Adventures with Animals

July 07, 2021

 So...we're halfway through the Summer Reading! If you haven't been working through the reading challenges with your kids, that's okay! But there's also still time to begin, or at least to read through a variety of different kinds of books. We want summer reading to be enjoyable, of course, but it's still a good time to encourage our kids to expand their reading selections a bit and to stretch their reading skills! Fortunately, as we've discussed many times, there are so many wonderful books of all types to choose from.

Each challenge through 6th grade includes an Animal Book category. This is partly because there are so many of them but also because animal stories are such effective vehicles for sharing life issues - even some pretty big ones - in safe and relatable ways. It may also be because, as anyone who has been to the library knows, I really love animals, and they are frequent visitors to the library! At any rate, here are a few of my favorites, for every reading level.

My Pet Wants a Pet

Elise Broach

I love this one because it sounds a little bit like my house - and it's even a little true that a couple of my pets have their own pets, in a manner of speaking! Also kids love guessing which pet is going to come next.

A Pig, a Fox, and a Fox

Jonathan Fenske

The Pig and Fox books are hilarious and are actually readable by beginning readers! (Fun fact: many, if not most, "Readers" are not actually suitable for young children learning to read - the levels are often very deceptive. I don't know why this is, but I do know that it's wise to look for ones that are appropriate to their reading level.)

Mango and Bambang

Polly Faber

If you've never read a humorous story about a tapir's the time! Mango is an independent, free-spirit young girl living in the Big City. One her way home from karate practice one day, she discovers a lost tapir, whom she takes home to her apartment, where adventures ensue!


Henry Cole

This is about woodland animals...but there's also a miniature dragon! Twig, a young chipmunk struggling to find his trade, instead finds a dragon who teaches him a few things about truth, purpose, and friendship. 

Echo Mountain
Lauren Wolk

This is Depression-era historical fiction in which the dog isn't necessarily the most central feature but still plays an important part. Twelve year-old Ellie moves with her family to the mountains, where she bonds with her new dog, learns to connect with nature, and tries to heal her father, wounded in a logging accident. 

Each of these is available at the CHESS library, and as always, you can to to our online catalog and place a hold on them to pick them up at our next CHESS Thursday event. For many more suggestions that you can find in our library and others, check out the Book Lists for each grade level. This page also includes a link to the Reader's Advisory form, which I highly recommend you try for personalized recommendations. I'd love to help your kids find their next reading adventure!

Happy Reading!

-Mrs. Meester

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