Books Teaching Compassion for Animals to Children of All Ages

Books For Younger Children

V Is For Vegan: The ABCs of Being Kind

By Ruby Roth

Books Teaching Compassion to Children

V Is For Vegan is the perfect tool for teaching young children about compassion and kindness, and is a must-have for vegan and vegetarian parents, teachers, and activists. This book teaches “the ABCs of being kind”—both to animals and to our planet, and shows kids how they can make a positive impact on the world. It’s an uplifting and educational picture book that introduces young readers to animal rights, environmental issues, and the virtues of a plant-based diet. In V Is For Vegan, Ruby Roth uses memorable rhymes and charming illustrations, to introduce young readers to the major vegan food groups (grains, beans, seeds, nuts, vegetables, and fruits) as well as the broader concepts of animal protection and the environment. V Is for Vegan will enhance the confidence of vegan kids about to enter school and help adults explain their ethical worldview in a way that young children will understand. Age Range: 3 – 7 years. Grade Level: Preschool – 2. Ruby Roth is the author-illustrator of the much-loved That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals and Vegan Is Love, Having Heart and Taking Action. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things

By Ruby Roth

Books Teaching Compassion to ChildrenThat’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals uses colorful artwork and lively text to introduce vegetarianism and veganism to early readers (ages six to ten). Written and illustrated by Ruby Roth, the book features an endearing animal cast of pigs, turkeys, cows, quail, turtles, and dolphins. These creatures are shown in both their natural state—rooting around, bonding, nuzzling, cuddling, grooming one another, and charming each other with their family instincts and rituals—and in the terrible conditions of the factory farm. The book also describes the negative effects eating meat has on the environment. A separate section entitled “What Else Can We Do?” suggests ways children can learn more about the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, such as “Celebrate Thanksgiving with a vegan feast” or “Buy clothes, shoes, belts, and bags that are not made from leather or other animal skins or fur.” This compassionate, informative book offers both an entertaining read and a resource to inspire parents and children to talk about a timely, increasingly important subject. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Vegan is Love: Having Heart and Taking Action

By Ruby Roth

Books Teaching Compassion to ChildrenIn Vegan Is Love, author-illustrator Ruby Roth introduces young readers to veganism as a lifestyle of compassion and action. Broadening the scope of her popular first book That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals, Roth illustrates how our daily choices ripple out locally and globally, conveying what we can do to protect animals, the environment, and people across the world. Roth explores the many opportunities we have to make ethical decisions: refusing products tested on or made from animals; avoiding sea parks, circuses, animal races, and zoos; choosing to buy organic food; and more. Roth’s message is direct but sensitive, bringing into sharp focus what it means to “put our love into action.” Featuring empowering back-of-the-book resources on action children can take themselves, this is the next step for adults and kids alike to create a more sustainable and compassionate world. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary

By Maya Gottfried, Robert Rahway Zakanitch, Farm Sanctuary (Watkins Glen, N.Y.) Staff

Books Teaching Compassion to ChildrenMaya the cow, J.D. the piglet, Hilda the sheep, and a dozen more animals all speak directly to the reader, showing off their unique personalities in this wonderful collection of poems. Master watercolorist Robert Rahway Zakanitch provides a portrait that perfectly captures the essence of each creature. Together the poems and paintings add up to a picture of life on the friendliest farm around. Maya Gottfried based her poems on real animals from Farm Sanctuary, a safe haven for injured or abused farm animals with locations in New York and California. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Linus the Vegetarian T. rex

By Robert Neubecker

Books Teaching Compassion to ChildrenRuth Ann Mackenzie knows everything about dinosaurs. She knows their names. She knows when they lived. And she certainly knows what they ate. So when she meets Linus, a towering, toothy T. rex who prefers picking vegetables to preying on his herbivorous neighbors, she’s not sure what to think. Is something wrong with Linus? Or does Ruth Ann maybe, not know everything there is to know about dinosaurs? Dino lovers young and old will delight in this picture book chock-full of prehistoric personality—and don’t forget to search for the naughty velociraptor duo hidden throughout the book! Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon

By Jules Bass (Writer) and Debbie Harter (Illustrator)

Books Teaching Compassion to ChildrenAll the dragons in the forest of Nogard like nothing better than raiding Castle Dark and carrying off princesses to eat all the dragons, that is, except one. Herb is at his happiest tending his vegetable patch, for Herb is a vegetarian. So it is unfortunate that he is the one captured by the castle s knights in armor. Treacherous Meathook and his dragon cronies will only help Herb if he agrees to eat meat will he give in to their blackmail? Jules Bass s lighthearted story combines with Debbie Harter s jaunty illustrations to make this a hilarious picture book that also offers young readers plenty of food for thought. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Not A Nugget

By Stephanie Dreyer and Jack Veda

Books Teaching Compassion to ChildrenFood or friend? Through fun animal facts and charming illustrations, Not A Nugget shows children a different way to view animals and their food. It helps both parents and children carefully look at the food they are eating, and gives readers more information about the food they eat. It’s a great way to introduce veganism to small children in a non-judgmental and non-threatening way, and makes a good book for read-aloud sessions in classrooms and school libraries, or before bedtime. With a special foreword by Gene Baur, founder of Farm Sanctuary, this book is an educational resource for parents and teachers to introduce children to plant-based living. Stephanie Dreyer is the founder of VeegMama, a vegan lifestyle brand sharing new approaches to healthy living. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Story of Ferdinand

By Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson

Books Teaching Compassion to ChildrenPublished more than 50 years ago (and one of the bestselling children’s books of all time), this simple story of peace and contentment has withstood the test of many generations. Ferdinand is a little bull who much prefers sitting quietly under a cork tree—just smelling the flowers—to jumping around, snorting, and butting heads with other bulls. This cow is no coward—he simply has his pacifist priorities clear. As Ferdinand grows big and strong, his temperament remains mellow, until the day he meets with the wrong end of a bee. On a fateful day shortly after, five men come to choose the “biggest, fastest, roughest bull” for the bullfights in Madrid. Ferdinand’s day in the arena gives readers not only an education in the historical tradition of bullfighting, but also a lesson in nonviolent tranquility. Robert Lawson’s black-and-white drawings are evocative and detailed, with especially sweet renditions of Ferdinand, the serene bull hero.  The Story of Ferdinand closes with one of the happiest endings in the history of happy endings—readers of all ages will drift off to a peaceful sleep, dreaming of sweet-smelling flowers and contented cows. This new edition contains the complete original text of the story and the original illustrations with watercolor tones added. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Santa’s First Vegan Christmas

By Robin Raven

Books Teaching Compassion to ChildrenThis year, experience the holidays with a story of love, peace, and compassion! Meet Dana, a forthright and fun-loving reindeer who lives in the Arctic. On Christmas Eve, she meets Santa Claus, who has come looking for reindeer to pull his sleigh. Dana gently opens Santa’s eyes to how we can be more kind to animals. Together they take off on a journey around the world, spreading far more than holiday cheer and giving far more than presents. By the time the sun rises on Christmas Day, things will never be the same! Available on Amazon and Vegan Publishers.

BOOKS TEACHING COMPASSION FOR ANIMALS TO CHILDREN OF ALL AGESLegend of the Animal Healer series (Books 1-3): the White Giraffe, Dolphin Song, and The Last Leopard) (3-Book Set) 9 – 12 years old

By Lauren St. John 

These three novels are part of the African Adventure Series, written for younger children. Three novels are part of the set, available individually, and are set in Africa. THE WHITE GIRAFFE: When Martine’s home in England burns down, killing her parents, she must go to South Africa to live on a wildlife reserve with the grandmother she never knew she had. Martine starts to hear stories about a white giraffe living on the reserve, and she soon discovers that the legendary creature is real … and in danger! Can she save him? DOLPHIN SONG: A school trip off the coast of South Africa turns perilous when Martine and five of her classmates are thrown overboard into shark-infested waters. After being saved by a pod of dolphins, the kids end up marooned on a desert island. Now the castaways must figure out how to survive — and how to save the dolphins that have mysteriously beached themselves on the island’s shore! THE LAST LEOPARD: When Martine’s grandmother gets a frantic call from an old friend, Martine finds herself traveling to Zimbabwe — and facing her greatest challenge yet! According to a local legend, the final resting place of the king of leopards is also the hiding place of the king’s treasure — and some poachers and treasure hunters will stop at nothing to discover if the legend is true! Now it’s up to Martine to find and protect Khan, the last leopard in the Matobo Hills. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Books For Older Children

The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood

By Sy Montgomery

Books Teaching Compassion to Children of All AgesThis is an enchanting story about a naturalist, Sy Montgomery who rescued a very sick piglet and raised him at her home in rural New Hampshire. The Good Good Pig follows Christopher Hogwood, as he grows from a baby piglet to a middle age adult, highlighting all his funny antics, his boundless zest for life, his loving heart for other animals, his intelligence and his national fame. Sy reveals how this very special pig reached out and touched so many people, and what she and others learned from his generous soul who just so happened to be a pig—his lessons about self-acceptance, the meaning of family, the value of community, and the pleasures of the sweet green Earth. The Good Good Pig provides proof that with love, almost anything is possible. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Esther the Wonder Pig: Changing the World One Heart at a Time

By Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter and Caprice Crane 

Books Teaching Compassion to Children of All AgesUnlikely pig owners Steve and Derek got a whole lot more than they bargained for when the designer micro piglet they adopted turned out to be a full-sized 600-pound sow! In the bestselling tradition of pet memoirs such as Oogy, Dewey, and Giant George, the story of Esther The Wonder Pig shows how families really do come in all shapes and sizes. After adopting Esther as a baby, within three years, tiny Esther grew to a whopping 600 pounds. After some real growing pains and a lot of pig-sized messes, it became clear that Esther needed much more space, so Steve and Derek made another life-changing decision: they bought a farm and opened the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, where they could care for Esther and other animals in need. Funny, heartwarming, and utterly charming, Esther The Wonder Pig follows Steve and Derek’s adventure–from reluctant pig parents to farm-owning advocates for animals. A New York Times Bestseller. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Persimmon Takes on Humanity (The Enlightenment Adventures: Book One)

By Christopher Locke

Animal rights fictionWhat would you do if you saw someone committing unimaginable acts of cruelty? Turn the other way or defend those in need—no matter the cost? That’s the dilemma thrust upon Persimmon, a clever and compassionate raccoon, and her loyal forest friends. Instantly, the courageous critters spring into action, risking their own lives to rescue any animal they see suffering at the hands of humans. What the team doesn’t know is just how rampant this violence really is, and soon their exciting rescue missions turn shockingly dangerous and deadly. Will they succeed in saving the animals of the world from humans’ brutality, or will they fall victim to the powerful system of abuse they’re trying so desperately to end? Nathan Runkle, Founder and President of Mercy for Animals says, “Powerful, captivating and inspiring! By the time you turn the last page, this book will have changed your life.” An interview with Christopher Locke. Available on Amazon.

Doctor Rat

By William Kotzwinkle 

Books Teaching Compassion for Animals to Children of All AgesDoctor Rat is a lab rat who after being experimented on for medical research for many years, has gone insane. This wise-cracking, witty rodent hasn’t lost his sense of humor though, and tells the tales of the many bloodcurdling experiments that go on the university laboratory, even when they’ve already been done thousands of times on different animals. As Doctor Rat puts it, “We’ve got to continue verifying facts that were established a hundred years ago. Such verification is essential to our national defense.” This is until a revolution begins and the tables are turned and the rats take over the lab. Soon animals worldwide that have experienced injustice, torture, and suffering at the hands of man also rise up and a world revolution begins! This Winner of the World Fantasy Award teaches the truth about animal research through humor, sarcasm, anecdotes and high-flying drama. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Holy Cow

By David Duchovny

Books Teaching Compassion for Animals to Children of All AgesElsie Bovary is a happy cow enjoying life, until she learns she’s destined for slaughter. Shocked and dismayed, Elsie schemes and plots her escape with the help of a motley crew of charismatic animal buddies, who end up running for their lives in a rollicking, globe-trotting adventure with a twist. In Holy Cow, David Duchovny’s charismatic creatures point the way toward a mutual understanding and acceptance that the world desperately needs. Adults and children alike will love this charming, witty and seriously entertaining novel. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

My Ishmael, a Sequel

By Daniel Quinn

BOOKS TEACHING COMPASSION FOR ANIMALS TO CHILDREN OF ALL AGESWinner of the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship, Daniel Quinn’s My Ishmael is a bestseller and another award-winning classic, where the main character, a telepathic gorilla named Ishmael, attempts to teach humans how to change the world into a better place. Ishmael dispenses the possible doom of humankind, by examining two groups of inhabitants on the planet – the Leavers and the Takers. In this extraordinary sequel, readers get to learn about Ishmael’s past, with Quinn directly addressing the issues of animal abuse, animals used in entertainment, and even animal trafficking. “Enthralling, shocking, hope-filled, and utterly fearless, Quinn leads us deeper and deeper into the human heart, history, and spirit,” says author Susan McElroy. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Ninety-Five: Meeting America’s Farmed Animals in Stories and Photographs

By No Voice Unheard

Books Teaching Compassion for Animals to Children of All AgesNinety-Five is a delightful and engaging anthology of writing and photography by rescuers, caregivers, and those who love the animals. Come along as they visit sanctuaries and homes across the country to discover the animals most of us never have a chance to meet – America’s farmed animals. Each animal is portrayed with high quality, full-color photographs and a short story that demonstrate the animal’s personality, depth, emotions, quirks, relationships, and individuality. Some stories are quite dramatic and will leave the reader awed and amazed; while others will simply show who an animal is – from Justice, a steer who broke out of a truck on the way to the slaughterhouse, who now is the self-appointed greeter at his sanctuary, to the quiet happiness of Gilly, a small white hen rescued from a factory egg farm, who found peace in a loving home. Galleries of photos of other farmed animals will also engage the reader, and thumbnail photo footnotes provide additional information. *Ninety-Five is the average number of animal lives spared annually by one person’s vegan diet. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

More Book Recommendations!

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Teaching Kids Compassion Towards Animals

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10 Amazing Children’s Books That Will Inspire Your Little One to Stand Up For Animals

Be Kind to Animals: Encouraging Compassion through Humane Education

Recommended Children’s Books with Humane Themes

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