My Pets: Books for Young Children
Puppies, kittens, parrots, llamas, and more — these stories for young children share the adventures of loving (and taking care of) a family pet.
For related resources, see the following:
- A Pet Spectacular (Reading Rockets Booklist)
- Parent Tip Sheet: Pets and Young Children – also available in Spanish/Polish (Illinois Early Learning Project)
- Parent Reading Tip Sheets for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers in 13 Languages (Colorín Colorado)
A Fish to Feed
A toddler and Daddy go shopping for a pet fish. On the way they find other fish, but those aren ’t fish to feed. Toddlers will love seeing different fish through holes in the pages. Daddy responds to the child ’s simple words with full sentences, adds more information and asks open-ended questions.
Cats vs. Dogs (National Geographic Readers)
Chocolate or vanilla? Creamy peanut butter or crunchy? Cats or dogs? On some matters in life, every kid must take a stance. Ever since the first youngster in history had a pet, cats vs. dogs has been a hotly debated issue at recesses and lunch tables worldwide. Which one's better? Smarter? This reader presents the facts in fun and informative fashion. Kids will love the stimulating Level 3 text as they decide the answer to this question for themselves.
Coquí in the City
Miguel's pet frog, Coquí, is always with him: as he greets his neighbors in San Juan, buys quesitos from the panadería, and listens to his abuelo's story about meeting baseball legend Roberto Clemente. Then Miguel learns that he and his parents are moving to the U.S. mainland, which means leaving his beloved grandparents, home in Puerto Rico, and even Coquí behind. Life in New York City is overwhelming, with unfamiliar buildings, foods, and people.
Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog
This story of a true and faithful dog so touched the people of Japan that a statue of Hachiko was erected in the train station where the dog went daily for almost ten years after his master’s death. Told from the point of view of a young boy, the book includes an afterword that provides additional details about this true story.
Here Kitty, Kitty/¡Ven gatita, ven!
"The third title in Mora and Suárez's warm bilingual series, My Family/Mi familia, this joyful picture book tells a lively story of a young girl who gets a shy new kitten that hides and makes trouble. With English and Spanish text on each double-page spread, the line-and-watercolor pictures show the loving family as the kitten hides under the sofa, under sister's bed, in a flowerpot, until finally the soft friend snuggles up on the girl's lap.
Jump, Pup! (National Geographic Readers)
Come along as little puppy goes out exploring in the world. Along the way he meets new friends, big and small, and sees amazing sites, but can't wait to get back home to mom. Told in simple yet lively text built with sight words and using picture icons to aid reading, National Geographic Pre-readers will enchant kids just beginning their journey with books.
Kamik: An Inuit Puppy Story
When Jake finally gets a puppy to call his own, all he can think about is the fast, strong sled dog that his puppy will become. But Kamik is far from an obedient sled dog. After a visit with his grandfather, Jake learns that Inuit have been raising puppies just like Kamik to be obedient, resourceful, helpful sled dogs for generations. Inspired by the real-life recollections of an elder from Arviat, Nunavut, this book lovingly recreates the traditional dog-rearing practices that prevailed when Inuit relied on dogs for transportation and survival.
Let Me Help!
Product Description: "Let me help! Let me help!" Perico learns this phrase from little Martita, who's been saying it a lot lately. When the whole family scrambles to prepare for Cinco de Mayo, Perico knows there must be some way he can help — even if he is just a parrot. But at every turn Perico is shooed away, until he finally figures out how he can add to the Cinco de Mayo fun.
Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush's Incredible Journey
Lost and Found Cat follows an Iraqi family’s escape from Mosul — by car, by foot, and by boat — all with their beloved pet, Kunkush, in tow ... until Kunkush escapes his carrier. The family is heartbroken, but Kunkush fortunately ends up in the hands of Amy, a woman volunteering with refugees in Greece, who grows determined to reunite the cat with his original family. This moving true story will inspire discussions with young readers about what it means to be a refugee, the unexpected consequences of being displaced, and the importance of kindness.
Mango, Abuela, and Me
Mia's abuela has left her sunny house with parrots and palm trees to live with Mia and her parents in the city. The night she arrives, Mia tries to share her favorite book with Abuela before they go to sleep and discovers that Abuela can't read the words inside. So while they cook, Mia helps Abuela learn English ("Dough. Masa"), and Mia learns some Spanish too, but it’s still hard for Abuela to learn the words she needs to tell Mia all her stories.
Maria Had a Little Llama/Maria Tenia una Llama Pequena
Mary's little lamb is well known, but Maria lives in Peru and has a fleecy llama. The well-known cadence in English and Spanish and fresh illustrations present the familiar in a lively new setting.
A boy tries every trick in the book to get his adorable, big-eared, supremely stubborn pooch to move. Toys, a game of fetch, a walk, even a treat are offered to Santiago, who turns up his nose at every one. When the frustrated child screams, "Santiago!" readers finally learn why the pup stays put.
Mama, Carmelita, and their dog Manny greet people in their diverse neighborhood as they walk to see Abuela Rosa. Everyone says "hello" but in their own language — ranging from Italian and French to Hebrew and Arabic to slang American greetings. It is Manny's "woof," however, that is universal. Textured illustrations make Carmelita’s community familiar and accessible.
The Good Luck Cat
A child narrates how a much loved cat, Woogie, brings good luck to her family. When Woogie is lost, its luck may have run out — but the resolution is luckily both satisfying and happy. Richly hued illustrations add authentic details to a universally appealing story set within a Native American family and told by a Muskogee-Creek writer.
The Littlest Llama
"Up on the altiplano, the littlest llama wants to have fun, but the other llamas are busy. He sets off on a short journey to find playmates, but something 'fierce and orange and round like the sun' (a child's ball) chases him, and he scurries home, frightened. There, a surprise awaits: a new baby llama to play with, and also, most important, Mama's comforting cuddle…Throughout, the text and art give a strong sense of llama behavior, from dust bathing to neck wrestling, and incorporate South American cultural elements." — Booklist
Ugly Cat and Pablo
Ugly Cat is dying for a paleta, or ice pop, and his impeccably dressed mouse friend Pablo is determined to help him get one by scaring a little girl who is enjoying a coconut paleta in the park. Things go horribly wrong when, instead of being scared, the little girl picks Pablo up and declares that he would make a great snack for her pet snake.
What Boo and I Do
A young Asian American girl and her dog Boo visit with elderly people, showing how rewarding it can be to help others. Spanish version available.
Where is my puppy?
A Vietnamese American boy searches all over the house for his puppy, who is always hiding just out of sight. Spanish version available.
Wiggling Pockets/Los bolsillos saltarines
"In this fourth offering from Mora's bilingual easy-reader series My Family/Mi familia, beginning readers follow the excitement as a young boy sneaks four frolicking frogs into the kitchen via his overall pockets. Chaos ensues when frogs begin leaping into the sink, on Abuelita's lap, on Tina's head, and in Mama's pie. The simple text is perfectly complemented by soft, expressive, watercolor illustrations comprised of simple lines and details."— REFORMA News
See more great related resources and videos in our Multicultural Literature section!