Boys love pets—and wild animals! And it's no secret that they're into dinosaurs. Visit your own backyard or school courtyard and see what animals you can observe. And check out your local museum of natural history to see some real, live (ahem, well...) dinosaurs. Be sure to suggest series with animal stars but tons of action and adventure, like Hank the Cowdog and Redwall.


Animal Grossology

by Sylvia Branzei
Ages 9-12 | Grades 3-7

Learn about slimy creatures, vomit-munchers, bloodsuckers, and unforgettable animal poops. It's an icky concoction of information, but it contains a heaping helping of real and memorable scientific facts.

Big Cats

by Joyce Milton, illustrated by Silvia Duran
Ages 7-8 | Grades 2 | Guided Reading Level L

From tigers to cougars and leopards to lions, this book is a great introduction to big cats. Topics discussed include hunting techniques, sleeping habits, color patterns, and the importance of preserving the cats’ habitats.

See Penguin Young Readers Website!

Black Out!: Animals That Live in the Dark

by Ginjer L. Clarke
Ages 6-8 | Grades 1-3

Black Out! is packed with interesting facts about all the creepy animals that we never get to see during the daytime, such as the barn owl, the blind cave fish, the vampire squid, and the trapdoor spider.

Bug Out!

by Ginjer L. Clarke
Ages 4-8 | Grades PreS-3

This reader features some of the most disgusting, far-out bugs on the planet. Learn how a scorpion uses its poison, discover how the jumping spider hunts, marvel at the weight of the giant wetapunga, and so much more in this book that will have everyone itching for more!

See Penguin Young Readers Website!

Far Out!

by Ginjer L. Clarke
Ages 6-8 | Grades 1-3

Did you know that chimpanzees can learn sign language? Far Out! is packed with interesting facts about animals that can do amazing and humanlike things.

Gross Out!

by Ginjer L. Clarke
Ages 4-8 | Grades PreS-3

Did you know that the horned lizard squirts blood out of its eyes to scare off predators? Learn more about this creature as well as the leech, the naked mole rat, the hagfish, and many more creepy critters in this sickening and super science book.

Maxed Out! Gigantic Creatures from the Past

by Ginjer L. Clarke
Ages 6-8 | Grades 1-3

Dinosaurs aren't the only animals that roamed the earth during the prehistoric era. There was the Archelon, the largest turtle ever, measuring over 13 feet, and the Argentavis, the largest bird ever recorded, weighing in at over 140 pounds! Learn more about humongous animals from this time period.

Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs!

by Kathleen V. Kudlinski
Ages 6-8 | Grades 1-3

The ancient Chinese thought they were magical dragons. Scientists thought they could only float on water since they were so big. Boy, were they wrong! Even today, notions about dinosaurs are being revised as new discoveries are made. This lively book offers fascinating insight into how certain theories were formulated, and then how those theories were proved or disproved.

Call of the Wild

by Jack London
Ages 8 up | Grades 3-6

Buck is a sturdy crossbreed canine accustomed to a comfortable life as a family dog, until he's seized from his pampered surroundings and shipped to Alaska to be a sled dog. Forced to function in a climate where every day is a savage struggle for survival, Buck reverts to his dormant primeval instincts, encountering danger and adventure as he becomes the leader of a wolf pack and undertakes a journey of nearly mythical proportions.

Cowboy and Octopus

by Jon Scieszka | illustrated by Lane Smith
Ages 1 up | Grades PreS up

Meet Cowboy and Octopus—the next great pair to become a household name. Cowboy likes beans'n'bacon and bacon'n'beans. Octopus eats raw seafood. Octopus prefers knock-knock jokes, but Cowboy doesn't get them. How will these two ever be friends?

Dino Pets Go To School

by Lynn Plourde, Illustrated by Gideon Kendall
Ages 3-5 | Grades PreS-K

It's pet day at school and one boy knows just what to bring: dinosaurs of course! But he quickly learns that it's hard for the too loud, too tall and too spiky dinos to fit in in the classroom! A hilarious prehistoric pet parade ensues and school will never be the same!

Dinosaur Eggs

by Jennifer Dussling, Illustrated by Pamela Johnson
Ages 7-8 | Grade 2 | Guided Reading Level M

Follow a team of fossil hunters on a dig! This book presents a fascinating look at dinosaur egg fossils and dinosaurs in general.

See Penguin Young Readers Website!

Dragonbreath

by Ursula Vernon
Ages 8-12 | Grades 3-7

Using a hybrid of comic-book panels and text, Ursula Vernon introduces an irresistible set of characters with a penchant for getting themselves into sticky situations. It's perfect for both the classroom and the Wimpy Kid set.

Frogs

by Laura Driscoll
Ages 4-6 | Grades PreK-1 | Guided Reading Level I

Croak if you love frogs! Amazing amphibians leap from the pages of this easy nonfiction reader featuring incredible cut-paper frogs in every color, shape, and size.

See Penguin Young Readers Website!

Hank the Cowdog: The Original Adventures #1

by John R. Erickson
Ages 9-12 | Grades 3-7

Hank has been accused of murder! In a fit of despair, Hank resigns his position as Head of Ranch Security and decides to join the outlaw coyotes. Hanks meets Missy Coyote, sister to Scraunch, the meanest, roughest, toughest, most notorious coyote in the whole country, and if Scraunch finds Hank with his sister, well, look out for trouble!

I'm The Biggest Thing in the Ocean

by Kevin Sherry
Ages 3-5 | Grades PreS-K

When a giant squid takes inventory of all of the creatures in the ocean, he realizes that he's way bigger than most of them! Of course, there are bigger things lurking around...but maybe this giant squid with a giant touch of hubris doesn't really care?

I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean!

by Kevin Sherry
Ages 3-5 | Grades PreS-K

In this follow-up to I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean, that irrepressible squid is back—with a mustache! He's an artist; in fact, he's the best artist in the entire ocean. He squirts ink, and his mess-terpiece is sure to wow his fellow fish. But perhaps they aren't as pleased as he would think?

Jeff Corwin: Creepy-Crawly Critters

by Jeff Corwin
Ages 6-8 | Grades 1-3

Read along as animal expert Jeff Corwin tells you all about the creepy-crawly animals that live in the southwestern desert. Over forty photos help bring this fascinating region to life! From the giant vinegaroon and velvet ant to the trapdoor spider and desert hairy scorpion, kids will love learning all about the captivating creatures that call the desert home.

Jeff Corwin: The Extraordinary Everglades

by Jeff Corwin
Ages 6-8 | Grades 1-3

Read along as animal expert Jeff Corwin tells you about the Florida Everglades and his experiences there. Over forty photos bring this fascinating region to life! From the American alligator of the freshwater marsh to the West Indian manatee of the Florida Bay, learn more about the captivating plants and animals in the Everglades.

Jeff Corwin: Snakes

by Jeff Corwin
Ages 6-8 | Grades 1-3

Read along as animal expert Jeff Corwin tells you about his favorite snakes and the experiences he's had with them!

My Side of the Mountain

by Jean Craighead George
Ages 8-12 | Grades 3-6

Terribly unhappy in his family's crowded New York City apartment, Sam Gribley runs away to the solitude—and danger—of the mountains, where he finds a side of himself he never knew.

One Cool Friend

by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by David Small
Ages 5-8 | Grades K-3

On a momentous visit to the aquarium, Elliot discovers his dream pet: a penguin. It's just proper enough for a straight-laced boy like him. And when he asks his father if he may have one (please and thank you), his father says yes. Elliot should have realized that Dad probably thought he meant a stuffed penguin and not a real one...

Redwall

by Brian Jacques
Ages 8-12 | Grades 3-6

What can the peace-loving mice of Redwall Abbey do to defend themselves against Cluny the Scourge and his battle-seasoned army of rats? If only they had the sword of Martin the Warrior, they might have a chance. But the legendary weapon has long been forgotten—except by the bumbling young apprentice Matthias, who becomes the unlikeliest of heroes.

Redwall: The Rogue Crew

by Brian Jacques
Ages 10 and up | Grades 5 and up

The fearsome Razzid Wearat, captain of the Greenshroud is a terror of both land and sea, traveling Mossflower Country, killing nearly everything and everyone in his path. And his goal? To conquer Redwall Abbey. The brave hares of the Long Patrol msut team up with the fearless sea otters of the Rogue Crew to form a to defend the abbey and defeat Razzid Wearat once and for all.

Sharks!

by Ginjer L. Clarke, Steven James Petruccio
Ages 4-6 | Grades PreK-1 | Guided Reading Level J

The very youngest readers can learn all about sharks-the fiercest of the fish family-in this informative reader. The simple, clear text and striking pictures makes this a perfect first introduction to these amazing creatures.

See Penguin Young Readers Website!

Shark Wars

by E.J. Altbacker
Ages 9-12 | Grades 4-7

Rising sea temperatures and overfishing have caused food to become scarce for the prehistoric shark clans called Shivers and the battle for new hunting grounds has brought with it corruption and warfare. Now, with the ocean on the brink of chaos, a young reef shark named Gray must venture deep into Open Water to unlock the secrets of his destiny and bring peace back to the ocean.

Skippyjon Jones

by Judy Schachner
Ages 5-8 | Grades K-3

Skippyjon Jones is no ordinary kitten. Oh, no! He's actually El Skippito, a great swordfighter ready to battle banditos the world over! With a little imagination and a whole lot of fun, this frisky cat dons a mask and cape and to save the day.

Spider’s Lunch: All About Garden Spiders

by Joanna Cole, illustrated by Ron Broda
Ages 6-7 | Grade 1 | Guided Reading Level G

This introduction to the arachnid world explains how a hungry garden spider obtains food by building a web and patiently waiting to catch something tasty.

See Penguin Young Readers Website!

White Fang

by Jack London
Ages 9-11 | Grades 3-6

In the desolate, frozen wilds of northwest Canada, a wolf cub soon finds himself the sole survivor of the litter. Son of Kiche, half-wolf, half-dog, and the aging wolf One Eye, he is thrust into a savage world where each day becomes a fight to stay alive

Your Backyard Is Wild

by Jeff Corwin
Ages 6-8 | Grades 1-3

When Lucy and Benjamin get a chance to visit their cousin Gabe in Brooklyn, they can't wait to see how different it will be from the fascinating animals and plants they're used to seeing in the Florida Everglades.