Top 15 Best Animal Story Books For Toddlers

8 min read

Written by Smita Srivastava

Smita Srivastava

animal story books for toddlers

Animal story books for toddlers are a great way to introduce them to the wonderful world of animals. These books entertain and engage them and provide numerous educational benefits. It helps improve vocabulary, increases the attention span, creates social and emotional connections, and develops a love for reading and books.

The best part about these books is that they are full of pictures which attract the toddlers with their vibrant colors. Animal books for toddlers are fun and educative. If read along with actions and sound effects, they prove to be very entertaining for the little ones. In this article, we will list out the 15 best animal books for toddlers. Let us get started.

In This Article

List of Top 15 Best Animal Story Books For Toddlers

Reading is a bonding activity for both parents and kids. Besides helping to develop a love for reading in your toddler, books also help them to learn new things. This list of best animal story books for toddlers will help you in deciding which book to buy for your little one.

1. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

Dear Zoo story book -animal story books for toddlers

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Dear Zoo is one of the favorite books among toddlers since 1982. The book describes various animals in the zoo and takes the children on a delightful journey of discovery as they lift the flaps to reveal different animals seen at the zoo. Throughout the book, the kid comes across a variety of animals, including a monkey, a lion, and even an elephant.

Dear Zoo is a timeless classic that engages and entertains toddlers while supporting their cognitive, language, and emotional development. It is a must-have book for every toddler’s library.

Age Suitable: Baby to 2 years 

2. Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton

Moo, Baa, La La La! -animal story books for toddlers

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Moo, Baa, La La La! is popular among toddlers as it introduces them to various animals and the sounds they make. The book engages young readers with lively, spirited text and encourages them to learn about different animal noises. It is a read-aloud favorite and perfect for interactive storytelling with toddlers. It is a delightful book combining learning and playfulness, making it an excellent book addition to your bookshelf.

Age Suitable: 6 months to 2 years

3. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

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First published in 1967, this classic book has captivated young readers for generations with its colorful illustrations and rhythmic text. The book introduces various animals and their colors, engaging toddlers in an interactive and educational reading experience.

The story begins with a brown bear who asks, “what do you see?” Each subsequent page features a different animal and its color, creating a pattern kids can easily follow. The book concludes with a diverse group of kids, highlighting the importance of inclusivity and celebrating diversity. It is an excellent choice for toddlers and young children.

Age Suitable: 1 to 3 years

4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

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It is a beloved children’s book that has stayed fresh for generations. It follows a caterpillar through a week-long journey of eating fruits and foods before becoming a beautiful butterfly. The iconic illustrations and repetitive text make it a favorite among young readers. It is an entertaining and engaging story for toddlers and a valuable educational tool. It promotes early literacy skills, introduces basic concepts, and kindles imagination.

Age Suitable: Baby to 3 years 

5. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Good Night, Gorilla- animal story books for toddlers

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Goodnight Gorilla is a delightful kid’s book that follows the mischievous adventures of a little gorilla who gathers his animal friends for forbidden nighttime fun while the grown-ups remain oblivious. The story takes place at a zoo, where the mischievous gorilla manages to steal the keys from the zookeeper and sets all the animals free.

The book features rich illustrations and minimal text, making it perfect for young toddlers just beginning to explore the world of books. The mischievous gorilla and the animals allow kids to engage with the story and create interpretations. Goodnight Gorilla offers toddlers an engaging and entertaining reading experience while providing valuable learning opportunities.

Age Suitable: 1 to 3 years

6. Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill

Where's Spot book - animal story books for toddlers

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It is a lovely book that follows the adventure of a mother dog searching for her puppy, Spot. The story is filled with suspense and excitement as the mother dog searches various places in the house to find her playful pup. With interactive lift-the-flap pages, young readers can join in the fun of uncovering where Spot is hiding.

The book introduces toddlers to everyday objects found in a home and engages them in a delightful game of hide-and-seek. This interactive book captivates toddlers’ attention while offering valuable learning experiences.

Age Suitable: Baby to 2 years

7. I Love You to the Moon and Back by Amelia Hepworth

Kitten’s First Full Moon Board Book

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If you’re looking for a heartwarming and adorable book to share with your toddler, this book is perfect. This sweet story follows a mother bear and her cub as they spend the day together, showing their love for each other in various ways. The book delivers an important message about the unconditional love between a parent and a child and will surely melt your heart.

Through gentle rhymes and colorful illustrations, the book takes readers through their daily activities and the special moments they share. From touching noses to playing chase, and snuggling, the bond between the mother and cub is beautifully portrayed.

Age Suitable: 2 to 5 years

8. Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Llama Llama Red Pajama

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This book talks about separation anxiety. An emotion felt by most toddlers. The story follows a young llama getting ready for bed but becomes anxious when his mother leaves the room. As the llama kid waits for his mother to return, he experiences separation anxiety and calls out for her. The book beautifully explores a little kid’s emotions and fears at bedtime. It is a comforting and relatable story that has captured the hearts of both toddlers and parents alike.

Age Suitable:1 to 3 years

9. Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?

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This book is filled with vibrant illustrations and rhythmic words. The book introduces toddlers to various animals and the sounds they make, engaging their senses and imagination. It helps foster a love for reading and learning about animals. Whether you’re looking for an entertaining bedtime story or a book to incorporate into early learning activities,this book is an excellent choice for your little one. Its delightful illustrations and engaging text make it a must-have addition to any toddler’s bookshelf.

Age Suitable: 2 to 5 years

10. Fox’s Socks by Julia Donaldson

Fox's Socks - animal story books for toddlers

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This is a delightful lift-the-flap book. It follows the story of Fox, who has lost his socks and needs the reader’s help to find them. As they lift the flaps on each page, they discover various animals hiding the Fox’s socks. This beautifully illustrated book introduces toddlers to different woodland creatures while keeping them engaged with the interactive element of lifting flaps. They foster curiosity about the natural world and help develop essential cognitive and motor skills.

Age Suitable: 1 to 3 years

11. Hide-and-Seek Pig by Julia Donaldson

Hide-and-Seek Pig

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It is an engaging and interactive board book combining hide-and-seek fun with adorable illustrations and lift-the-flap surprises. It follows the story of Pig and Hen as they play hide-and-seek, with Pig searching for Hen in various places. Each flap reveals a different animal friend, creating excitement and anticipation for young readers.

Age Suitable: 1.5 to 3 years

12. Cat’s Cookbook by Julia Donaldson

Cat's Cookbook -animal story books for toddlers

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In this lift-the-flap adventure, Cat wants to learn how to cook and sets off on a quest to find a recipe book in Acorn Library. Readers can join Cat and her friends as they discover a special surprise together. This interactive storybook is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, offering engaging rhymes and delightful illustrations. It provides a fun and interactive reading experience for your little one, promoting language development, imagination, and a love for books.

Age Suitable: 2 to 5 years

13. The Going To Bed Book by Sandra Boynton

The Going To Bed Book

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It is a board book that follows a group of adorable animals as they partake in bedtime routine. The book features catchy rhymes, colorful illustrations, and engaging characters that capture the attention of toddlers. The story takes the animals through various activities, such as washing, brushing their teeth, and exercising, before finally sleeping on a rocking boat. With its soothing tone and charming storyline, this is a perfect choice for bedtime reading.

Age Suitable: 1 to 3 years 

14. Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

Pat The Bunny touch and feel book

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It is a touch-and-feel book that has been captivating toddlers for decades. It was first published in 1940 and is still a favorite among parents and kids. The book allows toddlers to explore the world using their senses, encouraging them to pat soft fur, smell flowers, and look in a mirror.

Age Suitable: 1 to 3 years

15. Do Cows Meow? by Salina Yoon

Do Cows Meow? - animal story books for toddlers

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Do Cows Meow? features various animals, including sheep, duck, frog, cat, and more. Each page presents a four-line rhyme, such as “Do sheep tango? Do sheep cha-cha? All I know is sheep go…” Lift the flap over the animal’s mouth, and your little one will discover the corresponding animal sound, such as “BAA” for the sheep. At the end of the book, two barnyard gates can be opened to revisit all the animal sounds.

This board book is durably constructed to withstand frequent and rough use by toddlers. The book’s engaging format encourages kids to actively participate in the reading experience and develop early language skills.

Age Suitable: 1 to 3 years

The animals and the zoo’s stories create an imaginative world among children. This imaginative world gives them a lot of sensory inputs and cognitive developments. Reading animal story books to your toddlers also helps them bond with you. Above all, their interest in books and reading will be nurtured early. Ensure you get the right books for your toddler. Happy Parenting!


1. What do Children Learn From Animal Books?

Animal books help the kids learn about different animals. Seeing animals in books and then again seeing some animals in real life- like cows, sheep, dogs, cats etc. helps the kid relate to the animals and gives them an insight into their world. It makes them familiar with animals, and helps in understanding the world around them.

2. Why do Children Love Animal Stories?

Animal books have cute illustrations which the kids love! Animal books help the kids learn and relate to the stories in a fun and humorous way. These books are entertaining for them. Reading the books with sound effects also helps the parents and kids enjoy story time together and bond. Animal books also foster a love for animals in the kids.

Read Also: Top 11 Best Read Aloud Dinosaur Books For Toddlers

Smita Srivastava, Bachelors (BA) in Mass Media and Mass Communication from Delhi University
Masters (MA) in Mass Media and Mass Communication from Kurukshetra University

With a background in Mass media and journalism, Smita comes with rich and vast experience in content creation, curation, and editing. As a mom of a baby girl, she is an excellent candidate for writing and editing parenting and pregnancy content. The content she writes and edits is influenced by her own journey through pregnancy and motherhood. When not writing- She can be found curled up with a book. Or, bingeing on Netflix.Read more.

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