Best Zoo Picture Books

Ava Flores
• Monday, 11 January, 2021
• 9 min read

They love reading about them, making animal noises, and watching them at the zoo. A trip to the zoo brings to life animals that children see in books and snuggle with at night.

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Books can also allow children to delve deeper into their favorite animals observed at the zoo. This book captures the excitement of a zoo trip perfectly for young children.

The simple, limited text leaves space for the illustrations to tell the humorous story. A beautiful counting book that happily integrates a train into the tale of transporting a building number of animals to the zoo.

Eric Care’s trademark colorful illustrations invite the reader into their tale to count and build vocabulary as you read. The fantastical tale of a child’s trip to the zoo bursting with color and whimsy.

Alongside, it captures a realistic tale told in black and white of parents frantically attempting to keep up with their child. The diverse group of animals pictured branches out from the typical representations offering vocabulary expansions.

Will Hillenbrand is from Ohio and has led an incredible career in the world of children’s books. Visit Will’s Website Bruno Lunar is a graphic designer and artist and his version of a zoo is highly creative.

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I was unsure whether our children would understand or appreciate the wry humor or inventive approach to zoo illustration, but they immediately latched onto to something in this book, and we have re-read it many times. Gail Gibbons has created countless non-fiction books devoted to clear, concise details perfect for young children.

Our children love this book and enjoy imitating the sounds of the different animals. They look forward to hearing any sounds from the animals at the zoo and this book captures many of their favorites.

This book is laugh out loud funny and a hoot to read aloud. If you have a tiny animal lover I highly recommend this board book.

She does it quickly and dismisses the subject until a polar bear appears in her living room and gives her an unforgettable tour of his world. It sounds like kind of a weird book when I describe it, but it is told with such earnest love and care for its subject that you get swept away.

I adore Britt Tecentriq and this interactive and playful book is no exception. The animals are trying to set up for a party, but they don’t want to wake up the big tiger.

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NAFTA is a darling boy who describes his feelings through the movements and actions of animals. The text is simple enough for toddlers but would also lend itself well to a discussion about similes with elementary schoolers.

Lizzy Bear: Zookeeper Grab one or more of these fun books about the zoo, and snuggle up with your favorite little monkey.

Fill your book basket with a great collection of zoo books for preschoolers. If you have a hard time finding them, you can order them on Amazon by clicking the images below.

Each page offers a short description of the featured animal and its habitat. A hungry Curious George snatches a pail of bananas from the zookeeper.

None of them ever comes–until one wet, stormy night when the zoo floods and the zebra keeper remembers Leslie’s offer. Little night owls can sneak along with Gorilla and see who gets the last laugh in this riotous goodnight romp.

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Then get ready for a wild trip to the zoo and up close look at all kinds of animals! See snow leopards lurking on a ledge, zebras and ostriches running across the open plains, and a tiger splashing in a stream.

Dancing Feet by Lindsey Craig and Marc Brown Each animal dances in a unique rhythm in this catchy book celebrating movement and onomatopoeia. By Beatrice Scene de Regniers and Ben Montresor In this Alcott medal winner, the king and queen invite a little boy to their castle every day, and each time he brings a surprise animal guest.

By Adam Rex When a boy visits the zoo, various animals ask him for unusual things like tires and garbage cans. A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead and Erin Stead When zookeeper Amos McGee gets sick, his animal friends hop on the city bus to pay him a visit.

Despite this fact, the bestseller list at most bookstores consists of mostly classics that were published before I was born. But a few years ago, I realized that if we just keep buying classic picture books there won’t be any new Eric Charles or Maurice Sends or Ludwig Perelman in the future.

So when you are thinking of what to request at the library or buy for holiday gifts this year, consider picking a contemporary picture book to go along with your beloved classics. Through rhymes, this book gives nine steps for babies to grow up to be antiracist, emphasizing noticing people’s differences, talking about the issue, and admitting when we make mistakes.

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(Source: www.zooborns.com)

A rhyming picture book that explores what things might look the same for children living in different parts of the world. With beautiful collage illustrations, this book looks at the world from the clouds in the sky to the dirt on the ground through the eyes of a child.

A confident Black narrator proudly affirms his future plans, his positive attributes, and the way he learns from his failures. The tidal wave of positivity in this picture book proclaims that Black boys are worthy of love, respect, safety, kindness, and happiness.

After a few tries that don’t feel quite right, Katie figures out the criteria to form her dream pet. From both characters’ gender nonconformity to representation of two brides in a lesbian wedding, this beautifully illustrated book celebrates love and acceptance in all forms.

Vibrant illustrations and free verse poetry work together in this book to tell the stories of many girls. Iris is mad when her roll as designated elevator button pusher is usurped by her toddler little sibling.

This is a hilarious story with sweet illustrations about how hard it can be to accept new people and new habits into our lives. When a young girl and her grandma move next door, he misses his quiet solitude.

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He leaves notes for them in the sand, but his old friend the sea washes away some letters to make them friendlier. Inspired by a real life animal friendship about a grumpy goat and a blind horse.

Eventually the two get over their rocky beginnings to become friends, with Jack leading Charlie to his favorite spots around Open Bud Ranch. This rare picture book was written by an author who struggled with fertility treatments and IVF before becoming a mother.

Although it doesn’t go into specifics, it’s a poetic celebration of parents who need to work hard and overcome challenges to have a child. When venturing to a friend’s superhero birthday party, Brock finds himself overwhelmed with worries and fears.

This book focuses on emotional intelligence skills to help kids like Brock move past their anxiety through ideas like deep breathing or finding a safe person to tell about your feelings. Inspired by recent Indigenous-lead environmental movements, including the water protectors at Standing Rock, this story mixes the legend of a black snake that will come to poison water with the current day reality of oil spills.

The Indigenous author and illustrator team create a story that honors the sacrifices and hard work of many Native American activists. Inspired by Smith’s big hit for adults Wreck This Journal, this picture book helps young readers explore all five senses, contribute their own unique ideas to the story, and reject perfectionism.

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(Source: www.csmonitor.com)

A perfect book to remind kids (and the adults in their lives) the importance of learning to pronounce every name in its correct, beautiful form. African, Asian, Black American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names are discussed on their walk home.

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