Books for Independent Reading

VERY EASY

newOh, Cats!
by Nola Buck
Harper 1997 (24p)
A young girl tries to make playmates out of three cats she finds in her backyard in this rhyming story.
newAn Octopus Followed Me Home
by Dan Yaccarino
Viking 1997 (32p)
When a girl begs to keep an octopus that as followed her home in this rhyming story, her father reminds her of all the unusual pets she has already kept.
Digby
by Barbara Shook Hazen
(Multicultural)
Harper 1997 (32p)
A girl explains to her younger brother why their dog Digby is too old to play catch with him.
Lost Cat
by Tad Hardy
Houghton 1996 (32p)
Rhyming verse describes a lost cat from the loving perspective of his owner and from the exasperated perspective of the person who has found the cat.
A Bag Full of Pups
by Dick Gackenbach
Clarion 1991 (32p) paper
A little boy wants a pet for no other reason than to love him

EASY

newMcDuff Moves In
by Rosemary Wells
Hyperion 1997 (32p)
A West Highland terrier named McDuff finds a loving home with Fred and Lucy after he escapes from the dogcatcher.
Mr. Putter and Tabby Row the Boat
by Cynthia Rylant
Harcourt 1997 (44p)
On a hot summer day, Mr. Putter and his cat Tabby and his neighbor Mrs. Teaberry and her dog Zeke cool off by taking a rowboat on a pond.
A Dog Named Sam
by Janice Boland
Dial 1996 (40p)
Three lighthearted stories about a playful dog named Sam.
Spot a Cat
by Lucy Micklethwaite
(Art)
Dorling 1995 (32p)
Readers look for a cat in each of thirteen fine art paintings.
I Love Guinea Pigs
by Dick King-Smith
(Science)
Candlewick 1995 (32p)
An appealing, chatty introduction to guinea pigs, including their care and feeding

AVERAGE

newThe Cats of Mrs. Calamari
by John Stadler
Orchard 1997 (32p)
Mrs. Calamari's new landlord insists that he doesn't like cats, so Mrs. Calamari finds clever ways to disguise her many felines.
newAlison's Puppy
by Marion Dane Bauer
Hyperion 1997 (40p)
Instead of the puppy she wants more than anything else in the world for her birthday, Alison gets a kitten she names Puppy.
Nugget & Darling
by Barbara M. Joosse
Clarion 1997 (32p)
Nell's dog Nugget finds a kitten, but he becomes jealous when Nell starts lavishing it with attention and affection.
Martha Blah Blah
by Susan Medddaugh
Houghton 1996 (32p)
Able to speak only gibberish after eating her daily bowl of alphabet soup, Martha the talking dog goes to the soup factory to investigate the disappearance of some of the soup's letters.
Rotten Ralph's Rotten Romance
by Jack Gantos
Houghton 1996 (32p)
Dressed as a cupid, Sarah's cat Rotten Ralph causes mischief at a Valentine's Day party before being smothered by the party goers' kisses.
Good Luck, Ronald Morgan!
by Patricia Reilly Giff
Viking 1996 (26p)
Ronald Morgan discovers that training his new dog Lucky and making friends with his new next-door neighbor Kelly takes patience and luck.
Mr. Putter and Tabby Pick the Pears
by Cynthia Rylant
Harcourt 1995 (44p)
Mr. Putter and his cat, Tabby, come up with a wild plan to pick pears to make into pear jelly.
Officer Buckle and Gloria
by Peggy Rathmann
Putnam 1995 (32p)
Officer Buckle's dog Gloria enlivens his boring safety lectures with her own funny antics.

CHALLENGING

newHarry's Pony
by Barbara Ann Porte
Greenwillow 1997 (56p)
When Harry wins a pony he can't keep in a contest, he donates the pony to the Red Barn Pony Farm, a place where physically challenged children learn to ride.
newTonio's Cat
by Mary Calhoun
(Multicultural)
Morrow 1996 (32p)
Tonio, an immigrant from Mexico, befriends a stray cat that helps him to to make friends and feel more at home.
Mr. Potter's Pet
by Dick King-Smith
Hyperion 1996 (64p)
Playing matchmaker, Mr. Potter's pet, a mynah bird named Everest, fixes up his bachelor owner with a childhood sweetheart.
Pet Parade
by Patricia Reilly Giff
Bantam 1996 (100p)
The kids in Ms. Rooney's class at the Polk Street school all worry that their pets aren't good enough to take to school for Pet Week.
Dogs
by Gail Gibbons
(Science)
Holiday 1996 (32p)
Information on canine breeds, physical characteristics, and behavior of dogs and puppies.

Shared Reading

I Had a Hippopotamus
by Hector Viveros Lee
(Multicultural)
Lee & Low 1996 (32p)
A box of animal crackers inspires a Mexican American boy to imagine what he'd do with the different creatures.
When the Fly Flew In
by Lisa Westberg Peters
Dial 1994 (32p)
A child doesn't want to wake his sleeping pets by cleaning his room, but a fly helps to get the job done.

Books for Teachers to Read Aloud

newDick King-Smith's Animal Friends
by Dick King-Smith
Candlewick 1996 (95p)
In thirty-one true life stories, the well-known author of Babe, the Gallant Pig tells about his favorite pets and other memorable animals he's encountered during his life.
newAsana and the Animals: A Book of Pet Poems
by Grace Nichols
(Multicultural)
Candlewick 1997 (32p)
These lively poems feature a girl named Asana and the cows, cats, elephants, honeybees, and other animals and insects she loves.
Top Banana
by Cari Best
Orchard 1997 (32p)
When Flora Dora brings home a delicate orchid named Scarlett O'Hara, her pampered but intelligent parrot Benny saves Scarlett when she gets sick.
Duke the Dairy Delight Dog
by Lisa Campbell Ernst
Simon 1996 (32p)
Duke the dog decides to make the Dairy Delight his home, but he must find a way to make Darla, the ice cream shop's scrupulously clean owner, welcome him.
Preposterous Pets
by Laura Cecil
Greenwillow 1995 (77p)
Thirteen humorous stories and poems about pets and other animals

Now Available in Paperback

newMr. Potter's Pet
by Dick King-Smith
Hyperion
newI Love Guinea Pigs
by Dick King-Smith
Candlewick
newDogs
by Gail Gibbons
Holiday
Henry and Mudge Take the Big Test
by Cynthia Rylant
Simon
The Outside Dog
by Charlotte Pomerantz
Harper
My Hen Is Dancing
by Karen Wallace
Candlewick
The Three-Legged Cat
by Margaret Mahy
Puffin
Wag Wag Wag
by Peter Hansard
Candlewick
Island Baby
by Holly Keller
Mulberry
Let's Get a Pet
by Harriet Ziefert
Puffin
Martha Speaks
by Susan Meddaugh
Houghton
Arthur's New Puppy
by Marc Brown
Little
Ginger Jumps
by Lisa Campbell Ernst
Simon
Millions of Cats
by Wanda Gag
Putnam

Now Available as a Big Book

The Little Old Woman and the Hungry Cat
by Nancy Polette
Mulberry
The Mysterious Tadpole
by Steven Kellogg
Puffin

Now Available in Spanish

Harry the Dirty Dog (Harry, el perrito sucio)
by Gene Zion
Harper Arco Iris
The Adventures of Taxi Dog (Las aventuras de Maxi, el perro taxista)
by Debra and Sal Barracca
Penguin Ediciones

Now Out of Print

I Had a Cat
by Mona Rabun Reeves
Esmeralda and the Pet Parade
by Cecile Schoberle
Poonam's Pets
by Andrew and Diana Davies