The best books about raccoons

2 authors have picked their favorite books about raccoon and why they recommend each book.

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Are You a Cheeseburger?

By Monica Arnaldo,

Book cover of Are You a Cheeseburger?

A heartwarming book with a hilarious premise. Grub, a raccoon, meets Seed (a seed) in the same garbage can one night. Grub, who’s been dreaming of finding one, asks Seed, “Are you a cheeseburger?” Seed is unsure and asks what a cheeseburger is. “Something very good and very special,” says Grub. Unsure, Seed replies, “We will just have to wait and see.” While they wait, Grub describes the 3 best cheeseburgers ever and Seed describes 3 wonderful worms. When Seed eventually sprouts, they celebrate: Grub plays banjo and Seed secretly wonders what will happen if she isn’t actually a cheeseburger. 

The illustrations of this book are simple and magical. Like me, you may find the ending to be “something very good and very special” too. 


Who am I?

I’m a semi-retired music teacher and grandmother of two. When my kids were little, we would devour books like they were delicious candy, reading our favourites over and over again. I still love reading out loud, using various inflections, accents, and voices for the different characters. I’ve read hundreds of children’s books and the ones I enjoy most have a great message, are fun to read out loud, and also make me laugh. And they must have beautiful, colourful illustrations! My first book is a spoken word piece from my WCMA-nominated CD, Too Much Work To Do. It’s been asking me to dream it into a book for years! 


I wrote...

Please Don't Go in the Dryer!

By Judy Lea, Anita Ho (illustrator),

Book cover of Please Don't Go in the Dryer!

What is my book about?

A young girl with an active imagination (shall we say “overactive”?) is worried about her very cute kitten who doesn’t listen and keeps getting into everything! With increasingly precarious (and comical) possible outcomes (stuck in the dryer, mistaken for socks, used as dental floss by the Sock Monster!), this is a highly entertaining spoken word piece with lots of repetition, and is perfect for early readers, ELL readers or anyone who loves to read out loud.

“Young readers (and their parents) will laugh out loud at this whimsical cautionary tale about a mischievous kitten and its overly imaginative owner. The delightful text and beautiful, hilarious illustrations will make this a “read it again!” favourite”.

Dewey Bob

By Judy Schachner,

Book cover of Dewey Bob

Dewey Bob is a cute raccoon who turns trash into treasure and is ostrazied by the other raccoons for being so neat and sweet. I identified with Dewey and his quiet, artistic, and dramatic qualities, and rejoiced at his finding the perfect friend at the end of the story. He is also finally accepted by the other animals, but Dewey already loves himself!


Who am I?

I’ve always identified as a weirdo and felt misunderstood, which led to lots of wasted time “trying to fit in.” As an adult, I’ve learned to love myself for exactly who I am, but it took a lot of work and self-reflecting. Looking back, I realize there were actually many kids who felt the same way as me and we just never managed to connect with each other! Finding people who “get you” is an important task—but I truly believe self-love and self-acceptance is the greatest goal for all humans. I hope my books speak to the “weirdos” and non-weirdos a like, and encourages all readers to love themselves just the way they are.


I wrote...

Jet the Cat (Is Not a Cat)

By Phaea Crede, Terry Runyan (illustrator),

Book cover of Jet the Cat (Is Not a Cat)

What is my book about?

Jet is not like any other cat. She loves to swim! But when other animals try to convince her that she’s really a bird or a frog or a goat, she learns to embrace her unique identity. This hilarious story teaches us to celebrate our differences.

The Kissing Hand

By Audrey Penn, Ruth E. Harper (illustrator), Nancy M. Leak (illustrator)

Book cover of The Kissing Hand

Going away from mommy and daddy to a new school can be especially difficult and scary for any child (and parent too). This sweet little book helped us with the pre-school transition by creating a new daily tradition. The simple gesture, illustrated by the cute little raccoons in the book, offers comfort to both mother and child and creates something they can look forward to in their daily routine. The story sweetly alleviates the separation anxiety, for both parent and child, that often accompanies starting school or being away from each other for any length of time.


Who am I?

It's a pleasure to share these books with other readers because they so elegantly convey love in a way for young readers to easily understand. They contain elements of reassurance that both children and parents need, especially during times of transition. I didn't comprehend how much love I could have for another person until the birth of my daughter. My love for her was so immense and all-consuming that it brought an unfathomable joy to my life. I read these books to her during transitional times as a way to articulate the infinite love I have for her. I hope they bring as much comfort and closeness to other readers as they have to us.


I wrote...

I Love You More

By Elizabeth Jorgensen, Hannah Jorgensen (illustrator),

Book cover of I Love You More

What is my book about?

Simply put, we are a book about vast love. We hope it brings joy and happiness to all who read it. The message resonates with young and old, child and parent, and anyone who has ever felt the pure joy of love.

Where the Red Fern Grows

By Wilson Rawls,

Book cover of Where the Red Fern Grows

I made the mistake of reading Where the Red Fern Grows in class during “quiet time” and had to crouch under a table so that nobody could see me cry. I cried so hard that my teacher eventually sent me out to the drinking fountain to pull myself together. I knew nothing about the Ozarks or the complexities of raccoon hunting, but I identified greatly with Billy, a boy who wanted puppies so much that he saved every dime for two years to pay for them. To this day I look for red ferns, which, according to the story, can only be planted by an angel! I’m recommending this book because it hits the reader squarely in his or her feelings, and that’s valuable.


Who am I?

I’m the eldest of seven children and didn’t grow up with pets because frankly, it was chaotic enough with that many people in the house. And yet I always had a penchant for looking at an animal and imagining what it was thinking to itself. I assumed that every creature had an inner life that was as colorful and varied as my own. Animal fables were as plausible to me as stories about humans. Now I love writing books with talking animals, because once your furry or feathery protagonist opens their mouth and starts talking, anything goes!


I wrote...

Otto P. Nudd

By Emily Butler,

Book cover of Otto P. Nudd

What is my book about?

Otto is the smartest bird around. "You’ve seen the best, now forget the rest,” is his motto. He spends his days swapping treasures with a girl named Pippa and inventing marvelous things with a scientist named Bartleby. But Otto’s most important job is keeping the local birds in line. After all, he’s the top bird.

Then Bartleby has a dreadful accident. Desperate to rescue the only father he has ever known, Otto raises the alarm! He tries to rally the neighborhood, but no one cares. The birds are sick and tired of following his orders. And Marla (a notorious squirrel) thwarts him at every turn. What’s the top bird supposed to do? Otto learns that to have a friend, you have to be a friend.

Sun and Moon

By Lindsey Yankey,

Book cover of Sun and Moon

Sun and Moon is a simple story. Moon is bored with the night sky and the darkness with nothing to see and suggests a swap for a day to Sun. Sun says any swap must be permanent and suggest Moon takes a closer look at the world at night before making a decision. Moon is amazed by the things he sees, the colors, the people and animals, and night activities. The luminous illustrations are quite exquisite, and they are the reason I have chosen this book. They are very detailed and slanted so we view them as through the moon. Children wear quaint old-fashioned clothes. We see them flying through magical dreams. We see scampering raccoons and fireflies gleaming like stars. By the end of the book we are as entranced as the moon is.


Who am I?

I'm a British writer of children’s books and poetry. The books I've chosen are picture books with vibrant illustrations, instantly pulling the reader into the story. The fascination children have with the sky, the planets, and stars, I discovered with my own children, and now my grandchildren, who gaze, star-struck, at the moon through the windows and doorways. As an ex-teacher I've found that books with a story will appeal to children who are discovering cultures other than their own. There are many picture books with sun and moon stories like the one in Chandra’s Magic Light, and I've chosen those I find particularly appealing, as a mother, grandmother, and teacher.


I wrote...

Chandra's Magic Light: A Story in Nepal

By Theresa Heine, Judith Gueyfier (illustrator),

Book cover of Chandra's Magic Light: A Story in Nepal

What is my book about?

Chandra knows the magic of a solar lamp, a tuki, will light her family’s home high in the Himalayas and help her brother breathe easily at night. But how can she earn enough money to buy one?

The story is about solar energy, but it is also about a family who cares for each other. Life in a Himalayan village is evoked with luminous illustrations. In lush colors of a dream-like quality, Deena tells Chandra the story of Chandra the Hindu Moon God, and Surya the Sun God. There are back notes on life in Nepal making the book a useful addition to the school library as well as being an engaging story.

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night

By Joyce Sidman, Rick Allen (illustrator),

Book cover of Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night

If you wonder why Joyce Sidman is considered one of the preeminent children’s poets of our time, this Newbury Award-winning book should be all you need. From bats and crickets to moths and salamanders – and yes, even the Dark Emperor himself, the great horned owl – Joyce utilizes powerful imagery, delicate wordplay, and a poet’s insight to bring these mysterious creatures out of the dark and into our homes.

From formal rhyme structures to free verse, Joyce combines magnificent poetry with nonfiction sidebars to create a perfect book that enlightens, enthralls, and educates.


Who am I?

Ever since my parents gave me a copy of Dorothy Aldis’ The Secret Place and Other Poems, I have enjoyed a lifelong love of poetry. Now, as a traditionally-published children’s author, I have had numerous books and poems published over the years, including books that began as poems, like Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) and Once Upon Another Time (Beaming Books, 2021). My poems can be found in various anthologies including The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry (N.G. Children’s Books, 2015) and Construction People (Wordsong, 2020) as well as Highlights for Children magazine.


I wrote...

Once Upon Another Time

By Charles Ghigna, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Andrés F. Landazábal (illustrator)

Book cover of Once Upon Another Time

What is my book about?

"Once upon another time, the world was young and new. If you want to know this world, there's something you can do..." With sweeping landscapes and up-close details of the natural world, “Once Upon Another Time” takes readers through a lyrical exploration of the world as it was before humans made their mark. Contrasting the past with the present, this expansive picture book serves as an invitation for children – and all people – to appreciate, explore, and protect this planet we call home.

Written by award-winning authors Charles Ghigna and Matt Forrest Esenwine, and illustrated by Andres F. Landazabal, Once Upon Another Time is a stunning portrait of a world that used to exist, and can still be found – if you just know where to look.

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