5 Great Books About the Zoo

The spring is an excellent time for the outdoors. Botanic gardens, parks, and zoos were always some of my boys’ favorites. My eldest has always said he wants to be a zoologist (if he’s not a pro baseball player), and I honestly believe it’s because we spent so much time at the zoo and reading books about the zoo.

We were blessed to live near the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. when he was a newborn, and then we lived in Chicago from right after his first birthday until after his 5th, where we regularly visited the Lincoln Park Zoo and Brookfield Zoo. Now, we mostly frequent the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

While spring weather is temperate, there is no wrong time of year to visit the zoo!

Because we love the zoo so much, I am sharing ten of our favorite books about the zoo for you to share with your little ones!

1. Good Night, Gorilla by Penny Rathermann

Regarding books about the zoo, Good Night, Gorilla is a classic!

Book Description: It’s bedtime at the zoo, and all the animals will sleep. Or are they? Who’s that short, furry guy with the key in his hand and the mischievous grin?

Click here to purchase!

2. ZooBorns: Zoo Babies from Around the World by Andrew Bleiman

You and your little one are sure to love these baby animals!

Book Description: Pulled from the wildly popular ZooBorns blog pages, this picture book presents the most charming critters ever: baby animals ranging from the adorable to the zany! Featuring full-color photographs on every page and a cozy text perfect for reading aloud, this book is bound to become a must-have for animal lovers of all ages.

Click here to purchase!

3. The View at the Zoo by Kathleen Long Bostrom

A fun modern classic about the zoo!

Book Description: As morning dawns, the zookeeper makes his rounds, exhorting animals to wake up, comb their hair, and stand up straight. When human visitors arrive, the observations begin: “My, what silly things they do, all these creatures at the zoo—walking on all kinds of feet, dancing to an inner beat. Babies riding on their backs, on their bellies, snug in sacks. Hear the silly sounds they speak as they howl, squawk, and shriek!” But just who is talking about whom? With a clever twist and a new, sturdy board book format, this book will have even the youngest children begging for a trip to the zoo.

Click here to purchase!

4. Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire

This is one of my favorite books about the zoo. I remember from childhood!

Book Description: Spot longs to be in the zoo with all the other animals, but the zoo doesn’t want him! In this beloved Beginner Book edited by Dr. Seuss, Spot shows a young boy and girl all the exciting things he can do with his spots—from changing their color and juggling them to moving them onto different objects!

Click here to purchase!

5. Friends: True Stories of Extraordinary Animals Friendships

This book about the zoo teaches friendships come in all shapes and sizes!

Book Description: What makes camel friends with a Vietnamese pig? Or a wild polar bear pals with a sled dog? In this young preschool book, Catherine Thimmesh makes us wonder at the truth and mystery of unlikely animal friendships. This book also expresses tolerance of differences and will make your preschooler look at the kindness of animals—and humans—a little differently.

Click here to purchase!

Updated March 5, 2024, by L. Elizabeth Forry

written by

L. Elizabeth Forry 

L. Elizabeth Forry is an Early Childhood Educator with fifteen years of classroom teaching experience. She earned a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from The University of North Dakota and has a Bachelor of Arts in English and one in Music from Lebanon Valley College. She has taught children in Japan, Washington D.C., Chicago, and suburban Maryland. She is trained as a reading therapist, has a TEFL certification, and has done extensive work with children regarding mental health, social-emotional development, gender development. She has written curriculum for children and educators and has led training sessions for parents and educators on various topics on early childhood development. She is the mother of two boys and resides outside of Annapolis, Maryland.

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