10 books directly related to talking animals 📚

All 10 talking animal books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

Book cover of An Alien's Guide to World Domination

Why this book?

This book is unlike anything I have ever read before. I love that it is quirky and bizarre, yet meaningful and relatable at the same time. Elizabeth Fountain puts a piece of her soul into her characters, which is what makes this story memorable. Having grown up with schnauzers as pets, I especially love that she gives a schnauzer some of the best lines in the book. Talking dogs, vivid characters, aliens that resemble snot, and a world in peril – what more could you ask for?

An Alien's Guide to World Domination

By Elizabeth Fountain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Alien's Guide to World Domination as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Louise Armstrong Holliday is the last person on Earth you’d expect to save the human race. But when she uncovers proof that her boss is an alien the color of lime jelly gone horribly wrong, and is at the center of a plot to destroy humanity, Louie decides to do exactly that. She begins a journey from her company’s suburban Seattle office park to the old cities and castles of Eastern Europe. Along the way, Louie is attacked by flying books, overly-sensitive bat-crow monsters, and her own self-doubts. She must learn the truth about her closest friend, stand up to…

The Unicorn Sonata

By Peter S. Beagle,

Book cover of The Unicorn Sonata

Why this book?

Peter Beagle is best known for his fantasy novel, The Last Unicorn, but other than featuring unicorns, this book is unrelated. It’s a beautiful story about thirteen-year-old Josephina Rivera. Her parents don’t have time for her, so she hangs out at a music store, where she is drawn to the music played by a mysterious young boy. This soon leads her across a magical border into a land peopled by unicorns, fauns, and other magical creatures. But the story is about more than mythic animals; it’s a poignant, inspiring tale about life, sacrifice, and the love between a girl and her grandmother. Don’t expect a children’s book. Though kids might like it, one has to have lived a while to fully appreciate it. 

The Unicorn Sonata

By Peter S. Beagle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A tomboy misfit and born musician, thirteen-year-old Josephine "Joey" Rivera encounters a mysterious young man named Indigo who changes her life, playing ghostly, haunting music that she follows down an ordinary street into the magical world of Shei'rah.

The Chronicles of Narnia

By C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (illustrator),

Book cover of The Chronicles of Narnia

Why this book?

This is such a beloved classic for so many reasons, but the one that stands out the most is the ingenious mingling of fantasy and reality. How quite literally, a set of siblings are transported to another time, with other creatures and languages, another world. I love how, from the beginning, we watch and grow along with the characters. It is a treasure we do not always get with a single novel. It is why this series leaves a lasting imprint on the hearts of readers through generations. 

The Chronicles of Narnia

By C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Chronicles of Narnia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Don’t miss one of America’s top 100 most-loved novels, selected by PBS’s The Great American Read.

Experience all seven tales of C. S. Lewis's classic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia, in one impressive paperback volume!

Epic battles between good and evil, fantastic creatures, betrayals, heroic deeds, and friendships won and lost all come together in this unforgettable world, which has been enchanting readers of all ages for over sixty years.

This edition presents the seven books—The Magician's Nephew; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; The Horse and His Boy; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The…


Bambi: A Life in the Woods

By Felix Salten, Richard Cowdrey (illustrator),

Book cover of Bambi: A Life in the Woods

Why this book?

I remember the first time someone told me to read this book, and I replied, “Bambi? Really? No thank you.” I, of course, had only known the Disney-ized version of the story. I assumed it was a book for toddlers, with cute little bunny rabbits and birds singing in the trees. I was very wrong. It is a profound coming-of-age story dealing with family, love, parents, adulthood, loss, intolerance, death, betrayal, and the horrors which humans can inflict on both the environment and each other. It was banned and burned in Germany in 1936 as it was seen as a political allegory of the Nazi Party. A powerful book, and, unfortunately, still a very timely one. 

Bambi: A Life in the Woods

By Felix Salten, Richard Cowdrey (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Immerse yourself in a young deer's world in this resplendent, collectible edition of the richly imagined and vividly illustrated masterpiece that inspired the beloved Disney film.

Bambi lives in a thicket in the forest. From his kind and caring mother, to all the friends he makes among the forest's inhabitants, to his twin cousins Faline and Gobo, he is surrounded by animals who wish him well. But there are dangers within and surrounding the forest, and all too soon they will make themselves known.

A beautifully written and critically acclaimed classic that has been translated into more than twenty languages…

St. Patrick's Gargoyle

By Katherine Kurtz,

Book cover of St. Patrick's Gargoyle

Why this book?

Wonderful, fast-paced urban fantasy set in Dublin, Ireland. Gargoyles are former avenging angels who now watch over churches – that hook was simply irresistible to me. When some artifacts go missing from his cathedral, it’s up to the gargoyle Padraig and an elderly Knight of Malta (whose modern-day steed is a Rolls Royce) to find the sinister culprit and set things aright. The charming descriptions of Dublin, along with the witty banter of the heroes and the interesting nuggets of Celtic lore made me wish Kurtz had written a whole series of Gargoyle books. Sadly, she did not. Trigger assurance: the religious aspects are carefully handled so as to enhance the atmosphere of the story, not to insult or preach. St. Patrick’s Gargoyle is 200 of the fastest pages I have ever read.

St. Patrick's Gargoyle

By Katherine Kurtz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked St. Patrick's Gargoyle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When vandals break into St. Patrick's Cathedral, a gargoyle named Paddy takes to the streets of Dublin in search of revenge-but nothing could have prepared him for the evil that descends when he finds it.

"[Kurtz] wraps plenty of Dublin sights, fascinating bits of Catholic history, much ecumenical Christian goodwill, a cast of endearing characters, amusing dialogue and just enough thrills into a charming package of a tale." (Booklist, starred review)

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

By Patricia A. McKillip,

Book cover of The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

Why this book?

How should I describe the voice of Patricia McKillip? Her words are meticulously chosen to show an opulent and fantastical world. I have sometimes tried to imitate her, but I just can't keep it up for long.  

In this stand-alone novel, the witch Sybel lives alone on Eld Mountain. She has inherited or captured and tamed a handful of incredible, magical beasts. These are all the company she needs, until she is asked to care for a king's lost heir. Soon she is no longer able to remain aloof from the world. 

In subsequent readings, I've been struck by Sybel's frustration that people won't leave her out of their drama. They think she owes them her time and attention. Can't we all relate to that?

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

By Patricia A. McKillip,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Forgotten Beasts of Eld as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

World Fantasy Award-Winner
Newly available in print and e-book editions

"Rich and regal."
―The New York Times

Young Sybel, the heiress of powerful wizards, needs the company of no-one outside her gates. In her exquisite stone mansion, she is attended by exotic, magical beasts: Riddle-master Cyrin the boar; the treasure-starved dragon Gyld; Gules the Lyon, tawny master of the Southern Deserts; Ter, the fiercely vengeful falcon; Moriah, feline Lady of the Night. Sybel only lacks the exquisite and mysterious Liralen, which continues to elude her most powerful enchantments.

But when a soldier bearing an infant arrives, Sybel discovers that the…

Hiero's Journey

By Sterling E. Lanier,

Book cover of Hiero's Journey

Why this book?

Technically, though it has a fantasy feel, this is a post-apocalyptic science fiction story concerning Per Hiero Desteen, a sort of Knight’s Templar dedicated to recovering the knowledge lost after a nuclear holocaust. Hiero fights antilife telepaths and mutated monsters in a journey to discover a lost, ancient secret in time to save humanity from destruction. Fun stuff, but the charm of the book lies in his telepathic mount, Klootz, a bull morse (think of a giant moose), and Gorm, a telepathic bear who joins him on his mission. Long after you’ve forgotten the battles, the charm of the animals remains.

Hiero's Journey

By Sterling E. Lanier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Per Hiero Desteen was a priest, a telepath -- and a highly trained killer. Together with his great riding moose and the young bear who was his friend, he was on an extraordinary mission. For this was five thousand years after the holocaust known as The Death. Now the evil Brotherhood of the Unclean was waging all-out war against the few remnants of normal humanity, determined to wipe out all traces of its emerging civilization. Hiero's task was to bring back a lost secret of the ancients that might save the humans. But his path lay through the very heart…

The Last Unicorn

By Peter S. Beagle,

Book cover of The Last Unicorn

Why this book?

I loved this book so much, I pay homage to it in my own book, adopting the unicorn character, Amalthea, that Radia rides in the story.

Like Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Peter S. Beagle conjures a myth that seems to have originated from deep within our subconscious memories. But this is no plodding pseudo-history, no world-building treatise like so many fantasy writers strive to write these days. Thankfully, Beagle delivers fairy-tale storytelling in its purest form. The Last Unicorn brims with magic and adventure and heroics, but it’s also a kind of meta-fiction. Like The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story, the characters are aware of their fictional roles. Yet, The Last Unicorn is much more subtle in breaking the fourth wall. Powerfully moving and bitter-sweet, Beagle’s fable shows us why unicorns, and other mythic icons, resonate with us so profoundly.

The Last Unicorn

By Peter S. Beagle,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Last Unicorn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

INCLUDES A NEW INTRODUCTION BY PATRICK ROTHFUSS

Experience one of the most enduring classics of the twentieth century and the book that The Atlantic has called “one of the best fantasy novels ever.”

The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone...

...so she ventured out from the safety of the enchanted forest on a quest for others of her kind. Joined along the way by the bumbling magician Schmendrick and the indomitable Molly Grue, the unicorn learns all about the joys and sorrows of life and love before meeting her destiny in the castle of a…

Coo

By Kaela Noel,

Book cover of Coo

Why this book?

Coo’s journey covers only a few city blocks but is long in emotional impact. At age 11, she enters the world of humans for the first time, having been raised by pigeons on a roof. A second, longer journey follows but to define it would spoil the surprise. The human-animal communication in the story will be considered fantastical by some, but others will believe it entirely possible that a child who has only known pigeons would speak their language. Coo touched my heart and gave me a new appreciation for these oft-maligned birds!

Coo

By Kaela Noel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“An unforgettable story of friendship, love, and finding your flock.” —Erin Entrada Kelly, Newbery Medal-winning author of Hello, Universe

In this exceptional debut, one young girl’s determination to save the flock she calls family creates a lasting impact on her community and in her heart. Gorgeous and literary, this is an unforgettable animal story about friendship, family, home, and belonging. For readers who love books by Kate DiCamillo and Katherine Applegate.

Ten years ago, an impossible thing happened: a flock of pigeons picked up a human baby who had been abandoned in an empty lot and carried her, bundled in…


Book cover of Kaz the Minotaur: Heroes, Volume Four

Why this book?

When you’re in the mood for pure adventure-driven fantasy with a noble, troubled hero beleaguered on all sides, this is the one to pick up. Going back to when I first read about Theseus in grammar school and all the way through my Dungeons & Dragons years, I have always thought that minotaurs were cool and full of untapped potential. Herein lies the tale that proves I was right. It will evolve your feeling about minotaurs from mindless beasts in the labyrinth to courageous knights of quality and mettle. Don’t worry about the massive scope of the Dragon Lance Chronicles, this one can be read on its own.

Kaz the Minotaur: Heroes, Volume Four

By Richard A. Knaak,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The fourth in a series of recovers of classic Dragonlance novel tales.

This attractive new re-release of Kaz the Minotaur showcases a new look for the Heroes series. The title character was introduced by the author in The Legend of Huma, the first novel in this series. Each title in the series will reflect the new series design and feature entirely new cover art.