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Why do books for children center around animals?

Have you ever wondered why so many kid’s books feature animals? I’m so thrilled to have my article featured in Local Paws Magazine! I hope you’ll check it out here:
Be sure to read all of the other great articles in the magazine too! Lots of informative stuff that’s great for pet owners and animal lovers.

Why books for children centre around animals

Informative Articles

If you have kids, you probably have bookshelves full of stories that center around animals, but do you know why authors choose to feature animals as main characters and what children stand to gain from this?

As a publisher whose collection for kids features a ton of different animals, it’s been my experience that authors and illustrators love creating animal-based characters because they are universal, familiar, and comforting to most of the population. This is especially true for children because animals are a constant, stable image that change far less rapidly in time than people do. Books that feature anthropomorphic creatures as main characters help teach children important lessons of empathy, love, teamwork, problem-solving, and acceptance without being heavy-handed or preachy.

Why do we so often transform animals in children’s books? It may seem strange to some, but anthropomorphism and transmogrification have been part of storytelling for as long as humans have been telling stories. Anthropomorphism is a useful device, allowing readers to use their own experiences to connect with the characters and themes in a story.

The importance of animals in children’s books offers a survey of the changing representations of animals in the world of children’s literature, from their earliest appearance as symbols to their present function as characters within the stories themselves. Animals in children’s literature play an important role in the lives of children and their parents and guardians. Children use them as a vehicle to engage meaningfully with their environment, to gain perspective on the world around them, and ultimately to develop confidence in their ability to cope with challenges.

Children’s assumed familiarity with pets and animals can help them understand the chaotic, ever-changing world around them in a gentle, non-threatening way and can soften complex issues that books explore, such as death, divorce, illness, and bullying, as examples. Additionally, studies show many benefits when children read to animals, such as no fear of judgment if they make a mistake and an increased willingness to try again if they stumble over a word.  

Reading is one of the most fundamental skills that children learn. It helps them develop essential literacy skills, and it helps them learn how to understand their world. Reading can also help children develop compassion, imagination, and a love of learning. But reading can be difficult for kids who have trouble focusing on an activity for long periods of time. This is where animals come in! Reading to an animal or cuddling with an animal while reading show an increase in engagement for children. Reading aloud to a beloved pet has been shown to increase reading comprehension by up to 30%. Cuddling with animals also expands relaxation and lowers stress levels, which can help keep kids focused on their books for longer amounts of time.

And if that wasn’t enough, benefits from cuddling with animals while reading also leads kids to take an interest in an animal species! Children who are interested in animals will want to learn more about them, which gives parents the opportunity to talk with kids about conservation efforts or what they’re doing to help protect wildlife in their area, and they will seek out books that fill those needs. 

As the world has grown to discover the needs of children and what makes them happy, books have become one of the key tools in discovering children’s learning and development. As children grow, so do their interests in the world around them, expanding from toys and friends to animals, the environment, and people different from themselves.

We all have the responsibility to take care of and preserve our world and the animals that live in it. Through children’s books, we can teach kids the importance of taking care of animals and preserving their habitats and natural resources. They can also learn about possible careers based around animals as well as our interconnectedness with each other as humans and other creatures on this planet.

Article by Lacey L. Bakker 
Lacey L. Bakker is the owner of Pandamonium Publishing House, where the motto is Publishing Made Simple. We take a complex, chaotic, confusing publishing process and make it easy so that you can get back to what really matters, sharing your stories with friends, family, and the world.

Instagram: pandamonium_publishing_house8

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Countdown to Literacy, Panda Farm Frenzy

December 15, 2021– We’re reading Panda the Very Bad Cat Farm Frenzy today as we countdown to literacy! check out all of our videos on our YouTube channel. We post new stories from Monday to Friday each week, check back daily!


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We Want Your Pet Stories! Official Story Call-Out

January 18, 2021- We’re looking for YOUR pet stories! We’re doing another collaborative book with authors who want to tell us how their pet has made a difference in their life. This book will come out in July/August 2021 and the proceeds will be donated to animals in need. All you have to do to participate is:

  1. Write your story. Please keep it to 1200 words or less.
  2. Send it to and in the subject line write Pet Story Submission.
  3.  We will contact you to let you know if your story has been chosen.

You will receive a free copy of the book, with the opportunity to purchase additional copies at a discounted rate, and the proceeds will be donated to animals in need. Here’s your chance to become a published author and see your name in print! Submissions will be closed on June 1st. 

Possible topics include: 

-Service/guide animals
-Fostering animals
-How your pet has made a difference in your life
-Therapy animals
-Animal Heroes
-A funny story about your pet (make us laugh out loud!)
-A heartwarming story about your pet
-The joy your pet brings you
-Pet Bereavement and keeping their memory/signs from above that they still watch over us
-Quirky personality traits or habits that your pet has

All pets are welcome! Tell us your story, we can’t wait to read it.




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Did You Know?

May 1, 2017- Did you know that every time you purchase a copy of our book Panda the Very Bad Cat you’re helping animals? Yep! We donate 50% of the proceeds to animals in need with each sale of our book. A few of the places that we’ve donated to are The Niagara Falls Humane Society, Burlington Humane Society, Bear Creek Sanctuary, The Toronto Cat Rescue, Pet Patrol, and Binbrook Animal Hospital’s Angel Fund.

Look for Panda the Very Bad Cat in Coles, Chapters, Indigo, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.

We think that it is so important to help those who can’t help themselves! Join us in helping animals in need and feel free to contact us to see how you can help.

Front Cover