National Pet Day is April 11th

Are you celebrating National Pet Day? Who doesn’t love pets?! While we don’t necessarily need an excuse to celebrate our pets, I am using National Pet Day as an excuse to shower our dog with even more love and read quality books! It’s always fun to add a random day of celebrating to the calendar!

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Read Aloud to Your Pet on National Pet Day

Whether you have a Beginning Reader Ben, Transitional Reader Taylor, Reluctant Reader Rosie, or Fluent Reader Freddie, let your little reader read aloud to your pet! Skip down to the section for your reader’s type. If you’re not sure what type of reader you have, then start by taking the quiz here!

Not sure which section to skip down to? Take the quiz by clicking the image above. You’ll receive book suggestions and strategies for your reader!

I used to ask my first graders to read aloud to their stuffed animals. It was one of their favorite assignments! Reading aloud to ANYONE~ grandma, mom, an uninterested sibling, a stuffie, or a pet, is great for practicing their reading fluency. It is always wonderful for your kids to hear YOU reading to them as well. So grab your pet, snuggle up with your kids, and decide who is reading aloud today!

Pet Books for Beginning Reader Ben

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka

My very first recommendation is a wordless book! You may be thinking, “What is the point of a book with no words?” However, this wordless book is PERFECT for Beginning Reader Bens (spoiler alert: It’s already on the Beginning Reader Ben book list!).

Let your child “read” the pictures to you. A Ball for Daisy is about the classic pet, a dog, so, most kids can easily relate to this book! They can make up their own story according to Chris Raschka’s illustrations. Since this practices directionality and many other prereading skills like turning the pages and reading those pictures, it is a great book for Beginning Reader Bens!

I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff

My first graders LOVED this book. To be honest, I also read I Wanna Iguana to my fourth graders to show how this author’s purpose is to persuade its readers to get an iguana. If your child has been wanting a reptile pet, but you are not ready to fulfill that lifelong dream for them, you may want to skip this book 😉 Karen Kaufman Orloff has a few books in this series, including I Wanna New Room and I Wanna Go Home. These are not pet-related, but maybe books that your Beginning Reader Ben will enjoy!

For a more comprehensive book list for Beginning Reader Bens, be sure to take the quiz! You’ll get a book list and strategies delivered straight to your inbox!

Transitional Reader Taylor Pet Books

Alfie by Thrya Heder

You may hear this a lot around here, but this is one of my favorite books! This is a longer picture book, which is why I did not put it under the Beginning Reader Ben section. There is also a lot of inferring from the pictures in this book, which I also love and sometimes Beginning Reader Bens do not pick up on this. In this story, we hear from the little girl, Nia, and also the turtle, Alfie’s, perspectives. This heartwarming story will show your child the power of friendship and how friends can see the world differently!

According to Kirkus Reviews, “A perfect companion for a young pet lover or pet owner-to be.” So, you see how I had to include this book for National Pet Day!

Mercy Watson Series by Kate DiCamillo

Have you ever considered a pig for a pet? No? Then you should talk with Mr. and Mrs. Watson who do not consider Mercy a pig, but rather, a porcine wonder! One of my absolute favorite authors for Transitional and Fluent Readers is Kate DiCamillo. My little interns absolutely love Mercy Watson. Since these transitional texts are easy to pick up and reread, they are perfect for this type of reader!

Want to learn more about Transitional Reader Taylor and see if you have one? Take the quiz for more book suggestions and strategies!

Pet Books for Fluent Reader Freddies

The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney

Humphrey is one of the most famous class pets in the literature world! Because of this, I actually used one of Betty G. Birney’s Humphrey books for a book club with Adventures With Books! First, how can you not fall in love with this cute hamster? Because Humphrey is so loveable, Betty G. Birney wrote an easier series featuring each classmate’s adventures when they take Humprhey home. Together with Humprhey’s adorable character and reading from his point of view, this is the perfect series to read aloud on National Pet Day!

How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O’Connor

I told myself I would limit the dog books on this list, but this is just too good of a story not to include! Barbara O’Connor also wrote Wish, another story with a dog in it! She touches on some heavy topics, but does it in such a loving way. Readers will fall in love with Georgina and her want to “borrow” the right dog. The IRA’s review states, “A must-have for a classroom library.”

Reluctant Reader Rosie Pet Day Books

Reluctant readers can be found on every reading level! It is hard to choose books for these readers, but our main goal is to motivate them to read! These books turned movies are a great place to start for reluctant readers!

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Florence and Richard Atwater

This is another book club pick for Adventures with Books! Have you ever wanted to keep penguins as pets? This book outlines some of the challenges you may face! However, you’ll see how easy it is to fall in love with these animals. Additionally, this book is also a movie. Many of the book club families watched Mr. Popper’s Penguins for their family movie night after we read the book together!

So, what is your favorite National Pet Day book? Do you have any books you would add to my list? Let me know in the comments and be sure to take the quiz to get your reader’s book list!

Kim Creigh, M.Ed