Sunday, January 20, 2019

RA RA READ: Beginning Chapters for Animal Lovers

I first created this list some years ago, when I weeded Animal Ark (circulation was dropping, the books we still had were in awful condition, and the whole series was out of print). I knew I needed alternatives readily at hand for all the kids who were upset that the books were gone and I had plenty to choose from! Beginning chapters about animals are always popular, but there are a gazillion series out there so there's no need to stick with the old ones! (Note that these are realistic animals only - no magical fairy dust involved, although some of the animals talk)

Included in our beginning chapter/series section

  • Animal Inn by Paul Jacobs
    • A group of animals "run" the boarding house/grooming business.
  • Critter Club by Callie Barkley
    • A group of girls helps animals. Still being published.
  • Puppy Place by Ellen Miles
    • A group of boys and girls help puppies. Still being published.
  • Zoey and Sassafras by Asia Citro
    • I swear I am not including this just because I love it so much! Most of these series involve some kind of veterinary care or an animal shelter; Zoey and her mom care for magical creatures (with science!) so even though they're not "real" animals it usually attracts many of the same readers.

Included in juvenile fiction (sometimes they're slightly older/harder, sometimes they're hardcover)

  • Vet Volunteers by Laurie Halse Anderson
    • Older elementary version of Critter Club. No longer being published but still in print (I think)
  • Buddy Files by Dori Butler
    • Buddy is a dog who investigates mysteries, but he's a very realistic dog as well. There's also a pre-series that's upper easy reader - Kayla and King.
  • Dog Diaries by Kate Klimo
    • Each book features a different historical dog or breed.
  • Shelter Pet Squad by Cynthia Lord
    • This is a trilogy and is complete.
  • Lulu by Hilary McKay
    • This is one of my favorite series, although it doesn't get as much circulation as I think it should. It's about a little girl obsessed with animals who has all sorts of silly adventures. The series is complete but I think still in print.
  • Ranger in Time by Kate Messner
    • This is more of a read-alike for I Survived. A failed rescue dog goes back in time to save people from various disasters.
  • Down Girl and Sit by Lucy Nolan
    • This is a super funny series told from the viewpoint of the dogs. The series is complete and, I think, sadly out of print.
  • Daisy Dawson by Steve Voake
    • Daisy Dawson loves animals and when she finds out she can talk to them, they have many adventures.
  • National Geographic Kids Chapters
    • Each book has 3-4 true stories about animals grouped around a theme - animals who help people, animals who do funny tricks, etc.

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