Literature for Kids

The following list of veggie-friendly storybooks, novels, poetry compilations, and other works of literature was compiled by Dasha Bushmakin, Debra Wasserman, and Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, with assistance from parents on The Vegetarian Resource Group's Parents E-Mail list. A longer list of vegetarian-friendly books for children including non-fiction, cookbooks, animal rights books, gardening and nature books, and more can be found here under the kids' section.


The Little Book of Vegan Poems by Benjamin Zephaniah. AK Press, 2002.
Twenty-two poems to "the caring dedicated young vegans of the world…who will not stand for any exploitation whatever the species."

8- to 12-Year-Olds

Peace, Love, and Vegetables (Herb the Vegetarian Dragon) by Jules Bass, Debbie Harter (Illustrator). Barefoot Books, Book & Toy Edition, 2005.
In a faraway forest in a faraway land live Meathook and his band of carnivorous dragons, who love feasting on tasty knights and princesses. There is one dragon who is different. Herb is a peace-loving vegetarian who is prepared to stand up for what he believes in. Ages 8-10.
Aldo Applesauce, Aldo Ice Cream, and Much Ado About Aldo by Johanna Hurwitz. HarperCollins, 1979.
The life of a young boy, his becoming vegetarian, and his compassionate deeds. Ages 8-12.
A Boy, a Chicken, and the Lion of Judah by Roberta Kalechofsky. Micah Publishing, 1995.
The story of how a Jewish boy becomes a vegetarian. Ages 8-12.
Pigs Might Fly by Dick King-Smith, Mary Rayner (Illustrator). Puffin, 1990.
Daggieâ's newly learned skills help him save the farm after a damaging flood. Ages 9-12.
Saving Emily by Nicholas Read and Ellen Klem (Illustrator). Prometheus Books, 2001.
A 12-year-old moves from the city to the country and meets a neighbor who buys ranch animals and brings them to his Rescue Ranch to live out their lives in peace. Ages 9-12.
Benji Bean Sprout Doesn't Eat Meat by Sarah Rudy. Sun King Publishing & Graphics, 2004.
The book tells of Benj's adventures with a variety of animals and why he does not eat meat. Ages 8-12.
Chicken Run: Hatching the Movie by Brian Sibley. Harry N. Abrams, 2000.
The storybook of the film. Brave chickens try to escape from a battery chicken farm and the evil Mrs. Tweedy, who loves to cook chickens! Ages 8-12.
Tofu and T. Rex by Greg Leitich Smith. Little, Brown, and Company Young Readers, 2005.
A story about Frederika Murchison-Kowalski, a vegan, and her adventures with people who are not vegetarians. Ages 9-12.
Leaving Jeremiah by Jourdan Urbach. Goose River Press, 2003.
An orphan falls into a black hole under the Bermuda Triangle, and he meets a member of an underwater civilization who thinks everyone is dying because of meat. Ages 9-12.
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, Garth Williams (Illustrator). HarperCollins, 1952.
Charlotte hatches a plan to save Wilbur the pig's life. Ages 9-12.
Talking Turkeys by Benjamin Zephaniah. Penguin UK, 1999.
A poetry book encouraging people to live in peace, to love animals, to embrace an ethical vegetarian diet, and to enjoy each day of life. Ages 8-12.

4- to 8-Year-Olds

A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting, Diane de Groat (Illustrator). Clarion Books, 1995.
Mr. Moose invited Mr. Turkey to dinner, not for dinner. Ages 4-8.
The ABC's of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond by Steve Charney and David Goldbeck. Ceres Press, 2007.
Fruits and vegetables are introduced alphabetically with poems and lots of facts. Ages 4-10.
The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl and Blake Quentin. Puffin Books, 2001.
A story about a family of hunters who learn a lesson about compassion. Ages 7-9.
Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert. Harcourt Brace and Company, 1994.
Different types of fruits and veggies help children learn the alphabet. Ages 4-5.
The Chicken Gave It to Me by Anne Fine. Little Egmont Books Ltd., 2002.
A story about how chickens are treated. Ages 4-8.
Oliver's Fruit Salad by Vivian French. Hodder Children's Books, 1998.
This beautifully illustrated book will encourage all kids to try new fruits. Ages 4-7.
Oliver's Vegetables by Vivian French. Hodder Children's Books, 1998.
A boy visiting his grandfather's farm learns about a wide variety of vegetables and is encouraged to try eating each of them. Ages 4-7.
Perfect the Pig by Susan Jeschke. Henry Holt and Co., 1996.
A story of compassion and cruelty to a flying pig. Ages 4-8.
Baa Humbug! by Mike Jolley, Susan Anne Reeves (Illustrator). Templar Publishing, 2005.
A sheep saves his friends from becoming lamb chops! Ages 4-8.
The Lady and the Spider by Faith McNulty. HarperTrophy, 1987.
Compassion towards all living beings is taught. Ages 6-8.
Benny Brontosaurus Goes to a Party by Rey Ortega. Sun King Publishing & Graphics, 2005.
A herbivorous dinosaur who is new to the neighborhood is invited to a birthday celebration, where he turns down a slice of cake because it is made with (non-vegan) pterosaur milk and velociraptor eggs. Ages 4-6.
The Organic Adventures of Tucker the Tomato by
Rey Ortega. Sun King Publishing & Graphics, 2003. The differences between "conventional" and "organic" produce are discussed. Ages 4-6.
'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by David Pilkey. Orchard Books, 2004.
Children on a trip to a turkey farm save the turkeys destined for Thanksgiving dinner. In rhyme. Ages 4-8.
Princess Picky by Marjorie Priceman. Roaring Book Press, 2002.
Princess Perfect refuses to eat her vegetables but eventually tries new foods. Ages 4-8.
Victoria's Picnic with the Vegetarian Animals by Radha Vignola, Michelle N. Ary (Illustrator). Aviva!, 1996.
When Victor attends a picnic where vegetarian animals share their food with him, he enjoys a variety of snacks and learns what to eat to stay healthy. Ages 6-8.
Victor, The Vegetarian: Saving Little Lambs by Radha Vignola, Julia Bauer (Illustrator). Aviva!, 1994.
A boy saves his lambs and becomes a vegetarian in the process. Ages 6-8.

4-Year-Olds and Younger

Baby Food by Saxton Freymann and Joost Effers. Clarkson Potter, 2003.
Full-color picture book containing photos of young animals carved from only fruit and vegetables. Ages 2-4.
Veggies On Our Pizza: A to Z by Chantelle B. Goodman. Pentland Press, Inc., 2002.
The text encourages children to eat their veggies by introducing various vegetables in alphabetical order. Ages 2-4.
Hope by Randy Houk. Berghahn Books, 1996.
The story of how one pig came to Farm Sanctuary. Ages 2-6.