Try a nonfiction title to learn about the wondrous creatures we share our planet with, or read a fictional story focused on animals for thought-provoking fun. You can also join our "Tails and Tales" 2021 summer reading program and you might win a prize!

Compiled by:
Elizabeth G.
Becoming Wild: how animal cultures raise families, create beauty, and achieve peace

Carl Safina
591.782 Saf

Safina looks at the cultures created by sperm whales, scarlet macaws, and chimpanzees and how those cultures change and evolve, much like human cultures. Written in accessible language this fascinating book sheds light on the experience of being an animal.


Jackie Polzin

This original novel tells the story of a woman intent on keeping her brood of four chickens alive and safe against the odds while overcoming her grief after suffering a miscarriage.

Dog On It

Spencer Quinn

The first in the exciting, charming Chet & Bernie series which are hardboiled detective novels with a twist- they’re narrated by Chet the dog, a K-9 school washout, whose love and loyalty to his human PI partner Bernie knows no bounds.

The Elephant of Belfast

S. Kirk Walsh

Based on the true story of an Irish zookeeper who protects a beloved elephant during the German blitz of World War II. This vivid and moving story is both glimpse into history and a look at love, grief, and resilience.

How the Penguins Saved Veronica

Hazel Prior

The heartwarming story of how penguins in Antarctica bring together a wealthy, curmudgeonly old woman and her grandson.

The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s dogs and their tale of rescue and redemption

Jim Gorant
636.7 Gor

The tragedy of the dogs forced to fight at Michael Vick’s compound comes full circle with the surviving Vicktory Dogs. This groundbreaking case was the first to attempt to rehabilitate dogs seized from fighting rings, and the success is resounding with the majority of these dogs become cherished pets and therapy dogs. Their inspiring stories are told in this book.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

David Wroblewski

Edgar is mute and lives on a farm with his parents, raising the well-known Sawtelle dogs. When tragedy strikes Edgar flees with three young dogs and must fight to survive. This book is an adventure story with a soul focusing on the relationships of family and humans with dogs.

Ten Million Aliens: a journey through the entire animal kingdom

Simon Barnes

As entertaining as it is informative this thoughtful and funny book looks at how all creatures are interconnected and considers their similarities rather than their differences. 

The Travelling Cat Chronicles

Hiro Arikawa

Nana, a former stray cat, and his person Satoru take a road trip across Japan where they learn about courage, gratitude, loyalty, and love. This is a charming travelogue full of joy and wonder.

What it's like to be a bird : from flying to nesting, eating to singing -- what birds are doing, and why

David Sibley
598 Sib

Written in nontechnical prose this book explains bird behaviors and adaptations focusing mostly on well-known backyard birds that we encounter daily.

Wolf Nation: the life, death, and return of wild American wolves

Brenda Peterson
599.773 Pet

This 300-year history of American wolves examines their relationship with humans and their importance in the ecological world, as well as the author’s impassioned argument for saving these wild creatures.

World of Wonders: in praise of fireflies, whale sharks, and other astonishments

Aimee Nezhukumatathil
590 Nez

Celebrated poet Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship in the natural world in this lushly written book of essays.