CurriConnects Book List - Animals and Habitats

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Animals and Habitats
Journey to lands both near and far, exploring animals galore as you go. This collection of books teaches students about a wide variety of animals (owls, monkeys, ants, and more). The books also describe various habitats around the world. Travel through the outback of Australia; journey through the chilly Arctic; and learn about the animals and their habitats. Visit the savannah, the wetlands, the desert, and more. This collection could accompany a unit about animals, weather, habitats, landforms, or other topics. Some of these books would also connect well when teaching units (or classes) on character, friendship, coping strategies, and more. These books provide experience with both fiction and nonfiction informational texts. They often require students to draw inferences about the "facts." Allow students (or partners) to choose their own book. Challenge students to create presentations or small group projects to share their stories.

Preschool and Picture Books

Home Sweet Home - Roger Priddy, (978-0312516796) , Fiction
Interest level: 0-1, ESL level: 2
Follow an owl through the forest and the snow, over mountains and rivers, and see what animals live where.

I Say, You Say Animal Sounds - Tad Carpenter, (978-0316200738) , Fiction
Interest level: 0-1, ESL level: 1 - 2
Learn to hear and imitate sounds different animals make.

Maisy's World of Animals - Lucy Cousins, (978-0763669898) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-1, ESL level: 2
Travel with Maisy around the world to see animals in their natural habitats.

The Octonauts Explore the Great Big Ocean - Meomi, (978-0007510610) , Fiction
Interest level: 0-2, ESL level: 2
A team of eight "Octonauts" explore ocean habitats (Octonaut series).

Over By the Harbour - Dwayne LaFitte, (978-01771173322) , Fiction
Interest level: 0-2, ESL level: 1 - 2
Learn about all the wonderful animals that live in the water near land.

Panda's Earthquake Escape - Phyllis Perry, (978-1607180821) , Fiction
Interest level: 0-2, Lexile: 580, ESL level: 2
Based on true events, this fictionalized account of two pandas shows how they coped after losing their home to an earthquake.

Teeth, Tails, and Tentacles - Christopher Wormell, (978-0762421008) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-2, ESL level: 2
Learn about animals and count up to 20 in this wonderfully illustrated book.

Who Lives Here? - Paula Croyle, (978-1449432317) , Fiction
Interest level: 0-1, ESL level: 1 - 2
Learn to identify animals by looking at pictures of them and their homes.

Who Lives Here? - Nicola Davies, (978-0763662639) , Fiction
Interest level: 0-2, ESL level: 1 - 2
Look at certain animal's homes and habits in this lift-the-flap book.

Who's Like Me? - Nicola Davies, (978-0763658021) , Fiction
Interest level: 0-2, ESL level: 1 - 2
What special qualities do certain animals have? Learn in this illustrated book which animals have wings, fins, feathers, beaks, skin.

Who's That? - Kingfisher Editors, (978-0753469712) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-2, ESL level: 1 - 2
See how different animals move and jump. Try some of their moves yourselves!

Early Elementary Books

The Animal Book - Steve Jenkins, (978-0547557991) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 1-4, Lexile: 1030, ESL level: 4
This fascinating animal encyclopedia brings unusual and very interesting facts to life about many common and not-so-common animals.

The Antarctic Habitat - Molly Aloian, (978-0778729846) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-3, Lexile: 470, ESL level: 2
Are there any animals in the cold Antarctic? Find out about their lives here.

The Arctic Habitat - Molly Aloian, (978-0778729815) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-3, Lexile: 430, ESL level: 2
Learn about the animals that live in the Arctic.

Black Beauty - Anna Sewell, (978-0394806372) , Fiction
Interest level: 2-5, ESL level: 3
This classic adaptation tells the story of a girl and the horse she loves.

Deep in the Swamp - Donna M. Bateman, (978-1570915963) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-3, Lexile: 890, ESL level: 3 - 4
Count the animals in Okefenokee Swamp and learn about their habitat.

A Desert Habitat - Kelley Macaulay, (978-0778729785) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-3, Lexile: 410, ESL level: 2
Find out about the animals that live in the deserts of the world.

A Forest Habitat - Bobbie Kalman, (978-0778729792) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-3, Lexile: 520, ESL level: 2
Enjoy experiencing the animals that might peek out at you behind a tree in the forest.

Gorillas in Danger - Michael Portman, (978-1433957949) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 2-3, ESL level: 2 - 3
Find out how gorillas live and why their chances of survival in their natural habitats are precarious.

A Grassland Habitat - Kelley Macaulay, (978-0778729877) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-3, Lexile: 450, ESL level: 2
What animals live on prairies and in grasslands? Find out in this illustrated book.

Groundhog at Evergreen Road - Susan Korman, (978-1607270751) , Fiction
Interest level: 2-3, ESL level: 2 - 3
Follow a groundhog as he moves to a spot in someone's backyard where he can find plenty of food and safety.

Ice Bear - Nicola Davies, (978-0763641498) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-4, Lexile: 950, ESL level: 4
Find out how polar bears do so well in their Arctic environment and how the native peoples learn to live from them.

Laika: Astronaut Dog - Owen Davey, (978-0763668228) , Fiction
Interest level: 0-3, ESL level: 2 - 3
Based on the true story of the Russian dog Laika, this book tells how a stray dog came to be the first animal in space.

Over in a River: Flowing Out to Sea - Marianne Berkes, (978-1584693291) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-3, ESL level: 2
Explore the rivers of North America. Learn about its animal life and their homes.

Over in Australia: Amazing Animals Down Under - Marianne Berkes, (978-1584691365) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-3, Lexile: 660, ESL level: 2
This counting book goes through Australian animals and babies. It also includes information and things to do.

Over in the Arctic: Where the Cold Winds Blow - Marianne Berkes, (978-1584691105) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-3, Lexile: 650, ESL level: 2
Explore the animals (and noises) of the Arctic with this interactive counting book.

Over in the Forest: Come and Take a Peek - Marianne Berkes, (978-1584691624) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-3, Lexile: 620, ESL level: 2
Learn counting by following woodland animals in their natural homes.

Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme - Marianne Berkes, (978-1584690917) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-2, Lexile: 610, ESL level: 2
Have fun with this interactive book about animals, animal noises, and their jungle homes.

Pi-Shu: The Little Panda - John Butler, (978-1561452422) , Fiction
Interest level: 0-2, Lexile: 770, ESL level: 3 - 4
A young panda and his mother must travel to find food and shelter as humans encroach on their nautral habitat.

A Rainforest Habitat - Moly Aloian, (978-0778729860) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-3, Lexile: 470, ESL level: 2
Learn how creatures of the rainforest adapt to their wet and lush environment.

A Savanna Habitat - Bobbie Kalman, (978-0778729808) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-3, Lexile: 500, ESL level: 2
Learn what a savanna is and what animals make their homes there.

The Life and Times of the Ant - Charles Micucci, (978-0618689491) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 1-5, Lexile: 960, ESL level: 4
Learn all about the social ant.

The Life and Times of the Honeybee - Charles Micucci, (978-0395861394) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 2-4, Lexile: 910, ESL level: 4
Find out about bees, their lives, and their honeymaking.

A Wetland Habitat - Molly Aloian, (978-0778729839) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-3, Lexile: 480, ESL level: 2
Find out about the animals of the wetlands and how their environment shapes their lives.

zoo's who - Douglas Florian, (978-0152046392) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-5, ESL level: 2 - 3
Enjoy these poems about a wide variety of animals. See how and where they live.

Zoo-ology - Joelle Jolivet, (978-0761318941) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 1-4, ESL level: 3
Enjoy seeing over 300 animals in this well-illustrated compendium.

Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

And the Tide Comes In - Merryl Alber, (978-0981770055) , Fiction
Interest level: 3-4, ESL level: 3 - 4
A young girl shows her cousin the animals and plants that live in a salt marsh near her Georgia home.

The Boy Who Spoke Dog - Clay Morgan, (978-0142403433) , Fiction
Interest level: 5-8, Lexile: 650, ESL level: 4
Jack makes friends with dogs on an island where he is marooned after a shipwreck.

Dogsong - Gary Paulsen, (978-0756979980) , Fiction
Interest level: 6-10, ESL level: 4
A young Eskimo boy challenges himself to a solo journey with his trusty sled dog as his companion.

Endangered Species - Viqi Wagner, (978-0737729320) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 6-12, ESL level: 3 - 4
Learn arguments on both sides of the question as to whether endangered species should be saved.

Exiled: Memoirs of a Camel - Kathleen Karr, (978-0761452911) , Fiction
Interest level: 3-12, Lexile: 690, ESL level: 4
A camel tells this intriguing tale, of its life in the Mojave Desert around the time of the Civil War. Also, read about the camel's service as a member of the US Camel Corps during WWII.

Hurt Go Happy - Ginny Rorby, (978-0765353047) , Fiction
Interest level: 6-9, Lexile: 870, ESL level: 4
A young deaf girl finds her world expand when she meets a chimp who uses sign language to communicate.

Into That Forest - Louis Nowra, (978-1477817254) , Fiction
Interest level: 6-12, ESL level: 3 - 4
A woman of considerable age tells the story of her youth when she lived in the Tasmanian bush with two tigers for a number of years and experienced difficultes adjusting to regular human life.

An Island of My Own - Andrea Spalding, (978-1550026351) , Fiction
Interest level: 4-7, ESL level: 3 - 4
Rowan observes the conflict between trying to protect the endangered sea otter and the interest of a real estate developer during a summer project.

The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling, (978-1503332546) , Fiction
Interest level: 4-8, Lexile: 560, ESL level: 4
In this beloved classic, Mowgli, who had been raised with wolves, has many adventures with all the jungle animals.

Last Chance - Norah McClintock, (978-0761385295) , Fiction
Interest level: 6-10, Lexile: 620, ESL level: 4
Robyn's colleague at an animal shelter ends up in jail. Robyn tries to help prove his innocence.

Little Truff Saves the Kereru - Ann Russell, (978-0994103598) , Fiction
Interest level: 3-7, ESL level: 3
Truff and Chloe, a dog and a cat, look into the mystery of why the New Zealand pigeons, named Kereru, are disappearing from the native beaches.

Moonbird - Phillip Hoose, (978-0374304683) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 4-9, Lexile: 1150, ESL level: 4
Why does this remarkable bird have the name moonbird? Learn in this book about his amazing survival and flight distances.

My Friend Flicka - Mary O'Hara, (978-0061374630) , Fiction
Interest level: 3-7, ESL level: 3
Ken rises to the challenge of taming a wild horse.

National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia - Lucy Spelman, (978-1426310225) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 3-7, ESL level: 4
This animal encyclopedia includes information on over 2500 animals and includes maps and photographs.

Native American Animal Stories - Joseph Bruchac, (978-1555911270) , Fiction
Interest level: 2-7, ESL level: 3 - 4
These Native American stories display animals with special powers.

Panda Rescue - Dan Bortolotti, (978-1552975985) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 4-8, ESL level: 3 - 4
Learn about threats to the continuing lives of adorable pandas and how they can be saved.

Parrots over Puerto Rico - Cindy Trumbore, (978-1620140048) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 3-7, Lexile: 960, ESL level: 4
The authors describe wildlife conservationists' work in trying to save Puerto Rican parrots from extinction.

Rhino Rescue - Garry Hamilton, (978-1552979105) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 5-12, ESL level: 3 - 4
Rescuing rhinos from poachers has resulted in great success, although several species are still on the endangered list. Read about it in this informative book.

Rising Water - P.J. Petersen, (978-0689863561) , Fiction
Interest level: 5-12, Lexile: 480, ESL level: 4
While working with animal rescue volunteers, Tracy and companions find themselves in a boat headed out to bring food to a dog separated from its owner by a flood.

Southwest Aquatic Habitats - Daniel Shaw, (978-0826353092) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 4-8, ESL level: 3 - 4
Explore the amazing variety of plant and animal life in even the dry areas of the desert Southwest.

Space Dogs - Chris Dubbs , (978-0595267354) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 4-8, ESL level: 3 - 4
This book describes the story of the Soviet astronaut program for dogs, the first space travelers.

The Boy Who Returned from the Sea - Clay Morgan, (978-0142413951) , Fiction
Interest level: 5-8, ESL level: 4
Jack and a dog he befriended while shipwrecked on an almost uninhabited island discover a dangerous treaure hunter on the island.

Tiger Rescue - Dan Bortolotti, (978-1552975992) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 4-8, ESL level: 3 - 4
This fascinating book examines Asian tigers and why they remain on the endangered list due to the greed of human who want to sell their valuable parts.

Tracker - Gary Paulsen, (978-1416939405) , Fiction
Interest level: 5-10, Lexile: 1010, ESL level: 4
John feels conflicted when he has to hunt deer for meat for his family after he befriends a doe.

Wabi - Joseph Bruchac, (978-0142409473) , Fiction
Interest level: 5-10, Lexile: 760, ESL level: 4
A great owl changes into a human to be with the woman he loves, but finds challenges in adapting to his new life.

Waluk - Emilio Ruiz, (978-1467716062) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 2-6, Lexile: 570, ESL level: 3 - 4
A young polar bear learns survival tips from a grouchy old bear after his mother leaves him alone.

The Yearling - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, (978-0689846236) , Fiction
Interest level: 3-7, ESL level: 3
Jody attempts to raise a darling fawn and protect it from its harsh environment, but he learns wild things must go their own way.

Middle School to Young Adult Books

Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide - DK Publishing, (978-0756686772) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 9-12, ESL level: 4
This comprehensive animal encyclopedia includes a vast number of helpful photographs.

Animals in Space - Colin Burgess, (978-0387360539) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 9-12, ESL level: 4
This book describes the history of animals as astronauts in the U.S. and Soviet space programs.

Blue Iguana - Wendy Townsend, (978-1608981588) , Fiction
Interest level: 5-12, ESL level: 4
Clarice is so sensitive to animal feelings that she cannot drive for fear of hitting something, cannot stand the idea of cutting something up in biology class, and cannot eat meat. She finds a way to use her love of animals by volunteering in an animal refuge.

The Call of the Wild - Jack London, (978-1503302945) , Fiction
Interest level: 8-12, ESL level: 4
Buck, a ranch dog, is kidnapped and forced into the life of an Alaskan sled dog. He faces brutal treatment and a rough climate in this beloved classic.

Eco-tracking: On the Trail of Habitat Change - Daniel Shaw, (978-0826345318) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 7-12, Lexile: 980, ESL level: 4
The author describes how various animal and plant habitats are interconnected and how knowing about the environmental changes can keep the ecosystems viable.

The Encyclopedia of Animals - Fred Cooke, (978-0520244061) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 8-12, ESL level: 4
This comprehensive animal encyclopedia includes a vast number of helpful photographs.

Endangered - Eliot Schrefer, (978-0545165778) , Fiction
Interest level: 6-12, Lexile: 900, ESL level: 4
Sophie's reluctant return to the Congo rapidly changes to a mission to save the apes and other animals in a wildlife sanctuary when warfare changes the climate of her life.

Exploring the World of Aquatic Life - John Dawes, (978-1604132557) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 5-12, ESL level: 4
This six-volume set comprehensively examines wildlife that lives in the oceans and other waterways of our world.

The Illustrated Atlas of Wildlife - Channa Bambaradeniya, (978-0520257856) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 7-12, ESL level: 4
This reference book includes information about all land and sea wildlife around the world as well as discussing the human impact on ecosystems.

My Life with the Chimpanzees - Jane Goodall, (978-0671562717) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 7-12, ESL level: 4
Jane Goodall tells of her life observing chimpanzees in the African wilds, and relates how she got her education after she made some world-famous observations.

The Outside of a Horse - Ginny Rorby, (978-0803734784) , Fiction
Interest level: 7-12, Lexile: 720, ESL level: 4
Hannah's volunteer job at a stable gets her away from her traumatized father whose sleeplessness disturbs the household, and she even sees a way to help him with "horse" therapy.

The Plague Dogs - Richard Adams, (978-0345494023) , Fiction
Interest level: 9-12, ESL level: 4
Two lab dogs escape from their research center and try to cope with wilderness living.

The Race to Save the Lord God Bird - Phillip Hoose, (978-0374300357) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 5-12, Lexile: 1150, ESL level: 4
Learn vital lessons about conservation from reading about the extinction of the ivory-billed woodpecker.

Soviet Space Dogs - Olesya Turkina, (978-0956896285) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 8-12, ESL level: 4
This book tells the story of the Soviet dogs who went from being homeless to being famous because of their ventures into space.

Watership Down - Richard Adams , (978-0743277709) , Fiction
Interest level: 9-12, ESL level: 4
This classic tale is told by the animals of a British warren and describes their idyllic lives interrupted by the instrusion of man.

The Whale Rider - Witi Ihimaera, (978-0435131081) , Fiction
Interest level: 8-12, ESL level: 4
Kahu seems to have a way with whales, important figures in the Maori mythology.

White Fang - Jack London, (978-1505313109) , Fiction
Interest level: 8-12, ESL level: 4
This classic tells the story of how a wild wolfdog became domesticated during the Klondike Gold Rush.

Books for Mature Teens and Adults

Winter Horses - Philip Kerr, (978-0385755436) , Fiction
Interest level: 7-12, Lexile: 930, ESL level: 4
A Ukrainian Jewish girl, trying to escape Nazi capture, gets help from two distinguished Przewalski horses in her flight through the woods.