Most children are fascinated by animals and long for a pet to call their own. While some are drawn to dogs and cats, others may focus on small mammals, horses, snakes, or even rats! Whether they are searching for information on a new/forthcoming pet, or just dreaming of a day in which they can call one their own, the library has many awesome selections for young readers:
As a child that loved all sorts of animals, I'm 100% sure that I would have checked out Great Pets repeatedly from my local library if it had been around when I was a young reader. For a child that loved mini-encyclopedia books stuffed with information (too bad DK wasn't around yet!), this information-packed guide to pets large and small would have been right up my alley. As a youth services librarian, I love its organization; instead of merely grouping the pets alphabetically, the animals are categorized into "aquarium pets," "pocket pets," "unusual apartment pets," and "backyard pets," in addition to "pet birds," "pet dogs," and the like. There's even a section on "pets in the wild," which discusses pigeons, earthworms, and bugs!
Since I can never have too much nonfiction for beginning readers, especially on animals, I immediately ordered Hedge-Hedgey-Hedgehogs when I discovered it. This early reader about hedgehogs has eye-catching photographs and controlled text aimed at young elementary school readers.
Even children who don't take riding lessons are curious about horses and horse care, which is why our horse care section is very popular! Kingfisher's Horse and Pony Care is one of our best guides; a horse's requirements for housing, feeding, and grooming are highlighted.
On the other end of the spectrum (in terms of pet size), Small Pet Care is ideal for pet owners of cute and compact critters. Tips on caring for hamsters, rabbits, and guinea pigs are presented in DK's typically photo and information-rich format.
Finally, American Humane Association's Top Pets for Kids series is a great resource for young pet owners seeking manageable books on birds, cats, dogs, fish, small mammals, and even reptiles and amphibians!
Animal fans of all ages should join us for our summer reading program kickoff on June 11. Wildlife Ambassadors will present a fantastic program with their animal ambassadors (who have been rescued from a variety of situations, ranging from exotic birds surrendered by their owners or wildlife animals unable to be returned to the wild). They've visited us many times, and always put on a fabulous program!
Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library