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Animal Fantasy

  Watership Down (Paperback) 

Watership Down

Richard Adams (Paperback)

Genres: Fiction - Adventure Books, Animal Fantasy; Book Theme: Animals

"Watership Down" by Richard Adams, one of the best novels of the 20th century, is a riveting animal fantasy book beloved by young adults and adults alike. A group of rabbits set out on a long journey to find a new home after a small rabbit named Fiver senses great danger to their warren. They go through many adventures before reaching Watership Down. Soon after the rabbits settle down at their home on the down, they go on another dangerous adventure to fetch female rabbits from Efrafa, a warren tightly controlled by a ruthless Chief Rabbit, General Woundwort.

Part of the attraction of this classic adventure story stems from its diverse and interesting characters. The talking animals have distinct personalities. Hazel the leader is fair, quick-minded and always looks out for the interests of the group. Bigwig the fighter is strong, brave and willing to stick out for the weak. Fiver the prophet is small and nervous. Woundwort the villain is intelligent, fearless and power-crazy. "Watership Down" also includes several chapters of short tales about El-ahrairah, the "Prince with a Thousand Enemies", who is cunning and clever.


  Poppy (Paperback) 

Poppy (Poppy Books)

Avi (Paperback)

Genre: Fiction - Animal Fantasy; Book Theme: Animals

"Poppy" by Avi, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, is a fast-paced and suspense-filled animal fantasy book. Main characters are two talking animals: a deer mouse named Poppy and a great horned owl called Mr. Ocax. The owl claims to be the ruler of the Dimwood Forest and promises to protect the mice headed by Poppy's father Lungwort in exchange for their obedience. After the owl kills Poppy's best friend Ragweed and refuses the request by the Poppy's father to move half of the mice family to a new place, Poppy sets out to find the new home. Along the way, Poppy makes friends with Ereth, a porcupine. In the end, Poppy engages in a fierce battle with the owl. Children in 4th grade through 7th grade will enjoy this award-winning chapter book.


  Catwings (Paperback) 

Catwings (Catwings Series #1)

Ursula K. Le Guin (Paperback)

Genre: Fiction - Animal Fantasy; Book Theme: Animals

"Catwings" by Ursula K. Le Guin is a story about the adventures of four cats with wings as they leave the city and find a new home in the country. This easy-to-read animal fantasy book appeals to children in second and third grade. "Catwings" is a good chapter book to read aloud.


  The Cricket in Times Square (Paperback) 

The Cricket in Times Square

George Selden, Garth Williams (Paperback)

Genre: Fiction - Animal Fantasy

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden and Garth Williams is a charming animal fantasy book about Chester Cricket's adventure in New York City. At the start of this classic children' book, the country cricket arrives at the Times Square subway station by accident. Mario Bellini, whose parents own a newsstand, finds him and lets him stay in the newsstand. The cricket goes on to make friends with the boy, Tucker Mouse and Harry Cat. With interesting characters and an imaginative story, The Cricket in Times Square is a great chapter book for children in 4th grade through 7th grade.


  Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh (Paperback) 

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh

Robert C. O'Brien, Zena Bernstein (Paperback)

Genres: Fiction - Animal Fantasy, Science Fiction

"Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh" by Robert C. O'Brien, winner of the Newbery Medal, is one of the best children's books of the 20th century. Author Robert O'Brien effectively combines elements of animal fantasy and science fiction in this chapter book and tells a captivating story with believable characters and an interesting plot. A widowed field mouse, Mrs. Frisby, needs to move her family to their summer home quickly before a farm's plow comes, but one of her children gets seriously ill and cannot go out in the cold. She seeks help from the rats of Nimh, highly intelligent rats who live under the rosebush. These animals have been captured by the scientists at the Nimh lab and given injections that have vastly boosted their intelligence. They can read and write. The rat leader Nicodemus tells Mrs. Frisby the story of their escape from Nimh. It turns out one of the escapees is Jonathan Frisby, Mrs. Frisby's late husband. The rats now have a plan to grow their own crop and form a self-sufficient colony in Thorn Valley. "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh" appeals to children in 4th grade through 7th grade.


  Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery (Paperback) 

Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery (Bunnicula Series)

James Howe, Deborah Howe, Alan Daniel (Paperback)

Genres: Fiction - Animal Fantasy, Humorous Stories, Mystery Books; Book Theme: Animals

"Bunnicula" by Deborah Howe, James Howe and Alan Daniel is a favorite chapter book among children. In this humorous animal fantasy book, the Monroe family finds a bunny in a movie theater and names the animal Bunnicula. Chester the cat suspects Bunnicula is a vampire rabbit. Children in elementary school will enjoy reading this funny mystery story.


  The Tale of Despereaux (Hardcover) 

The Tale of Despereaux (Newbery Medal Book)

Kate DiCamillo, Timothy Basil Ering (Hardcover)

Genre: Fiction - Animal Fantasy; Book Theme: Animals

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo, a 2004 Newbery Medal award winner, is one of our favorite animal fantasy books. This chapter book tells interwoven stories of three main characters. It is a tale of Despereaux Tilling, a small mouse who doesn't behave like an ordinary mouse. Despereaux likes to read stories and falls in love with a princess named Pea. The Mouse Council banishes Despereaux to a dark dungeon for breaking the mouse rules of conduct. It is a tale of Chiaroscuro, a rat who lives in the darkness of dungeon but has an unusual interest in light. It is also a tale of Miggery Sow, an abused and slow-witted servant girl who longs to be a princess. After discovering the rat's plot to kidnap the princess, Despereaux bravely comes to the rescue. With a well-paced story and memorable protagonists, The Tale of Despereaux appeals children in 4th grade through 7th grade. It is a good chapter book to read aloud.


  Rabbit Hill (Paperback) 

Rabbit Hill

Robert Lawson (Paperback)

Genre: Fiction - Animal Fantasy; Book Theme: Animals

"Rabbit Hill" by Robert Lawson is one of the Newbery-award-winning classic children's books. In this gentle chapter book, animals on Rabbit Hill are anxiously waiting for the arrival of new folks. Author Robert Lawson creates a few vivid animal characters, such as gentleman-like Father Rabbit, worry-prone Mother Rabbit, grumpy Uncle Rabbit and Little Georgie the rabbit. Children in 4th grade through 7th grade will enjoy this sweet animal fantasy story.


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