Looking for books to read aloud during your zoo theme? These zoo books for preschoolers not only help teach about the different animals at the zoo and the sounds they make, but they also incorporate some important life lessons. Check out our list of zoo books for toddlers!
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Zoo Lesson plans
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
By Bill Martin, Jr.
The first zoo book we read was the classic book of Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr., which immerses your preschoolers into the sounds of the zoo. It’s really cool if you have the book that includes the sound buttons!
This is the perfect zoo book for toddlers to start your zoo theme because the book introduces so many different zoo animals and their sounds. Plus, it can get the kiddos talking about their experiences with each animal!
Who Has These Feet?
By Laura Hulbert
As a perfect “step” into our science activity for the day, we read Who Has These Feet? by Laura Hulbert. The author illustrates different animals’ feet and gives clues as to how well-adapted the feet are for the environment. Turn the page and find out “Who Has These Feet?” I love how this book naturally lends itself to making predictions.
After reading this zoo book, we used the chart from the Animal Track Puzzles to determine which animals had feet made for walking, climbing, swimming, hopping, grasping, or flying. Then, we made animal prints in Kinetic Sand using rocks and plastic knives. The puzzles have students match footprints to each animal and are even self-correcting for you to leave in your science centers!
Never Tickle a tiger
By Pamela Butchart
The next zoo book for kids that we read was Never Tickle a Tiger by Pamela Butchart in which a little girl Izzy simply could not stay still. (Sound like some of your students?) Then, on their class field trip to the zoo, Izzy was, of course, getting into some trouble bothering the animals with all of her wiggling and jiggling. She even ended up tickling a tiger, which causes all sorts of problems with all of the animals and students in her class.
This zoo book for preschoolers is such a fun story to talk about all of the animals at the zoo. Also, it lends itself perfect to problem-solving when we have the wiggles.
After our discussion, we just couldn’t resist playing the song “Shake Your Sillies Out.”
Fiona the Hippo
Zoo Books for Preschoolers
Inspired by the real story of a hippopotamus born prematurely comes Fiona the Hippo by Zondervan. This baby hippo’s spunky personality and determination, along with the care of the zookeepers, help Fiona survive, even with the odds stacked against her.
This story is told in such a fun way with all of the animals at the zoo interested in the fate of Fiona. I also love the message that anyone can overcome challenges, especially with such a fearless attitude.
Neck & neck
By Elise Parsley
Last, we read Neck & Neck by Elise Parsley, which is an adorable tale of a giraffe named Leopold who was the star of the zoo until a look-alike balloon came bobbing along. Leopold tries to steal the show back from the giraffe balloon until he finally realizes how terrible of a giraffe he has been in his jealous state.
I love how many lessons are intertwined within this zoo book for toddlers. Take a look at some of the questions below that can help teach our kiddos to make good choices!
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MORE Zoo Activities for Preschoolers
If you’re looking for a fun way to teach your little one about zoo animals, look no further than these great books. From learning animal sounds to discovering what different feet look like, these stories will keep your toddlers entertained and educated. And the best part? They’ll learn all about zoos in a fun, engaging way. So be sure to get your hands on some of these wonderful zoo books for preschoolers today!