Date : July 23, 2021
Animal Stories for Toddlers and Kindy Kids
Since human beings started telling stories, we’ve made animals the main characters – particularly in stories told to toddlers and kindergarteners. There are lots of reasons why animal stories are so prevalent in children’s books. A child’s fondness for animals makes them an ideal character choice to teach lessons in morality and empathy. In addition, kids’ familiarity with animals helps them understand what’s happening in the story. In other words, our little ones love animals, and this makes it so much easier to get them into reading!
Morality and empathy
Children’s books exist for a number of reasons but the big three include literacy education, moral education, and pleasure. The best kids’ books involve a mix of all three of these things, and the majority of these use animals as the main characters. Young children and toddlers delight in animal stories, and it’s so much easier to use animal characters to tell a good story with a smart lesson or two intelligently woven into the narrative.
Animals make effective characters because they let the reader see themselves while also remaining distant enough to consider the lesson in a more objective way. So, for example, if a story talks about a young bear being afraid of the dark, a child can identify with that character, while remaining distant enough to not find the story too frightening. Through the use of the bear character, the child can learn why the dark isn’t scary without it being too explicitly explained. Authors can use this literary device to teach children any number of lessons – and it’s been effectively used for centuries!
Animal motifs and plot
Many children and toddlers are already familiar with animal motifs, or the characteristics we instinctively impose on certain animals. If they open a picture book and see a (brave) lion, or a (lazy) sloth, or a (loyal/loveable) dog, they can quickly get a sense of what’s going on in the story. Authors can use these familiar motifs to help readers apply abstract topics or lessons in a way that is much easier to understand. This kind of easy access knowledge also makes stories more enjoyable for children who might have difficulties with reading.
Five Australian animal stories for children and toddlers
Here are five beloved Australian animal stories that toddlers and kids adore. You’re sure to find a new family favourite amongst this collection!
For more animal stories for toddlers and kindergarteners, the May Gibbs collection provides a perfect starting point!
Right now, Librarian Bec’s hard at work at your local library, sharing a passion for reading with little people and big. Bec writes about inspiring little readers and embracing lovely literature.