A picture of a several different books that centre around animals on a yellow background with colourful spots

Image: Ryan MacEachern/Penguin

Ladybird Animal Stories read by Cassie Layton (2021)

Adventurous ducklings, greedy squirrels, and clever piglets all feature in this fun collection of fictional audio tales. The entertaining and informative stories explore the hidden life of animals in the wild and the creative and engaging sound effects will provoke questions and broaden inquisitive minds. Although aimed at children aged three to six, it’s definitely one that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Recommended reading age: 3-6 years old

Water World by Ben Rothery (2021)

Natural history illustrator Ben Rothery has created a stunning book that is sure to be treasured by all animal lovers. Here, Ben explores the creatures that live in our coastal and offshore waters, from huge polar bears to tiny seahorses and the unusual inhabitants of the deep sea. Each illustration is accompanied by fascinating facts, whether that's the longest migration or the loudest animal on earth. The book is also set against the backdrop of the climate crisis we are currently living in and the threats these wonderful underwater worlds are facing. Young readers will feel inspired to protect these environments more than ever.

Recommended reading age: 4-8 years old

Ned and the Great Garden Hamster Race by Kim Hillyard (2021)

What is more important – winning a race or being kind? That is the lesson Ned the hamster must learn in this adorable story from author and illustrator Kim Hillyard. Ned has been training for the Great Garden Hamster Race and is on a mission to win. But as he begins the race, he encounters some other critters who may need his help. Is he prepared to sacrifice glory for them? This heart-warming book will inspire readers big and small to always be kind and look after others.

Recommended reading age: 4-7 years old

Peppa Pig: Peppa Loves Animals (2021)

Peppa and George are big animal lovers, and now it’s time to find out about all of their friends’ favourite pets. With over 250 stickers, this book will keep little hands busy as they find the perfect places for animals such as Tiddles the Tortoise and Goldie the Goldfish to have some fun.

Recommended reading age: 3-6 years old

Choose Sloths by Charlie Green & Matt Hunt (2019)

Sloths might not be the most energetic of creatures, but they sure do make great pals! Build your own sloth squad with this laugh-out-loud book. Each page has five different sloths to choose from, each one with its own style and character. Which sloth would you choose to play hide and seek with? Which sloth would you choose as your yoga buddy? Which sloth would you choose to be stranded on a desert island with? This wacky book is bound to start some funny discussions and will help develop your child’s decision-making skills.

Recommended reading age: 3-6 years old

Baby Touch: Animals Tab Book (2019)

This is the perfect first-word book for babies who are starting to learn about animals. Use the animal-shaped tabs to help turn the pages and find the different creatures. As with the other books in the Baby Touch series, there are stimulating touch-and-feel areas to stroke and talk to your baby about. Which animal feels soft? Which one feels bumpy? From pets and farmyard animals to creatures who live under the sea, little ones will be introduced to a host of new beasts.

Recommended reading age: 0-2 years old

A Ladybird Book: Baby Animals by Libby Walden, Nick Crumpton & Stephanie Fizer Coleman (2021)

Curious minds will love this encyclopaedia which explores the first year of life for baby animals in the wild. Learn about how they have to grow, adapt and learn to survive even when they are still tiny. Follow the stories of how baby animals hatch from eggs or are protected from predators in magical marsupial pouches. You can never be too young to learn that the animal kingdom is an incredible place where animals do amazing things.

Recommended reading age: 7-9 years old

Little World: On Safari by Samantha Meredith (2021)

There’s lots to spot and see on this safari through the savannah plains. This interactive book, which has a slide, push or pull on every page, will captivate children as they learn about sleeping lions, grazing giraffes and wandering elephants. Samantha Meredith’s colourful illustrations and cute characters ensure this book is one that children will return to time and time again.

Recommended reading age: 2-4 years old

A Ladybird Book: Insects and Minibeasts by Libby Walden, Heather Campbell & Amber Davenport (2021)

There are over a million different insects all over the world – and scientists are still identifying more! This book takes a closer look at the weird and wonderful mini beasts who live above and below ground. Learn about the amazing skills insects use to find food, build homes and evade predators. You won’t believe your eyes!

Recommended reading age: 7-9 years old

Topsy and Tim: At the Farm by Jean & Gareth Adamson (2010)

Topsy and Tim are always finding fun adventures in the real world, and this story is reassuring for young children having first experiences of their own. In Topsy and Tim: At the Farm, the children meet all kinds of interesting animals. They help collect eggs from the chickens and find some little ducklings learning how to swim. They are a little bit frightened when they get chased by some large geese, but Farmer Stewart soon finds them a nice job to do.

Recommended reading age: 3-6 years old

A Ladybird Buggy Book: Animals (2017)

They’re never too young to fall in love with animals! Help little babies learn first animal names whilst they’re on the move with this beautiful buggy book, featuring iconic and original images from the 1950s and 60s. Taken from favourite vintage Ladybird books, the stunningly detailed pictures will delight adults and children alike.

Recommended reading age: 0-2 years old

Peppa Pig: Peppa’s First Pet (2011)

Everyone loves their first pet and Peppa is no different. But what kind of pet does Peppa have? It’s gold and swims in a bowl… it’s Goldie the goldfish, of course! Join Peppa, Mummy Pig and George on an adventure in this fun, interactive and educational story. It’s perfect for children who’ve got their first pet or simply love Peppa and friends!

Recommended reading age: 2-4 years old

The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin (2016)

Who wouldn’t want to go with Ellen the Elephant on a magical journey through the forest that leads to sleep? Ellen is the kindest and bravest elephant in the world but is quite tired as she makes her way to bed. Meeting fantastical, calming characters in the enchanted forest Ellen soon finds herself drifting off to sleep… From the author of The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep, it features new child-tested, parent-approved techniques to help little ones fall soundly asleep at bedtime or naptime. Just like Ellen the Elephant. Zzzzz.

Recommended reading age: 2-6 years old

Farm Hullaballoo! Ladybird Big Noisy Book by Justine Smith (2011)

Farm Hullaballoo! is a noisy book with big, pressable buttons. Full of colourful illustrations, this sound book is brimming with detailed pictures of life on a farm. There are labels on each picture to introduce animal names to children and help develop their vocabulary. Why not try and spot the pigs, cows, sheep, ducks and chicken, as you read through together?

Recommended reading age: 2-5 years old

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