Set Sail with Your Pets

Books to Share

  • Emma’s Elephant: An Other Favorite Animal Friends by David Ellwand.
  • Fun Dog, Sun Dog by Deborah Heiligman.
  • Hunky Dory Found It by Katie Evans.
  • I Like Cats by Patricia Hubell.
  • Pet Wash by Dayle Ann Dodds.

Books to Show or Booktalk

  • Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters From Obedience School by Mark Teague.
  • Don’t Take Your Snake for a Stroll by Karin Ireland.
  • My First Book About Fish by Kama Einhorn.
  • The Mysterious Tadpole by Steven Kellogg.
  • Pick a Pet by Shelley Rotner.
  • Ten Dogs in the Window by Claire Masurel.

Bulletin Board

Books to Read to Your Pet!

Create a scene of a child reading a book about pets to a variety of pets such as dogs, cats, birds, lizards, and fish, etc.


Doggie Bone

Use the dog bone pattern provided to make nametags.

dog bone nametag


Pet Parade!

Display books, videos, DVDs, and musical recordings about pets, pet training, and being a veterinarian with stuffed pet animals, pet toys, dog and cat bowls, etc.


Call Your Dog


Call your dog.   (Cup your hands around mouth)

Give him a bone.   (Pretend to feed)

Take him for a walk.   (Pretend to walk)

Then put him in his home.   (Form a roof over your head with your hands)

Audio Recordings

  • “How Much is That Doggie?” on Tony Chestnut and Fun Time Action Song by Learning Station.
  • “I Got Two Dogs” on Farkle and Friends by John Lithgow with Bill Elliott and His Orchestra.
  • “Ten Cats Down” on A Cathy and Marcy Collection for Kids by Cathy Fink.

Puppet Plays

Three Little Kittens

(Traditional, adapted as a puppet show by Debbie Brightwell Brown.  Use three cat-face and one dog-face stick puppets. Puppets can be hand-drawn or use animal paper plates, such as Hefty® Zoo Pals, which can be purchased at most grocery stores. Tape plate puppets to wooden dowels or other handles. Hold the puppets to act out the poem, or let the children in the audience participate by holding the puppets and acting out the poem as you recite it.)

Three little kittens standing in a row.

They nod their heads to the children just so.

They run to the left.

They run to the right.

They stand and stretch in the bright sunlight.

Along comes the puppy dog, looking for some fun.

Ruff! Meow! Ruff! Meow!

See those kittens run!

Stories to Tell

Tell “1- 2-3 GOLDFISH…An Interactive Story” by Linda Befeld in the Stories section of this manual.

Draw & Tell Stories

“A Pussy Cat” in Chalk in Hand: The Draw and Tell Book by Phyllis Noe Pflomm.


Pick a Pet


  • Pictures of dogs, cats, hamsters, and other pet animals from old magazines
  • Glue sticks
  • House pattern
  • Paper plates
  • Construction or copier paper
  • Metal brads
  • Hole punch

pick a pet craft


Cut the outer rim off of the paper plate. Punch a hole in the middle of the paper plate for the brad. Cut out a pet house using the pattern provided and punch a hole where indicated by the dot. Glue several of the pictures of pets around the circle. Attach the pet house to the circle through both holes with the brad. As the children turn the circle, they can view the different pets through the door of the pet house.

Pocket Pet


  • Small socks
  • Small scrap pieces of felt cut into squares, rectangles, and circles
  • Yarn
  • Wiggle eyes
  • Hot glue guns


Give each child a small sock and some felt pieces. Let them assemble the wiggle eyes, felt pieces, and yarn into a nose, mouth, eyes, hair, etc. onto the sock. Attach the felt pieces to the sock with a hot glue gun. Be sure to have extra glue guns and enlist the aid of library staff and parents. After the glue dries the pocket pets can be carried around in the child’s pocket.

Web-Based Activities

Animal Planet

The site for this cable channel includes games for kids, including the “pet prognosticator,” pet puzzles, and more.

Guest Speakers

Invite fellow staff members to participate in a pet show. Ask staff members to bring their pet dog, cat, hamster, tarantula, snake, bird, etc., to the library. Have them talk with the children about the care and feeding for each kind of pet. Allow time for questions and petting. Remind the children to be gentle. As a safety precaution, provide wet wipes for washing hands after handling animals. 


If you have public performance rights, show these videos and DVDs, or segments of them, to the children. Otherwise, display them for home use. Times are indicated for the entire film.

Hondo and Fabian. (6 minutes)

Web Sites

White House Pets

The site provides the user with information and photos of President and Mrs. Bush’s pets as well as animals that live on his ranch in Crawford, Texas. Users can also access the ‘Barney Cam,’ to watch videos of the President’s dog, Barney.

Care for Animals by the American Veterinary Medical Association

This site’s goal is to promote responsible pet ownership and provides online games, coloring pages, and worksheets.


This site, hosted by the ASPCA, includes an animal encyclopedia, pet care guide, and online games and cartoons.

Professional Resources

Chalk in Hand: The Draw and Tell Book by Phyllis Noe Pflomm.


Texas Reading Club 2007 Programming Manual / Sail Away with Books!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011