Books

Top 5 children's books about animals, selected by Oscar's Lion author Adam Baron 

Pigs, spiders, cats, dogs, rats, badgers, moles, toads... even wombles star in novelist Adam Baron's pick of children's books starring animals

Black and white illustration of a lion lying on a bed

Illustration from Adam Baron's book, Oscar's Lion. Image: © Benji Davies

Animals have always been a popular subject for children’s books. Author Adam Baron picks his five favourites.

Charlotte’s Web by EB White, illustrated by Garth Williams

One of the first chapter books I ever read. This classic story of friendship, danger and renewal is vivid, touching, and always gripping. What would you do to save someone you love? I spent so much time on farms growing up, and this takes me right back. 

The Wombles by Elizabeth Beresford, illustrated by Nick Price

Are Wombles animals? Yes! If you’ve only ever seen the TV animation, check out this touching and funny tale of community and survival. It’s one of the first truly environmental children’s books and the BBC should definitely adapt it again. Call my agent – I’ll write it! 

The Mousehole Cat by Antonia Barber, illustrated by Nicola Bayley 

Community is also at the heart of this retelling of a Cornish legend. Can old Tom and his mog Mowser defeat the Great Storm Cat and save the whole village from starvation? Elegant storytelling and stunning illustrations: crying at the end is not an option. 

Get the latest news and insight into how the Big Issue magazine is made by signing up for the Inside Big Issue newsletter

Fluke by James Herbert 

For dog people. Fluke is a mongrel with strange memories. Was he something else before he became a dog? A surprisingly low-key tale from the master of shlock horror.   

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame 

Evil ferrets! A grumpy badger! A mole and a rat enjoying lazy days on the river while the Wild Wood waits! Best of all, a madcap, car-jacking toad who breaks out of prison! The greatest children’s novel of all time.  

Oscar's Lion book cover

Oscar’s Lion by Adam Baron, illustrated by Benji Davies, is out on 26 October (HarperCollins, £12.99) 

You can buy or pre-order these titles from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine, which exists to give homeless, long-term unemployed and marginalised people the opportunity to earn an income

To support our work buy a copy! If you cannot reach your local vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member.

You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Weighted Down: The Complicated Life of Skip Spence review – sensitive portrait of a free spirit
Books

Weighted Down: The Complicated Life of Skip Spence review – sensitive portrait of a free spirit

Prospect Cottage: See inside artist Derek Jarman's seaside home for the first time
Photography

Prospect Cottage: See inside artist Derek Jarman's seaside home for the first time

Top 5 books about the Troubles, chosen by bestselling author Henry Hemming 
Books

Top 5 books about the Troubles, chosen by bestselling author Henry Hemming 

Cocktails with George and Martha by Philip Gefter review – art imitating life in a war of egos  
Books

Cocktails with George and Martha by Philip Gefter review – art imitating life in a war of egos  

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know