Most preschoolers have an intense interest in pets and animals, in general. They often ask their parents for pets, enjoy having a class pet, and ask to pet animals when encountered in public. So, reading stories is the perfect way to introduce young kids to what it means to have a pet and what it looks like to care for a pet.
We found some great books about pets for preschoolers so you don’t have to go far to find the right book for your child. Whether you’re considering a pet, want to teach your child(ren) about pets, or just need an entertaining book, you’ll find all of these on our list.
Great Pet Books for Preschoolers
If you love rhyming books, this will be a hit! What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss features his typical rhyming and imagination. This is an excellent way to introduce a host of pets to your child. It opens the discussion to the differences in each. Dr. Seuss even puts in some pretend pets to keep kids thinking about the benefits and challenges each pet can bring.
In this story, a brother and a sister are sent to the pet store to pick out one pet. It seems easy at first until they discover how many great choices there are! How can they choose just one pet from all the cute animals they encounter? The illustrations are fun and engaging, and the book will get kids thinking about what pet THEY would get. Grab this book today to add to your library!
Who knew there were so many types of pets? This book gives kids an overview of a large variety of pets from horses to chinchillas and dogs to chickens and everything in between. It also discusses qualities pets might have. Kids can read along and see which qualities they want their pet to have, too. There’s even a picture that tells what kinds of animals are featured in the story at the end.
This book introduces kids to many pets and can be an opening to figuring out what kind of pet you want for your home or classroom. It also uses many adjectives that are associated with pets to increase a preschooler’s vocabulary. If your child(ren) has a pet, read this book and then ask, “What is your pet like?” Some Pets by Angela DiTerlizzi is a quick, easy read for any time use or animal or pet units. And kids will get to meet some pets they may never have heard of, too.
Pets are our friends and in this story, we meet a boy and his tiny elephant friend/pet. Who knew a tiny elephant could be a pet? The boy helps his elephant when it’s scared and takes great care of it. Then, they get invited to a pet club but when they arrive, the sign on the door says, “Strictly No Elephants!” The pair leave, sad and feeling down until they meet a girl with a skunk.
The two people and their pets have an idea to make everyone feel included. Find out what they decide to do in Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev. This heartwarming tale reminds preschoolers of how friends act and how it feels to not be included. The illustrations are so cute and young kids will love seeing the non-traditional pets featured. Be careful, or you might just end up with your tiny elephant.
Kids and pets are a great combination. But they may not always know how to behave with one another. This cute book explores what pets might say if they could talk. They might tell you to scratch or pet them, but also, that tails are NOT for pulling.
Tails Are Not For Pulling by Elizabeth Verdick teaches preschoolers how to behave with pets and what their pets are trying to tell them. This creates a safer environment for both your child and your pet. You can use this book to introduce personal boundaries, pet care, or just as a fun read-aloud. There’s also a helpful guide in the back to help parents and caregivers teach proper pet etiquette to their children.
Pigeon is an endearing character that kids will fall in love with. Pigeon wants a puppy very much and has some plans on how to take care of it. But the plans don’t quite match up to the correct way to care for a puppy. Kids will laugh along with his crazy ideas which can prompt them to consider what a puppy needs.
The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems has simple, fun illustrations and few words to each page. But the words get kids thinking and seeing that maybe there’s more to a pet than they think. Use this as an introduction to getting a puppy or just to add to your library. Kids and adults alike will love this book.
When a boy gets a goldfish as a pet, all he can think is not Norman. He’d choose any other pet. Who wants a boring goldfish you can’t pet or play with? He decides to take his fish back to the pet store and get another pet. But before he can, Norman the goldfish shows his personality, making the boy reconsider.
Will he choose to keep Norman or give up his fish for another more fun pet? Watch the boy find out all the special qualities his fish has and why he’s not as bad as he thought. This book helps kids see why a fish is a great option for a pet even though you can’t pet or play with them. Not Norman: A Goldfish Story by Kelly Bennett will entertain kids with colorful, vibrant pictures and a story of how a boy comes to love his fish pet.
This fun tale about a little girl who buys a unicorn from an ad for 25 cents and gets something unexpected is sure to entertain preschoolers. Kids will love following along as Lucy learns about this mischievous creature that isn’t quite what she had hoped for or expected.
A Unicorn Named Sparkle by Amy Young will help kids understand that while you may not always get what you expect in a pet, you may just learn to love your pet’s quirkiness. Young kids will love Sparkle and the trouble he gets into while they watch Lucy learn about her new pet. This book helps kids understand that you can’t always anticipate how a new pet will behave but doesn’t have to be bad. Get this book as a fun introduction before you get a new pet to help young kids prepare and be ready to adjust to the pet’s personality.
Alex really, REALLY wants to have his friend’s pet iguana when his friend moves away. So he writes his mom a letter to convince her. Preschoolers will follow along as Mom and Alex discuss the challenges through a series of letters back and forth. Mom does not want an iguana but Alex is determined. Who will win this battle? Read I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff to find out.
This story will help kids see the obstacles that they might encounter in a pet. It also discusses the basics of caring for an iguana. Young kids will relate to the desire to have a pet all their own and the hilarious pictures will have them laughing as both parties imagine the exploits of adding one to their household. You can use this to discuss the details that come along with getting a pet or just to entertain your kiddo(s). Either way, this fun story will delight readers of all ages.
Lola wants a cat and checks out a book from the library to find out more about how to take care of one. After reading and practicing, Mommy and Lola head out to adopt a kitty. The man at the shelter tells them how to prepare for their new family member and what to expect when they bring the kitty home.
Lola Gets a Cat by Anna McQuinn gives kids a realistic expectation of what it’s like to bring a new cat into your home. With excellent tips and tricks for taking things slow, this will set both your preschooler and your new addition at ease and help them get to know one another slowly. This is a great introduction to getting a cat of your own to help preschoolers know what to expect and how to act around their new pet.
This is the ultimate book about pets. This non-fiction book discusses what a pet is and isn’t, as well as has chapters specific to certain animals like dogs, cats, other furry friends, and friends with scales and feathers. Each chapter discusses how to care for and play with that type of animal to get kids ready for choosing and caring for their own pet.
There’s a parent tips section, glossary and resources included to help with adults too. Whether you get this book to help your child choose a pet, understand pets, or just learn about animals, The Little Kids First Big Book of Pets by Catherine Hughes won’t disappoint. You’ll get everything you need to prepare for your new pet in this great book.
Pets are a huge interest and joy to preschoolers. Kids love hearing stories about different pets and imagining the pets they might get or already have. Reading books about pets to kids helps entertain them and gives them a better understanding of what having a pet might entail.
Even if you’re not ready to get a pet, reading stories is still a fun way to hear about various pets. The books on our list are excellent options if you need pet stories for your preschooler(s). We hope you enjoy the books we’ve featured. Thanks for stopping by!