Animal Antics: 3 Books Starring Quirky Creatures

Animals abound in these books starring a hamster, a horse and an imaginary feline.

Whew, too hot outdoors? Stay inside and go on a cool reading adventure with these titles for early readers to upper-elementary grades.


My Humongous Hamster goes to School

by Lorna Freytag

My Humongous Hamster Goes To School


Bring-Your-Pet-to-School Day will never be the same! After arriving at school and escaping from his cage, this furry friend can’t resist eating everyone’s school lunch, and when he is done he has grown from normal size to epic proportions. Wild antics ensue as he twirls in dance class, plays on the gym equipment and surprises the lunch ladies. After a busy academic day, hamster is worn out and it takes the whole class and lots of hugs to shrink him back to size. Preschoolers and kindergarteners will love the laugh-out-loud photographs in this larger-than-life tale of the enormous hamster that goes to school!


Leroy Ninker Saddles Up

by Kate DiCamillo

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up

​Put your riding boots on and get ready for a wild adventure with a horse named Maybelline and a little man with big dreams. Leroy Ninker, formerly introduced in the Mercy Watson series, works at the local drive-in and his favorite movies are about cowboys. Yearning to be a real-life cowboy and, with a gentle nudge from Beatrice, the ticket seller, Leroy purchases an old horse from an eccentric lady who gives him some advice about winning over Maybelline. Flattering Maybelline with pretty words is just one of several “instinctuals” Leroy must follow if he wants to keep his horse happy. Chris Van Husen amuses us yet again with his hilarious illustrations that mirror the storyline with perfection. Lower-elementary and middle-grade children will be shouting “Yippie-i-oh” into the sunset while reading this engaging early chapter book!



by Katherine Applegate


In this compelling story of a boy and his family teetering on the edge of homelessness, Crenshaw, an “imaginary cat” who first appeared to Jackson when his family was living in a van, is back. Jackson can’t quite figure out why his fuzzy and huge feline friend has reappeared and as a soon-to-be fifth grader, he is less than thrilled to see him. Persnickety and persistent, Crenshaw won’t go away. It soon becomes apparent that the family is in crisis again. With light humor and the profound reality of financial struggle, upper-elementary aged readers will admire how this family handles the serious situations they face.