Animals are a staple in children’s book. Not only do they give color and flavor to the world in the story, they also make it very attractive to its target audience, the children. This literary device has probably get its origins from the old fables. Fables which are old morality tales with animals taking center stage. In fables, it is the animals and not the humans that struggle and find meaning in life.
For fabulists, telling stories about the lessons of human existence seem a lot easier if the audience is not directly addressed in the story. Fables seem to have the ability to ease its readers and listeners by its use of symbolism. In the present, fables seem to have lost its “monopoly” in this symbolism. Other non-fable stories have come to use animal characters to tell their message. This democratization of symbolism is a good thing too as it allows more authors to tell interesting and unique stories without being limited to common human setting.
Children’s books especially benefit from this approach. The imagination of kids knows no bounds and they themselves seem to enjoy the cuter or funnier animal characters.
So below, here are some books which use animals as the main characters to share its lessons. Take note that not all of these are necessarily fables.
The Ladybug and the Bully Frog by Caroleann Rice
Author Caroleann Rice is no stranger to using animals to tell her story. Her original stories with Solomon the Snail are among the most entertaining for children. She has chosen to continue within the same universe. This time it is Dot, a character we last met on “The Song of Solomon the Snail.” This time it her story to tell. A frog has been bullying the community and with the wisdom of the ever wise Solomon the Snail, it is up to Dot to talk to the frog and tell him that he is being very mean.
You can get the Ladybug and the Bully Frog as well as the authors previous books by vising her website.
The Snail and the Worm: Three Stories About Two Friends by Tina Kugler
The Snail and the Wormis a three story anthology of about two friends, namely the Snail and the Worm. The book is written by Tina Kugler. The three stories are episodic in nature and is a perfect book for transitioning from picture books to chapter books. The episodic stories are comical, nothing too serious. It depicts the two friends in silly antics as they tackle multiple topics such as adventuring and taking care of pets.
Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book) by Julie Falatko
This time, it the alligator’s turn….. Except, it seems that the alligator himself does not want to do it. In this book, we follow Snapssy or maybe annoy is the more appropriate word as he goes on with his daily life. First and foremost, Snapssy just wants to be left alone in his normal day when the pesky narrator starts narrating his life. Is he going to the grocery store or is he prowling in the forest for any unsuspecting prey? Is he just trying to read a book or trying to craft his next evil plan. Whatever he wants to do, the pesky narrator is there to sabotage his plans… or maybe just make fun of him.
Bob the Artist by Marion Deuchars
We are all unique individuals. Despite our flaws, there will always be something that we can do that nobody else can. Such is the lesson that Bob the Bird will learn in his journey with this book. Bob, who is a bird like all his friends is teased because of his skinny legs. Tired of all this ridicule, the decides to change himself through the best medium there is…. Art.