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Picture books about animals are always a sure hit here.
Here are 12 of our very favourites, featuring a range of fictional and non-fictional texts.
Wild Animals of the South by Dieter Braun
“Book” feels like the wrong descriptor- it’s more of a tome.
This heavy, encyclopaedic tome is often pulled down off the bookshelf by my kids.
Animals of the Southern Hemisphere are illustrated in Dieter Braun’s inimitable style accompanied by weird and wonderful facts.
My toddler and preschooler enjoy familiarising themselves with how a table of contents and index works to find the animal they are after.
I feel like this is the kind of book that will be remembered by my kids well into adulthood.
There is also an accompanying Wild Animals of the North.
Bird Builds a Nest by Martin Jenkins and Richard Jones
Is this a narrative? Is this an informative text?
We follow Bird as she goes about her day, building a nest.
This is also a book about forces. As Bird applies force by pushing and pulling to build a nest, we learn about the real-life applications of this scientific concept.
Little Fish board books by Lucy Cousins
Both the toddler and the preschooler adore these colourful board books by the creator of “Maisy.”
As the title suggests, Count with Little Fish is about practising the 1-10 sequence with sea life.
Where is Little Fish? is a lift-the-flap book. Need I say more? Lift-the-flap books are always popular here!
These would be a perfect duo to gift at baby showers/ first birthdays. Delightful.
The Amazing Animal Atlas by Dr Nick Crumpton and Gaia Bordicchia
This is a super-sized atlas written by zoologist, Dr Nick Crumpton.
The maps and beautiful illustrations take us to all corners of the globe, showcasing the animals to be found across the planet.
The book features huge fold-out spreads and is overflowing with information for the animal-lover.
A Lion is a Lion by Polly Dunbar
This is a fun book to read aloud.
It questions the true nature of a lion. Lions are meant to be fierce, right?
But is a lion still a lion if he wears a hat?
Can you trust a lion even if he has nice manners?
This is a rollicking good read, that could be used at a deeper level to discuss trusting your instincts.
Sad the Dog by Sandy Fussell and Tull Suwannakit
This a gentle and beautiful story about the friendship between a boy and his dog.
The dog originally belonged to Mr and Mrs Cripps who did the basic things to fulfill his needs.
Except give him a name and affection. The dog names himself Sad.
One day, the Cripps pack up and move house, leaving Sad behind.
A new family moves in and a new chapter of Sad’s life begins.
Little Dog and the Summer Holiday by Corinne Fenton and Robin Cowcher
Canines are definitely one of the most popular animals in this niche of picture books.
This book is evocative of the long summer holidays of childhood.
Little Dog and his family pile into the car and begin the quintessential Aussie road trip between Melbourne and Sydney.
They stop off to say G’day to the Dog on the Tuckerbox at Gundagai.
Beautiful watercolour illustrations are paired with exquisite writing. The word choice in this text is glorious.
Pointy Pembleton at the Dog Park by Nat Panzarino and Fer Wicker
Pointy Pembleton is an affectionate, friendly greyhound, trying to make friends at the dog park.
Written in rhyme and accompanied by watercolour illustrations, Pointy meets many different dogs, each unique in their own way.
A playful tale about embracing and celebrating diversity.
The story behind the development of this book is heart-warming.
It was dreamed up by two animal-loving creatives who wanted to make a difference to rescued greyhounds.
Greyhounds are bred by the racing industry to be raced. Once they have finished their careers, most will be killed.
Greyhound Rescue works to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome these racing dogs and to find them a loving home to live out their days.
$5 from the sale of every Pointy Penmbleton book is donated to Greyhound Rescue.
You can buy your copy of the book here.
My Donkey Benjamin and My Pig Paulina by Hans Limmer and Lennart Osbeck
I always find it interesting to discover what classic stories are nostalgically remembered.
These two books have been perennial European best sellers for over 40 years. They were published in English only recently.Susi and Angelika and Susi are sisters who live on a Meditteranean island.
Susi and her donkey Benjamin are best friends.
Angelika has a best friend in Paulina the piglet.
Both books detail the girls’ island escapades with their furry friends.
The black and white photographs are captivating.
Cockatoo by Thames and Hudson Australia with Bird Life Australia
A pocket-sized beauty filled with illustrations of Australia’s beloved bird by over 80 artists. It is more art book than picture book.
It’s packed with facts about all the different species of cockatoo.
There is also a Koala version of this book that is equally delightful.
They make make great souvenirs, coffee table books or gifts for the animal-lover or illustration aficionado.
What’s Up? By Olivia Cosneau and Bernard Duisit
This is a most epic piece of paper engineering.
This flip flap pop-up book is filled with colourful birds.
Each spread has a tab to pull or slide.
Check out this video to see how cool it really is.
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Some of the books in this post were provided free for review purposes. I always post my honest opinions and never post books that I do not rate.