Animal Stories

There aren't too many kids who don't like animals, which makes stories about them a great way to communicate truths about human nature to young readers. All kinds of animal stories have been written, and a lot of them are just about animals doing animal-y things, but some of the best aren't really about animals at all.

The Wind in the Willows, for instance—sure, Ratty and Mole have whiskers, and Badger is as grumpy as any badger whose hole does not include a well-stocked library, but they're essentially human characters with human emotions and human ambitions who grow the way humans ought. Even Mr. Toad is no more animal than Oliver Twist or Laura Ingalls.

Okay, you might say, but that's not really an animal story, then. What about Black Beauty? or Bambi? They're written from the perspective of real animals who don't talk (at least, not to people) or wear clothes or eat buttered toast; how can they be about human nature?

In the case of Black Beauty, the horse narrator has a surprisingly firm grasp of human emotion, and understands the behavior of her owners to an extent many homo sapiens would not. As for Bambi, while he acts like a real deer, he's also sentient and able to have relationships with his fellow forest animals that closely resemble those enjoyed by members of the human race.

Another kind of animal story is really about people, and simply uses animals as the hook, or as a foil for the humans in the story. The Black Stallion or Billy and Blaze books, for instance, are more about the boy heroes than the horses, though the bond between animal and rider is also explored. Jim Kjelgaard's dog stories are similar, chronicling the adventures of boys with their beloved dogs.

As with any genre, animal stories should be read primarily to be enjoyed. It is only then that the deep wisdom found in the best of them can speak to us as readers, can open up our minds and hearts to see more than just furry or scaly creatures do things they may or may not do in the real world. Besides, who's to say there isn't a talking monkey or cat somewhere in the real world? As far as books are part of the real world, there are plenty such animals, and plenty of opportunities to meet and be changed by them.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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"Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!"
by Patricia Thomas
from HarperCollins
for Nursery-1st grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$16.99
101 Dalmatians
by Dodie Smith
Reissue from Puffin Books
for 3rd-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$7.99
329th Friend
from Four Winds Press
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
ABC Bunny
by Wanda Gág
from University of Minnesota
Word Books for 1st-3rd grade
1934 Newbery Honor Book
in Alphabet & Counting Books (Location: PIC-ALPH)
Abel's Island
by William Steig
from Square Fish Publishing
Animal Fantasy for 3rd-5th grade
1977 Newbery Honor Book
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$7.99
Ace, the Very Important Pig
by Dick King-Smith
from Yearling
for 3rd-5th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$6.99
Adventures of Bob White
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #23
by Thornton W. Burgess
Illustrated from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$5.00
Adventures of Bobby Raccoon
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #21
by Thornton W. Burgess
New edition from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$3.50
Adventures of Buster Bear
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #15
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$4.00
Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #13
by Thornton W. Burgess
Revised ed. from Dover Publications
for 3rd-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$4.00
Adventures of Danny Meadow Mouse
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #11
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$4.00
Adventures of Grandfather Frog
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #12
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$4.00
Adventures of Happy Jack
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #25
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 1st-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$6.00
Adventures of Jerry Muskrat
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #10
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$4.00
Adventures of Jimmy Skunk
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #22
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$4.00
Adventures of Jimmy Skunk
by Thornton W. Burgess, illustrated by Harrison Cady
1920 Printing from Little, Brown & Company
for 2nd-4th grade
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
$16.00 (1 in stock)
Adventures of Johnny Chuck
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #6
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 1st-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$5.00
Adventures of Mr. Mocker
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #9
by Thornton W. Burgess
Illustrated from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$4.00
Adventures of Old Man Coyote
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #18
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$5.00
Adventures of Old Mr. Buzzard
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$4.00
Adventures of Old Mr. Toad
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #16
by Thornton W. Burgess
Revised ed. from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$3.00
Adventures of Paddy the Beaver
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #19
by Thornton W. Burgess
Unabridged from Dover Publications
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$4.00
Adventures of Peter Cottontail
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #7
by Thornton W. Burgess
Reprint from Dover Publications
for 3rd-5th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$4.00
Adventures of Poor Mrs. Quack
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #20
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$4.00
Adventures of Prickly Porky
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #17
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$3.00
Adventures of Reddy Fox
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #5
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
Animal Stories: Fantasy for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$4.00 $2.50 (1 in stock)
Adventures of Sammy Jay
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #14
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$4.00
Adventures of Unc' Billy Possum
Thornton Burgess Peter Cottontail Books #8
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 1st-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$5.00
Aesop's Fables
Illustrated Junior Library Series 4
by Aesop, illustrated by Fritz Kredel
from Grosset & Dunlap
Fables for 2nd-6th grade
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop, illustrated by Michael Hague
from Henry Holt and Company
Fairy Tales, Fables, and Legends for 1st-5th grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop, edited by Ann McGovern
from Scholastic Inc.
for Nursery-2nd grade
$2.50 (3 in stock)
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop, illustrated by Randolph Caldecott, Arthur Rackham, Walter Crane, and Alexander Calder
from Chronicle Books
for 1st-5th grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Aesop's Fables
Illustrated Junior Library Series 2
by Aesop, illustrated by Fritz Kredel
from Grosset & Dunlap
for Nursery-2nd grade
in Illustrated Junior Library (Location: VIN-IJL)
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop, illustrated by Arthur Rackham
from Avenel Books
for Nursery-2nd grade
$8.00 (2 in stock)
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop, retold & illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
1st Ed. from Chronicle Books
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$19.99
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop
from Wordsworth Classics
for Nursery-2nd grade
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop, illustrated by Heidi Holder
1st edition from Viking Press
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.50 (2 in stock)
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop, illustrated by Charles Santore
1988 ed from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Oversized Picture Books (Location: PIC-OVER)
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop, Isaac Bashevis Singer
from International Collectors Library
for 6th-10th grade
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
Aesop's Fables
Puffin Classics
by Aesop
Reprint from Puffin Books
Myths, Fairy Tales & Folklore for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Puffin Classics (Location: FIC-PUF)
$7.99
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop, illustrated by Harry Rountree
from Gallery Books
for 3rd-9th grade
$14.00 (1 in stock)
Aesop's Fables
Illustrated Junior Library Series 3
by Aesop, illustrated by Fritz Kredel
from Grosset & Dunlap
Fables for 2nd-6th grade
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop, Illustrated by Walt Sturrock
from Unicorn Publishing House
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop, illustrated by Arthur Rackham
from Macmillan
Fairy Tales, Fables, and Legends for 1st-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: LIT1-ANC)
$14.99
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop, illustrated by Michael Hague
from Henry Holt and Company
Fairy Tales, Fables, and Legends for 1st-5th grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop, retold by Anne Terry White, illustrated by Helen Siegl
from California State Department of Education
for 2nd-4th grade
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
Aesop's Fables for Children
by Aesop, illustrated by Milo Winter
Pap/Com from Dover Publications
for 2nd-5th grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$14.99
Afraid to Ride
by C. W. Anderson
from Scholastic Book Services
for 2nd-4th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$1.50 (2 in stock)
Akiak
by Robert J. Blake
from Scholastic Inc.
for Preschool-3rd Grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Akiak: A Tale From the Iditarod
by Robert J. Blake
Reprint from Puffin Books
for 1st-3rd grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
Album of Dogs
by Marguerite Henry, illustrated by Wesley Dennis
from Rand McNally
for 2nd-5th grade
in Vintage & Collectible (Location: VIN-COL)
Album of Horses
by Marguerite Henry
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Realistic Animal Stories for 3rd-7th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$16.99
Album of Horses
by Marguerite Henry
from Scholastic Inc.
Realistic Animal Stories for 3rd-7th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
Album of Horses
by Marguerite Henry, illustrated by Wesley Dennis
from Rand McNally
Realistic Animal Stories for 3rd-7th grade
in Vintage Nonfiction (Location: VIN-NFIC)
Album of Horses
by Marguerite Henry
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Realistic Animal Stories for 3rd-7th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$19.99 $12.00 (1 in stock)
Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse
by Leo Lionni
Reissue from Dragonfly Books
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
1970 Caldecott Honor Book
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.99
Alexander, the Old Town Mouse
by Peter W. Barnes and Cheryl Shaw Barnes
from VSP Books
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
All Creatures Great and Small
James Herriot Series Book 1
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
Realistic Fiction for 7th-Adult
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$18.00
All the Mowgli Stories
Junior Deluxe Editions
by Rudyard Kipling, illustrated by Richard M. Powers
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
All Things Bright and Beautiful
James Herriot Series Book 2
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
Realistic Fiction for 8th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
All Things Bright and Beautiful
James Herriot Series Book 2
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
Realistic Fiction for 7th-12th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$18.00
All Things Wise and Wonderful
James Herriot Series Book 3
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
Realistic Fiction for 7th-Adult
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$17.99
Almost All-White Rabbity Cat
by Meindert DeJong; illustrated by Herman B. Vestal
from Inheritance Publications
for 3rd-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$11.95
Along Came a Dog
by Meindert DeJong & Maurice Sendak
from Inheritance Publications
Realistic Animal Fiction for 4th-8th grade
1959 Newbery Honor Book
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$15.95
Among the Farmyard People
by Clara Dillingham Pierson
from Yesterday's Classics
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Living Science (Location: SCI-CMLS)
$10.95
Among the Farmyard People
by Clara Dillingham Pierson
from Living Book Press
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Living Science (Location: SCI-CMLS)
$13.99
Among the Forest People
by Clara Dillingham Pierson
from Yesterday's Classics
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Living Science (Location: SCI-CMLS)
$10.95
Among the Forest People
by Clara Dillingham Pierson
from Living Book Press
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Living Science (Location: SCI-CMLS)
$11.99
Among the Meadow People
by Clara Dillingham Pierson
from Yesterday's Classics
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Living Science (Location: SCI-CMLS)
$10.95
Among the Meadow People
by Clara Dillingham Pierson
from Living Book Press
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Living Science (Location: SCI-CMLS)
$10.99
Among the Night People
by Clara Dillingham Pierson
from Yesterday's Classics
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Living Science (Location: SCI-CMLS)
$10.95
Among the Night People
by Clara Dillingham Pierson
from Living Book Press
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Living Science (Location: SCI-CMLS)
$11.99
Among the Pond People
by Clara Dillingham Pierson
from Yesterday's Classics
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Living Science (Location: SCI-CMLS)
$10.95
Among the Pond People
by Clara Dillingham Pierson
from Living Book Press
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Living Science (Location: SCI-CMLS)
$11.99
Amos and Boris
by William Steig
from Square Fish Publishing
Animal Fantasy for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.99
Anansi and the Moss-covered Rock
by Eric A. Kimmel
Reprint from Holiday House
for Preschool-1st grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Anatole and the Cat
by Eve Titus, illustrated by Paul Galdone
Reprint from Dragonfly Books
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
1958 Caldecott Honor Book
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.99
Angel Knew Papa and the Dog
by Douglas Kaine McKelvey
from Rabbit Room Press
for 2nd-4th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$12.99
Angelina and Alice
by Katharine Holabird
1st edition from Clarkson Potter Publishers
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Angelina's Baby Sister
by Katharine Holabird; illustrated by Helen Craig
1st edition from Clarkson Potter Publishers
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Angelina's Birthday
by Katharine Holabird; illustrated by Helen Craig
First Edition from Pleasant Company Publications, Inc.
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Angus Lost
by Marjorie Flack
from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Animal Realistic for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.99
Animal Family
by Randall Jarrell
Reprint from HarperTrophy
for 3rd-6th grade
1966 Newbery Honor Book
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Animal Heroes
by Ernest Lloyd
from Pacific Press
for 2nd-4th grade
in Vintage Nonfiction (Location: VIN-NFIC)
$4.80 (1 in stock)
Animal Orchestra
by Ilo Orleans
1st edition from Golden Books
for Preschool-1st grade
in Little Golden Books (Location: PIC-GOLD)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Animal Stories
by Joel Chandler Harris, illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
from Junior Deluxe Editions
for 2nd-8th grade
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
Animal Stories
by Edited by Walter de la Mare
from Charles Scribner's Sons
for 3rd-8th grade
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
Animal Story Book
Young Folks Library
from Auxiliary Educational League
for 3rd-5th grade
in Vintage Anthology Collections (Location: VIN-ANTH)
Annotated Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Another Celebrated Dancing Bear
by Gladys Scheffrin-Falk & Barbara Garrison (illusttrator)
from Purple House Press
for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$19.95
Ant and the Elephant
by Bill Peet
from Sandpiper Books
Animal Fantasy for Preschool-4th grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$9.99
Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes
Book 22
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-1st grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$3.50 (1 in stock)
Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes
Book 22
by Beatrix Potter
from Frederick Warne & Company
for Nursery-1st grade
in Peter Rabbit & Friends (Location: FIC-PETER)
$7.99
April's Kittens
by Clare Turlay Newberry
from Harper & Brothers
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
1941 Caldecott Honor Book
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Archer's Cup
by S. D. Smith
from Story Warren Books
for 3rd-6th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$12.95
Armadillo from Amarillo
by Lynne Cherry
Reprint from Sandpiper Books
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$2.50 (1 in stock)
Armadillo Rodeo
by Jan Brett
from Scholastic Press
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$4.00 (2 in stock)
Armstrong
by Torben Kuhlmann, Translated by David Henry Wilson
from NorthSouth
for 2nd-6th grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$19.95
Arthur's Honey Bear
An I Can Read Book Level 2
by Lillian Hoban
from HarperCollins
Animal Fantasy for Preschool-3rd grade
in I Can Read Books (Location: EAR-ICR)
$4.99
Ask Mr. Bear
by Marjorie Flack
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for Kindergarten-1st grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.99
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