Picture books (primary)

BC SPCA-recommended picture books. These books foster empathy development and reinforce the human-animal bond.
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angel in a dog suit scribble and grin by mary giufflei
Scribble & Grin: Angel in a Dog Suit
Scribble & Grin: Angel in a Dog Suit by Mary Giuffre. Reading level; Grades 3-5. This is the story of Ruby, a dog rescued from a puppy mill. Told in rhyme, this ultimately uplifting tale follows Ruby through her first six years in a cage, to her rescue and time at the animal shelter, followed by her adoption and adjustment to her new home, family and life.
a book cover with a child riding a horse in the snow
Belle's Journey
Belle's Journey by Marilynn Reynolds. Reading level: Grades 1-3. The only job Belle does is carry Molly back and forth from piano lessons once a week. Belle is getting older, and Molly's father is considering selling her and getting a younger horse, instead. When a blizzard hits, will Belle be able to get Molly home safely?
second chance a tale of two puppies
Second Chance: A Tale of Two Puppies
Second Chance: A Tale of Two Puppies by Judy Masrud. Reading level: Grades 3-5. How does the way a dog is cared for and trained affect his behaviour? This book tells the parallel stories of two dogs from the same litter who end up in very different homes, with very different outcomes.
guinea pigs don't read books
Guinea Pigs Don't Read Books
Guinea Pigs Dont Read Books by Colleen Stanley Bare. Reading level: Grades K-1. Guinea pigs may not read, play board games or dress up like humans, but they can make great companions when treated kindly. This book is filled with adorable photos of real guinea pigs.
the boy, the lord, all living things by sheila hamanns book cover
The Boy Who Loved All Living Things | Animal Welfare Institute
The Boy Who Loved All Living Things by Sheila Hamanaka. Reading level: Grades 2-4. This imagined childhood journal is inspired by events in the life of Albert Schweitzer, who would go on to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Ashamed of some of his own cruel actions toward animals, young Albert reflects, and realizes some things that lead to him becoming an advocate for animals. https://awionline.org/store/catalog/animal-welfare-publications/educational-materials/boy-who-loved-all-living-things
the family good thing about barry is shown in front of a book cover with an image of two people sitting under a tree
The Tenth Good Thing About Barney
The Tenth Good Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst. When Barney the cat passes away, his family holds a funeral for him where they share good things about him. They get to nine good things, but will soon discover an unexpected tenth good thing about Barney. https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0689712030/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_pUaxzb7FRKMF6
a black and white horse standing on top of a lush green field next to a blue sky
Call the Horse Lucky
Call the Horse Lucky by Juanita Havill. Reading level: Grades 1-3. When Mel notices a sick and neglected horse, she takes action by telling her grandmother., who in turn contacts the local humane society. Mel would love to keep the horse, now named Lucky, as a pet, but that may not be possible. However, when Lucky goes to live at a horse therapy ranch, Mel just might find another way to stay in his life. https://www.amazon.ca/dp/094071910X/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_ZTaxzb98ARVXP
the book cover for desser the best ever cat
Desser the Best Ever Cat
Desser the Best Ever Cat by Maggie Smith. Reading level: Grades K-3. This is the story of a little girl and her cat, Desser, as they grow together. She talks about all the fun things they did together, letting the reader in on why Desser was, for her, the Best Ever Cat, and will never be forgotten. https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B006CDNWPE/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_zTaxzbPMV0WVS
a book cover with a dog on the sidewalk and trees in the background, saying goodbye to luv
Saying Goodbye to Lulu
Saying Goodbye to Lulu by Corinne Demas. Reading level: Grades 1+ (best read with an adult for younger children). This story follows a young girl who comes to realize that her childhood dog, Lulu, is very old and will soon pass away. She recounts the good times they've had together and goes through an emotional journey from distress to acceptance once Lulu passes. https://www.amazon.ca/dp/031604749X/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_4Saxzb6HG0QEX
a book cover for ginger finds a home by charlotte voake with an image of a cat and trash can
Ginger Finds a Home
Ginger Finds A Home by Charlotte Voake. Reading level: Preschool-Grade 2. Ginger is a scraggly little cat who lives in a patch of weeds and spends his days searching for scraps of food and drinking out of puddles. Then one day, a compassionate little girl takes it upon herself to give him a better life. https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1406312703/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_JSaxzbPHZEEEK
the book cover for let's get a pup said hate by bob graham with an illustration of two boys and a dog
Let's Get a Pup! Said Kate
"Let's Get a Pup!" Said Kate by Bob Graham. Reading level: Grades K-2. Kate and her parents are ready to visit the animal shelter and welcome a dog into their family. But what kind of dog will they get? A big dog? A small dog? A sniffer or sleeper? A cute, brand-new puppy named Dave, or an old, gray dog named Rosy?https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0763621935/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_SQaxzbW2BVS0J
the book cover for before you were mine with a dog on top of a hill
Before You Were Mine
Before You Were Mine by Maribeth Boelts. Reading level: Grades K-2. Before You Were Mine follows a young boy as he speculates on his adopted dog’s previous life. Did his last family move and leave him behind? Leave him tied up on a chain outside? Or maybe he got lost and they didn’t look for him. Whatever happened in the past, the boy soon realizes that the most important thing is that his dog will have a happy future! https://www.amazon.ca/dp/039924526X/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_tQaxzbF9A2B1R
a black cat with the words go home on it's front and back cover
Go Home!: The True Story of James the Cat by Libby Phillips Meggs. Reading level: Grades K-3. Go Home! is the true story of an abandoned cat surviving on his own, though he yearns for a home. He has some recollection of being a household pet, but for the past year he has been forced to scavenge for food and find safe places to sleep. Will he ever know the love and comfort of having a family again? https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00MF0YVW6/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_3PaxzbSSFJWYW
Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown. Reading level: Grades K-1. When Lucy first sees Squeaker in the forest, she can't wait to ask her mom if she can keep him. But while Lucy and Squeaker have a lot of fun, Lucy also learns that having a pet is a lot of work. Squeaker can be messy, destructive and ill-behaved. Lucy may soon come to realize that some animals just aren't meant to be pets! https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0316015482/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_EPaxzbZ4Y6G5Y Book Lists, Lecture, Thing 1, Book Humor, Animaux, Read Aloud, Book Worth Reading, 12th Book
Children Make Terrible Pets
Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown. Reading level: Grades K-1. When Lucy first sees Squeaker in the forest, she can't wait to ask her mom if she can keep him. But while Lucy and Squeaker have a lot of fun, Lucy also learns that having a pet is a lot of work. Squeaker can be messy, destructive and ill-behaved. Lucy may soon come to realize that some animals just aren't meant to be pets! https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0316015482/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_EPaxzbZ4Y6G5Y
two dogs standing next to each other in front of a beach with people on it
Fred and Pete at the Beach
Fred and Pete at the Beach by Cynthia Nugent. Reading level: Grades K-2. Fred and Pete are pals, but Fred is much more cautious and reserved than his adventurous, fun-loving buddy, Pete. When their human, Ron, leaves them behind to go to the beach, Pete is determined that he and Fred can find their way there on their own. https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1554691265/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_GOaxzbTTJWJTH