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*CCPL Staff picks are chosen by CCPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We’d love to hear your ideas too, so write to us and tell us what you’d recommend!*

Do you love animals? If so, we have the books for you! Check out CCPL’s recommendations for some great books on animals from OverDrive. These publications were chosen for their quality of content and accessibility in digital format – so you don’t need to leave home to enjoy these great reads!

Top 20 Most Dangerous Animals On the Planet

Children love to explore the world around them, including figuring out about various animals that inhabit our planet. A child would enjoy a Top 20 Most Dangerous Animals on the Planet Picture Book because most children are visually stimulated and fascinated by colorful photos of animals. This book would be helpful for children as well as they can learn what to avoid if they were to come across this animal in the wild in the future. Overall, children enjoy picture books and would especially enjoy a book which teaches them about animals and the dangers of the animals pictured in the illustrations.

World’s Ugliest Dogs by Vicki DeArmon

The annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair attracts “so-ugly-they’re-cute” contestants, their devoted owners, and hundreds of thousands of fans, both in person and via worldwide media attention. This book—filled with hilarious photos as well as short profiles of the dogs and their owners—captures the wacky and wonderful spirit of the original contest just in time for its 25th year. Meet the well-loved dogs who soak up the glory of the contest while their owners sniff out the competition, make double-entendre comments, and see who can lift one’s leg higher around the hydrant of publicity. World’s Ugliest Dog photo galleries have run on Yahoo, The Huffington Post, People Magazine, Animal Nation and more, to huge response. This book will likewise appeal to any dog lover with a sense of humor.

Supernavigators by David Barrie

Animals plainly know where they’re going, but how they know has remained a stubborn mystery—until now. Supernavigators is a globe-trotting voyage of discovery alongside astounding animals of every stripe: dung beetles that steer by the Milky Way, box jellyfish that can see above the water (with a few of their twenty-four eyes), sea turtles that sense Earth’s magnetic field, and many more. David Barrie consults animal behaviorists and Nobel Prize–winning scientists to catch us up on the cutting edge of animal intelligence—revealing these wonders in a whole new light.

Unlikely Friendships by Jennifer S. Holland

Written by National Geographic magazine writer Jennifer Holland, Unlikely Friendships documents one heartwarming tale after another of animals who, with nothing else in common, bond in the most unexpected ways. A cat and a bird. A mare and a fawn. An elephant and a sheep. A snake and a hamster. The well-documented stories of Koko the gorilla and All Ball the kitten; and the hippo Owen and the tortoise Mzee. And almost inexplicable stories of predators befriending prey—an Indian leopard slips into a village every night to sleep with a calf. A lionness mothers a baby oryx.

Holland narrates the details and arc of each story, and offers insights into why—how the young leopard, probably motherless, sought maternal comfort with the calf, and how a baby oryx inspired the same mothering instinct in the lionness. Or, in the story of Cashew, the lab mix that was losing his eyesight, and Libby, the stray cat who began to guide the dog’s way through the house and yard. With Libby, Cashew lived out his last few years with loving support and a lasting friendship.

These are the most amazing friendships between species, collected from around the world and documented in a selection of full-color candid photographs.

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat by Hal Herzog

Hal Herzog, a maverick scientist and leader in the field of anthrozoology offers a controversial, thought-provoking, and unprecedented exploration of the psychology behind the inconsistent and often paradoxical ways we think, feel, and behave towards animals. A cross between Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat, in the words of Irene M. Pepperberg, bestselling author of Alex & Me, “deftly blends anecdote with scientific research to show how almost any moral or ethical position regarding our relationship with animals can lead to absurd consequences.”

Dogs by Evan Ratliff

Three riveting essays by some of National Geographic magazine’s most highly esteemed writers explore the canine-human relationship and what scientists are learning from dogs. “Dogs and people, people and dogs: It’s a love story so old no one knows how it started,” wrote Angus Phillips in “Wolf to Woof.” Filled with cutting edge research covering everything from domestication, breeding, and the bonds of devotion, these linked stories are custom-selected for everyone who loves dogs. Filled with amazing facts, colorful anecdotes and accessible science, this affordable ebook provides a fascinating guide to some of the world’s most beloved creatures.

Animals Behaving Badly by Linda Lombardi

There’s a lot that animals don’t want you to know, and the better their public image, the worse their secrets are: gang-rapist dolphins; lazy, infanticidal lions; and, of course, our own dogs, who eat our money, set our houses on fire, and in more than one case, actually shoot their owners with guns.

Animals Behaving Badly shows that animals are just like us: gluttonous, selfish, violent, lustful, and always looking out for number one. Using anecdotes from the news and from scientific research, Linda Lombardi pokes fun at our softhearted preconceptions about animals, makes us feel a little better about humanity’s basest impulses, and painlessly teaches us a bit more about our furry and feathered friends.

You’ll learn:

  • Bees love alcohol: even, says one researcher, more than college students
  • Pandas enjoy pornographic movies-they’re particularly aroused by the soundtrack-and macaques will pay with juice to look at dirty pictures
  • A rabbit who lives in a pub in England is addicted to gambling with a slot machine
  • African elephants raised by teenage mothers form violent youth gangs

Shark Attacks by Gordon Grice

National Geographic pairs gripping and gruesome stories of shark attacks with cutting edge research to illuminate a fascinating underwater world that few truly understand. Sharks are the world’s most fascinating predators–capable of detecting a single drop of blood in 25 million drops of ocean and sensing electricity emitted by their prey. This ebook short takes readers deep into the realm of the very latest shark science, including new insights into the nature of shark attacks around the world.

Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams & Mark Carwardine

Join them as they encounter the animal kingdom in its stunning beauty, astonishing variety, and imminent peril: the giant Komodo dragon of Indonesia, the helpless but loveable Kakapo of New Zealand, the blind river dolphins of China, the white rhinos of Zaire, the rare birds of Mauritius island in the Indian Ocean. Hilarious and poignant—as only Douglas Adams can be—Last Chance to See is an entertaining and arresting odyssey through the Earth’s magnificent wildlife galaxy.

The Truth about Animals by Lucy Cooke

Mary Roach meets Sam Kean and Bill Bryson in this uproarious tour of the basest instincts and biggest mysteries of the animal world

Humans have gone to the Moon and discovered the Higgs boson, but when it comes to understanding animals, we still have a long way to go. Whether we are seeing a viral video of romping baby pandas or a picture of penguins “holding hands,” it’s hard for us not to project our own values-innocence, fidelity, temperance, hard work-onto animals. So you’ve probably never considered if moose get drunk, penguins cheat on their mates, or worker ants lay about. They do-and that’s just for starters.

In The Truth about Animals, Lucy Cooke takes us on a worldwide journey to meet everyone from a Colombian hippo castrator to a Chinese panda porn peddler, all to lay bare the secret-and often hilarious-habits of the animal kingdom. Charming and at times downright weird, this modern bestiary is perfect for anyone who has ever suspected that virtue might be unnatural.