overcome it. Those lessons apply to all of us and are desperately needed in a world that too often bends towards cynicism and chaos.

By Richard Adams,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Watership Down as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the best-loved children's classics of all time, this is the complete, original story of Watership Down.

Something terrible is about to happen to the warren - Fiver feels sure of it. And Fiver's sixth sense is never wrong, according to his brother Hazel. They had to leave immediately, and they had to persuade the other rabbits to join them.

And so begins a long and perilous journey of a small band of rabbits in search of a safe home. Fiver's vision finally leads them to Watership Down, but here they face their most difficult challenge of all .…

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh

By Robert C. O'Brien, Zena Bernstein (illustrator),

Book cover of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh

Joan Marie Galat Author Of Mortimer: Rat Race to Space

From the list on children’s stories with rat or mouse adventures.

Who am I?

Since writing a middle-grade novel about a lab rat living on the International Space Station, I was curious to see how other authors tackled the challenge of creating stories about talking rats and mice. After all, these rodents are not generally popular in real life. What exciting approaches did others use to get past this dilemma? I wanted to see how they balanced the ideal—being true to the nature of a species—while constructing original characters in challenging situations. Analyzing how other writers succeed is always useful.

Joan's book list on children’s stories with rat or mouse adventures

Discover why each book is one of Joan's favorite books.

Why did Joan love this book?

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH tells the story of a widowed field mouse. She needs to move her family to the summer home before the farmer plows the ground, but her son Timothy is too ill to make the trip. Mrs. Frisby must force herself to step well beyond her usual abilities if she is to save his life. Her experience leaves one with a fresh perspective on the industrious lives of field mice and rats. This tale will hold the interest of any age and make a compelling read-aloud choice for families to enjoy together. As an author, I found the storytelling timeless and fully inspiring. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is a winner of the John Newberry Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American Literature.

By Robert C. O'Brien, Zena Bernstein (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Some extraordinary rats come to the aid of a mouse family in this Newbery Medal Award–winning classic by notable children’s author Robert C. O’Brien.

Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is faced with a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. And Mrs. Frisby in turn renders them a…

My Dirty Dumb Eyes

By Lisa Hanawalt,

Book cover of My Dirty Dumb Eyes

Emily McGovern Author Of Twelve Percent Dread

From the list on to alleviate dread.

Who am I?

Twelve Percent Dread is about the curious state of anxiety that underpins living in the 21st Century, when we’re aware of so many current and looming disasters. However, it’s a bit of a misleading title, my book is actually very funny! Most of my work is built around stuffing as many jokes in as possible, and I want the reader to really chuckle and feel joy when they read it. In this book, the jokes come from the state of anxiety that the characters work themselves into. Assuming you, the reader, also experiences a certain level of dread throughout the day, here’s a list of books that will hopefully help relieve it.

Emily's book list on to alleviate dread

Discover why each book is one of Emily's favorite books.

Why did Emily love this book?

I wanted to recommend a couple of funny graphic novels to help stave off dread, and this book by Lisa Hanawalt is simply the funniest graphic novel I have ever read. The author is perhaps best known as one of the co-creators of Bojack Horseman (with her signature animal characters) as well as Tuca & Bertie. It’s a collection of musings and essays, told through Lisa’s incredible artwork. She has such an unexpected left-field sense of humour that is sharp but somehow always warm, underpinned by her beautiful illustrations. This book is like riding on a strange multicoloured rollercoaster though a candy dreamland, but you’re very securely fastened into your seat and feel very snugly held throughout.

By Lisa Hanawalt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sharply observant, laugh-out-loud funny comics from The Believer cartoonist and New York Times illustrator

My Dirty Dumb Eyes is the highly anticipated debut collection from award-winning cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt. In a few short years, Hanawalt has made a name for herself: her intricately detailed, absurdly funny comics have appeared in venues as wide and varied as The Hairpin,, Lucky Peach, Saveur, The New York Times, and The Believer.

My Dirty Dumb Eyes intermingles drawings, paintings, single-panel gag jokes, funny lists, and anthropomorphized animals, all in the service of satirical, startlingly observant commentary on pop culture, contemporary society, and human…

Book cover of Friends of Interpretable Objects

Joseph Leo Koerner Author Of Bosch and Bruegel: From Enemy Painting to Everyday Life

From the list on against writers’ block.

Who am I?

My father was an artist who painted passionately, almost always outdoors. When I told him I wanted to become an art historian, he was sad partly because he hated art historians, but mainly because he imagined me chained (as a writer) to a desk, rather than marching the countryside looking for things to paint or draw. Like most writers, I sometimes get seriously bogged down, and his sadness comes back to haunt me. But then I pick up a book that, in just a few pages, puts my writing back on track, gladdening my father’s ghost.

Joseph's book list on against writers’ block

Discover why each book is one of Joseph's favorite books.

Why did Joseph love this book?

Unable to finish a manuscript? This delicious book came about (I’m told) by accident, when its author, struggling with his vast magnum opus, decided to put it down, almost randomly, into a little book of startling essays. The result is an eye-opening study of how “things” need “persons” to speak on their behalf, becoming personable. Includes amazing insights into iconoclasm, ecological litigation, and the legal fight of Abolitionists. And teaches how to write less, cut more, and edit with creative abandon.

By Miguel Tamen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A strikingly original work, Friends of Interpretable Objects re-anchors aesthetics in the object of attention even as it redefines the practice, processes, meaning, and uses of interpretation.

Miguel Tamen's concern is to show how inanimate objects take on life through their interpretation--notably, in our own culture, as they are collected and housed in museums. It is his claim that an object becomes interpretable only in the context of a "society of friends." Thus, Tamen suggests, our inveterate tendency as human beings to interpret the phenomenal world gives objects not only a life but also a society. As his work unfolds,…

The Pervert

By Michelle Perez,

Book cover of The Pervert

Mady G. Author Of A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities

From the list on graphic novels about self-discovery.

Who am I?

I'm a queer author and illustrator who has always had a passion for unique and boundary-pushing comics and graphic novels. It's a genre that has spoken to me throughout my life and this list converges my love for the format as well as the subject matter that's impacted the most vulnerable and pivotal times of my own life. So much of my experience being alive has been about figuring out who I am, and that's what my own graphic novel deals with. It seems fitting that I'd recommend a list of books that details others doing the same as I have, but in their own way.

Mady's book list on graphic novels about self-discovery

Discover why each book is one of Mady's favorite books.

Why did Mady love this book?

A truly singular book that details a semi-fictionalized account of a transgender sex worker surviving in Seattle. Depicted as a cute anthropomorphic dog-like creature, the story follows her as she meets with various clients and navigates her own identity struggles and in-progress transition (not to mention her own safety in her dangerous line of work). A deeply emotional and raw story that still manages to retain its own dark sense of humor throughout.

(Deals with themes of drugs, sex, and violence. 18+ only.)

By Michelle Perez,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Vulture/NY Magazine's Best Comics of 2018

A surprisingly honest and touching account of a trans girl surviving through sex work in Seattle. With excerpts published in Eisner nominated anthology ISLAND, the full colour volume, drawn and painted by Remy Boydell is an unflinching debut graphic novel. Written by Michelle Perez

Our Tree Named Steve

By Alan Zweibel, David Catrow (illustrator),

Book cover of Our Tree Named Steve

Amanda Rawson Hill Author Of You'll Find Me

From the list on for guiding your child through grief.

Who am I?

In the past ten years, I have had to guide my young children through two unexpected and tragic deaths of loved ones. Both times, I was struggling with my own grief and wasn’t sure what my kids understood or didn’t. I made a lot of mistakes (as my son’s therapist can attest) but through it all, I learned a great deal about how much children notice, how deeply they feel a loss, and how to tend to our own grief and our children’s. From that pain, I wrote You’ll Find Me, and since then, have been able to use that book as a jumping-off point to discuss grief with others.

Amanda's book list on for guiding your child through grief

Discover why each book is one of Amanda's favorite books.

Why did Amanda love this book?

I did not buy this book because I thought it was a grief book. I got it to do a tree unit for my kids’ preschool. But a year after my father-in-law (also named Steve) died unexpectedly, I couldn’t finish reading this book aloud without crying.

While not a traditional grief book, this is the story of a tree that has become inextricably intertwined with a family’s daily life, until one day a storm blows it over and the children come home to Steve in a new form, as a treehouse. A great way to discuss how we can find our lost loved ones in new ways.

By Alan Zweibel, David Catrow (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Our Tree Named Steve as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dear Kids, A long time ago, when you were little, Mom and I took you to where we wanted to build a house. . . . I remember there was one tree, however, that the three of you couldn’t stop staring at. . . .

After the family spares him from the builders, Steve the tree quickly works his way into their lives. He holds their underwear when the dryer breaks down, he’s there when Adam and Lindsay get their first crushes, and he’s the centerpiece at their outdoor family parties. With a surprising lack of anthropomorphizing, this is a…

The Human Nature of Birds

By Theodore Xenophon Barber,

Book cover of The Human Nature of Birds: A Scientific Discovery with Startling Implications

Jonathan Balcombe Author Of Super Fly: The Unexpected Lives of the World's Most Successful Insects

From the list on understanding birds.

Who am I?

I started watching animals as soon as I could walk. That eventually led to a PhD in animal behavior and a career in animal protection. I now focus my energies on writing books that seek to improve our understanding of, and most importantly our relations with, other animals. I've written four previous books: Pleasurable Kingdom, Second Nature, The Exultant Ark, and What a Fish Knows (a New York Times best-seller now available in fifteen languages). I live in Belleville, Ontario where I enjoy biking, baking, birding, Bach, and trying to understand the neighborhood squirrels.

Jonathan's book list on understanding birds

Discover why each book is one of Jonathan's favorite books.

Why did Jonathan love this book?

Yes, it’s a bit dated, but it was a bold, pioneering book for its day. Barber doesn’t shrink from describing birds as they are: intelligent, flexible, emotional animals with lives and personalities.

By Theodore Xenophon Barber,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Human Nature of Birds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Argues that birds make and use their own tools, recognize abstract concepts, create complex musical compositions, and more


By Richard Adams,

Book cover of Traveller

Warren Gill Author Of Princess of Horses

From the list on featuring animals for readers who are love animals.

Who am I?

I have been passionate about animals all my life. I was raised on and currently help operate the family farm near Petersburg, Tennessee. I have a doctorate in animal science and joined Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) as a Professor of Animal Science and Department Chair on August 1, 2007, after retiring from a 25-year career with the Extension Service (University of Tennessee and University of Kentucky). I enjoy participating in community activities such as the Petersburg Community Cultural Coalition, Petersburg Lion’s Club, and serving as President of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Retiree’s Association. I have written two books, Cane Creek Days and Princess of Horses.

Warren's book list on featuring animals for readers who are love animals

Discover why each book is one of Warren's favorite books.

Why did Warren love this book?

Many years ago, I fell in love with Watership Down, Richard Adams’ iconic book about the trials and triumphs of rabbits, from the rabbit’s point of view.

With my doctorate in animal science, I know that neither rabbits nor horses can act, react or think like humans. Giving animals human-only abilities is called anthropomorphism and is not considered scientifically acceptable. That doesn’t matter when Richard Adams fuses his writing skills with a delightful concept of how animals face amazing challenges.

Traveller, Robert E. Lee’s famous war horse, narrates his view of a tragic general fighting in an epic failure of the human spirit. 

By Richard Adams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This ironic, revisionist view of the Civil War is seen through the eyes of Robert E. Lee's horse, Traveller. Told in a series of monologues directed at a tomcat, his story depicts battles, retreats and casualties. But Traveller's idealization of his rider does not allow him to recognize or even understand defeat. Richard Adams has written "Watership Down", "Shardik", "The Plague Dogs", "The Girl in a Swing" and "Maia".

King Solomon's Ring

By Konrad Lorenz,

Book cover of King Solomon's Ring: New Light on Animal Ways

Sy Montgomery Author Of How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals

From the list on studying and writing about the natural world.

Who am I?

To research her 30 books, dozens of scripts, and hundreds of articles, Sy Montgomery has been deftly undressed by an orangutan in Borneo, worked in a pit crawling with 18,000 snakes in Manitoba, and swum with piranhas, electric eels, pink dolphins, great white sharks and octopuses in various rivers and oceans. She writes for both adults and children, for print and broadcast, in North America and abroad, in an effort to reach as wide an audience as possible at a critical time in human history. “Now is an exciting time to be alive,” she says. “We all have an opportunity, at this critical juncture in human history, to be part of the movement to save our sweet green Earth and all the wonderful creatures who bless our world by sharing it with us.”

Sy's book list on studying and writing about the natural world

Discover why each book is one of Sy's favorite books.

Why did Sy love this book?

This is a classic account of animal behavior by the man who founded the modern field of ethology. His careful and detailed accounts of his time living with graylag geese, crow-like jackdaws, and even cichlid fish are not only scientifically fascinating but filled with wonder and love for each animal as an individual—a creature who loves his or her life as much as we love ours.

By Konrad Lorenz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked King Solomon's Ring as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2020 Reprint of the 1952 Edition.  Exact facsimile of the original edition and not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software.  The book's title refers to the legendary Seal of Solomon, a ring that supposedly gave King Solomon the power to speak to animals.  Lorenz claims that he likewise achieved this feat of communication with several species. He accomplished this by raising them in and around his home and observing their behavior. King Solomon's Ring describes the methods of his investigation, and his resulting findings about animal psychology. Lorenz's findings include the surprisingly refined social system of the common Eurasian jackdaw, the…

Little Fox in the Forest

By Stephanie Graegin,

Book cover of Little Fox in the Forest

Renee Kurilla Author Of The Flower Garden

From the list on children's books that celebrate the joys of friendship, exploration, and imagination.

Who am I?

Hi there! I am a children’s author, illustrator, and designer living in MA. I spend a lot of time thinking about how important friendship is to me; both the good and bad times, and how I could have handled certain scenarios differently. Books give us the opportunity to act out scenarios without having to live them. Books can teach us mannerisms and coping skills, making us more prepared for life. They also give us an opportunity to take a break from reality and sneak off into other worlds from time to time. Every book on my list highlights the importance of friendship and the thrill of adventure, I hope you enjoy them!  

Renee's book list on children's books that celebrate the joys of friendship, exploration, and imagination

Discover why each book is one of Renee's favorite books.

Why did Renee love this book?

Stephanie Graegin’s art is warm and welcoming. I was already familiar with the adorable anthropomorphic characters in her other books when I discovered Little Fox in the Forest. She seems to have created an entire world all her own that translates so well from book to book. You can always expect caring, kindness, and friendship in Stephanie’s world. 

The wordless story introduces two friends, a girl and a boy. When a cute little, sweatered fox snatches the girl’s favorite stuffed animal from the playground, her friend helps her try to find it. They run into the woods together and happen upon the most amazing alternate universe.

The girl and boy locate the stuffed animal only to discover that the little fox who found it seems to need it so much more. Through a happy ending, we learn that sharing can feel rewarding too.

By Stephanie Graegin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Little Fox in the Forest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fans of Aaron Becker’s Caldecott Honor winner Journey will love this utterly enchanting wordless picture book in which two friends follow a young fox deep into the woods and discover a wondrous and magical world.
When a young girl brings her beloved stuffed fox to the playground, much to her astonishment, a real fox takes off with it! The girl chases the fox into the woods with her friend, the boy, following close behind, but soon the two children lose track of the fox. Wandering deeper and deeper into the forest, they come across a tall hedge with an archway.…

Deven and the Dragon

By Eliot Grayson,

Book cover of Deven and the Dragon

Jane Buehler Author Of The Forest Bride

From the list on romance set in a lighthearted, cozy fantasy world.

Who am I?

I have always loved fantasy worlds and romantic stories, but in recent years I’ve found it harder to read stories with extreme violence or trauma. When I started writing fiction, I planned to write a fantasy romance with a kingdom and a battle, but I couldn’t do it—my characters organized a nonviolent revolution and formed a democratic system of governance instead. I reconsidered and decided to write what I call cozy fantasy romances. So many types of romance novels could be set in a fantasy world, such as an office romance or road trip comedy. I’ve been searching for these types of romance novels—fun, lighthearted romances set in a fantasy world—and am slowly finding them.

Jane's book list on romance set in a lighthearted, cozy fantasy world

Discover why each book is one of Jane's favorite books.

Why did Jane love this book?

Deven is a super nice and laid-back guy who is sent by his village leaders to seduce the dragon who lives up on the hill, in order to get one of the dragon’s scales. The dragon has never hurt anyone (it turns out he supports the local businesses), and when he takes his human form, he’s awkward and bumbling, while trying to be commanding and scary. It’s the perfect setup for a sweet love story with some high-stakes background drama (for example, Deven has to meet the parent dragons) without a lot of stress. And, like all romance novels, it has a guaranteed happy ending.

By Eliot Grayson,

Why should I read it?

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

The Only Good Indians

By Stephen Graham Jones,

Book cover of The Only Good Indians

Anne-Marie Ormsby Author Of Purgatory Hotel

From the list on scaring the bejesus out of you.

Who am I?

I have been fascinated by ghosts and the unexplained ever since I was a small child, we would have copies of the magazine The Unexplained on the shelf and I would pore over them for hours, looking at old ghost photos and reading stories that blew my mind. My fascination has never waned, I have grown up reading books by amazing classic writers and then more recently to the contemporary writers who were inspired by them. Is there anything more enticing than a haunting? All of this has fascinated me since I was a child, and these books all have their own take on this theme.

Anne-Marie's book list on scaring the bejesus out of you

Discover why each book is one of Anne-Marie's favorite books.

Why did Anne-Marie love this book?

They say never judge a book by its cover, but I was drawn by the elk illustrated cover and the blurb. You are taken on a very authentic cultural journey by Jones as he invites the reader into the Native American world and shows how tradition and contemporary life come together. While it is a true literary gem it is also a bona fide horror dripping with non-gratuitous gore and menace as a group of young men are hunted by something otherworldly, haunted by an event from their youth. I was very taken by the Native American spirituality when I became interested in it as a teenager, this book was both frightening and enlightening.

By Stephen Graham Jones,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Only Good Indians as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Thrilling, literate, scary, immersive."
-Stephen King

The Stoker, Mark Twain American Voice in Literature, Bradbury, Locus and Alex Award-winning, NYT-bestselling gothic horror about cultural identity, the price of tradition and revenge for fans of Adam Nevill's The Ritual.

Ricky, Gabe, Lewis and Cassidy are men bound to their heritage, bound by society, and trapped in the endless expanses of the landscape. Now, ten years after a fateful elk hunt, which remains a closely guarded secret between them, these men - and their children - must face a ferocious spirit that is coming for them, one at a time. A spirit…

The Magic Pudding

By Norman Lindsay,

Book cover of The Magic Pudding: The Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum

Victoria Twead Author Of Dear Fran, Love Dulcie: Life and Death in the Hills and Hollows of Bygone Australia

From the list on Australia (to read before you visit).

Who am I?

I’m Victoria Twead, the New York Times bestselling author of Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools and the Old Fools series. However, after living in a remote mountain village in Spain for eleven years, and owning probably the most dangerous cockerel in Europe, we migrated to Australia to watch our new granddaughters thrive amongst kangaroos and koalas. We love Australia, it is our home now. Another joyous life-chapter has begun.

Victoria's book list on Australia (to read before you visit)

Discover why each book is one of Victoria's favorite books.

Why did Victoria love this book?

When I was a little girl, I remember being given this book, and I loved it. I read it from cover to cover, again and again, which fired my fascination for Australia. Seriously, who wouldn’t be enthralled by a bad-tempered pudding with impossibly skinny arms and legs, called Albert?

Perhaps The Magic Pudding had a large part in my choice to leave Europe and put down roots in the fabulous country of Australia. The book was first published in 1918 but that just proves how well it has stood the test of time.

By Norman Lindsay,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Magic Pudding - Being the Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and his friends Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff by Norman Lindsay.

The Magic Pudding: Being The Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and his friends Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff is an Australian children's book written and illustrated by Norman Lindsay. It is a comic fantasy, and a classic of Australian children's literature. The story is set in Australia with humans mixing with anthropomorphic animals. It tells of a magic pudding which, no matter how often it is eaten, always reforms in order to be eaten again. It is owned by three…

The Silver Brumby

By Elyne Mitchell,

Book cover of The Silver Brumby

Danielle Clode Author Of Killers In Eden: The True Story of Killer Whales and their Remarkable Partnership with the Whalers of Twofold Bay

From the list on Australian animals.

Who am I?

I’ve always had a passion for animals since I was nine years old and wrote my first ‘book’ on animals for a school library competition. I went on to study animal behavior at university and complete a doctorate in conservation biology and seabirds in the Scottish Outer Hebrides. I’ve worked in zoos and museums, written twelve books on animals as various as killer whales and koalas, extinct megafauna, and marine reptiles. Learning more about the natural world, the people who study it, and the importance of protecting it, has been the driving force behind all of my books and a joy to share with readers. 

Danielle's book list on Australian animals

Discover why each book is one of Danielle's favorite books.

Why did Danielle love this book?

A kid’s novel about wild horses (known as brumbies in Australia) might seem a strange choice for recommendations about Australian animals, but Elyne Mitchell’s The Silver Brumby was the first book I read that really captured the Australian landscape and its plants and animals. It was also one of the few books that told a story from the perspective of a wild animal without anthropomorphizing.

It’s a wonderfully evocative homage to the Australian alps and the creatures that live there and it reflects a lot of the dilemmas facing Australian conservation today. Wild horses, or brumbies, do a huge amount of environmental damage in Australia and yet a lot of people love them. In some ways, this book is symbolic of the difficult decisions we have to make to rectify some of the damage we have done, and continue to do, to our wildlife.

By Elyne Mitchell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The Silver Brumby took me cantering into the world's wilder places." - Geraldine McCaughrean

A silver brumby is a rare and special creature, prized both by other horses and by men...

A silver brumby is special, but he will be hunted by man and horse alike, and must be stronger than both.

Thowra, the magnificent silver stallion, becomes king of the brumbies. But he must defend his herd from the mighty horse, The Brolga, in the most savage of struggles.

That is not the only danger. Thowra needs all his speed and cunning to save his herd from capture by…

Lassie Come-Home

By Eric Knight, Marguerite Kirmse (illustrator),

Book cover of Lassie Come-Home

Jennifer Marshall Bleakley Author Of Finding Grace: The Inspiring True Story of Therapy Dogs Bringing Comfort, Hope, and Love to a Hurting World

From the list on making you fall in love with dogs all over again.

Who am I?

As a painfully shy child, I found friendship and ultimately my own voice reading about, and spending time with, animals—especially dogs. Dogs didn’t judge, didn’t expect anything from me, and I never had to worry about what to say to them. They gave me the gift of their presence and time to practice communication—gifts that ultimately led me to obtain a master’s degree in counseling and work as a children’s grief counselor. Thankfully I overcame my extreme shyness. And there is no denying the role that dogs—and books about dogs—have played in my life. I hope this list helps you find that same comfort and inspiration.

Jennifer's book list on making you fall in love with dogs all over again

Discover why each book is one of Jennifer's favorite books.

Why did Jennifer love this book?

Although it’s technically considered a children’s book, Lassie Come-Home is one of those special stories that crosses generations, cultures, and time periods.

As a child desperate for a dog, I loved imagining I had a dog as devoted as Lassie—and one as willing to traverse all manner of obstacles to come and find me should we ever become separated!

As an adult, I was struck by how much Lassie endured to find her way back to Joe, and how, even when presented with a comfortable life somewhere else, she chose to keep moving forward—back to the boy who held her heart.

By Eric Knight, Marguerite Kirmse (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Lassie Come-Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sold in financial desperation to a wealthy duke living in the far north of Scotland, a collie undertakes a 1000-mile journey in order to be reunited with her former master in Yorkshire.

Lena's Shoes Are Nervous

By Keith Calabrese, Juana Medina (illustrator),

Book cover of Lena's Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-Of-School Dilemma

Jennifer E. Morris Author Of Much Too Much Birthday (Maud the Koala)

From the list on worried or anxious children.

Who am I?

I am a children’s book creator and a parent. Raising an anxious child can be challenging. Events that many children find fun and exciting can be overwhelming and scary for your child. Seemingly small changes in their daily routine can throw some youngsters into a swirl of emotions that is upsetting to them and to those who love them. When I was searching for picture books to help the young worrier in my life, I looked for books that acknowledged their distressing feelings while giving them some strategies with which to cope with their overwhelming emotions. That premise became the theme of my Maud the Koala book series. 

Jennifer's book list on worried or anxious children

Discover why each book is one of Jennifer's favorite books.

Why did Jennifer love this book?

Lena isn’t worried about the first day of kindergarten - but her shoes are. In this clever story we see various parts of Lena’s wardrobe taking on various personalities, possibly mirroring parts of Lena’s own personality. Her outgoing blue dress is ready for a new adventure, her friendly headband wants everyone to work together, of course, her fearful footwear wants to stay home. But when Lena threatens to wear her slippers to school, will her shoes muster the courage to march forward? A creative and witty book about facing your fears.

By Keith Calabrese, Juana Medina (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Lena's Shoes Are Nervous as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the tradition of School’s First Day of School, debut author Keith Calabrese and Pura Belpré Award winner Juana Medina share a sweet, universal story about a clever little girl whose shoes are nervous about the first day of school.

Today is a big day! Today, Lena starts kindergarten. She is very excited. But there’s just one problem…

Lena’s shoes are nervous.

Lena doesn’t want to miss out on her first day of school, but she can’t go without her favorite shoes! How can she convince them to be brave?

The Mushroom Fan Club

By Elise Gravel,

Book cover of The Mushroom Fan Club

Wendy BooydeGraaff Author Of Salad Pie

From the list on playing outside.

Who am I?

I love the outdoors, and there are so many benefits to playing, imagining, and being outside. I grew up on a fruit farm in Southern Ontario, so I spent much of my growing years playing outdoors and enjoying the natural world. When I became a professional educator, I read the research about the very concrete benefits being outside every day has on young learners. Bring on the recess! Books have a way of sparking action. When we read about how someone else enjoys the outdoors, it makes us want to do the same. Books are inspiring.

Wendy's book list on playing outside

Discover why each book is one of Wendy's favorite books.

Why did Wendy love this book?

The Mushroom Fan Club is a quirky nonfiction book about hunting for mushrooms that will make you laugh! The mushrooms “look like aliens from outer space” and the illustrations prove it.  Facts, diagrams, and fun incidents the author has experienced with her children encourage the reader to try mushroom hunting. But even if you don’t want to hunt, mushroom by mushroom, Gravel will convince everyone that mushrooms are indeed very cool.

By Elise Gravel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mushroom Fan Club as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Elise Gravel is back with a whimsical look at one of her family s most beloved pastimes: mushroom hunting! Combining her love of exploring nature with her talent for anthropomorphizing everything, she takes us on a magical tour of the forest floor and examines a handful of her favorite alien specimens up close. While the beautiful coral mushroom looks like it belongs under the sea, the peculiar Lactarius indigo may be better suited for outer space. From the fun-to-stomp puffballs to the prince of the stinkers?the stinkhorn mushroom?and the musically inclined chanterelles, Gravel shares her knowledge of this fascinating kingdom…

Book cover of Ten Ever-Lovin' Blue Eyed Years With Pogo

Seymour Hamilton Author Of The Hippies Who Meant It

From the list on understanding 60’s back-to-the-land hippies.

Who am I?

I was a teenager in the up-tight, homophobic, misogynist 50s that today’s right wing-nuts would like to inflict on us again. Born in 1941, I was a few years older than friends and relatives who homesteaded where land was cheap and neighbours tolerant, I shared their abhorrence of the Vietnam War. I admired them for daring to reject “the system,” but I was also troubled by their lack of foresight, which so often led to calamity. A lifetime later, some survivors of those hopeful times remain where they homesteaded; and many of those who left are still pursuing love, peace, and happiness.

Seymour's book list on understanding 60’s back-to-the-land hippies

Discover why each book is one of Seymour's favorite books.

Why did Seymour love this book?

Walt Kelly’s tales of Pogo Possum and Albert the Alligator in the Okefenokee Swamp began in 1948. Like many daily cartoon strips it featured anthropomorphic characters. The humour was sweet, gentle, and “ridickelwockle,” letting Pogo fly under the radar of censorship until they noticed that Kelly was lampooning politicians. “Family” newspapers banned the strip, but Kelly had captured his readers’ hearts.

Walt Kelley expressed the essence of the anti-Vietnam War protest when he had Pogo say, “We have seen the enemy and he is us.”

By Walt Kelly,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ten Ever-Lovin' Blue Eyed Years With Pogo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The official history and commemoration of Pogo's first decade...all wrapped up with a running commentary by Walt Kelly."

Fantastic Mr. Fox

By Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (illustrator),

Book cover of Fantastic Mr. Fox

Lisa Selvidge Author Of The Magic Campervan, Book 1: The Forbidden Slide

From the list on reads for young kids to read with or without parents.

Who am I?

I'm a writer and a mother. Prior to the birth of my son, I wrote mainly fiction but fiction grounded in reality. As my son grew up, I wanted to write stories for him but as soon as I had written a crocodile story, he had already outgrown it. The years seven until eleven are a magical time for reading and perhaps the age group I enjoy writing for most. As a single, older mother I found the most engaging narratives for myself and my son (who is not a reader although loves being read to) were those that were grounded in reality, particularly the setting and with challenging as well as challenged characters.

Lisa's book list on reads for young kids to read with or without parents

Discover why each book is one of Lisa's favorite books.

Why did Lisa love this book?

An old-time favourite and, like Enid Blyton, a good link between picture and chapter books. It was one of my childhood favourites and one I have read to my son more than once. It is a story of the bullied overcoming the bullies and perhaps something that resonates with kids as the small foxes manage to outwit three rich men and their machines trying to dig them out. The fox characters are anthropomorphised and so outside of the ‘real’ and yet there is a strong sense of place, and although the characters of Boggis, Bunce, and Bean are exaggerated, they are recognisable and realistic.

By Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nobody outfoxes Fantastic Mr. Fox!

Someone's been stealing from the three meanest farmers around, and they know the identity of the thief-it's Fantastic Mr. Fox! Working alone they could never catch him; but now fat Boggis, squat Bunce, and skinny Bean have joined forces, and they have Mr. Fox and his family surrounded. What they don't know is that they're not dealing with just any fox-Mr. Fox would rather die than surrender. Only the most fantastic plan can save him now.