the best Vegan Friendly Children's Books for your age and interest
Neither mislead your vegan child, nor scare them with information they aren't ready for.
Some of these books can be found at your local library, as they are accidentally vegan. I've also included some books about general nonviolence, and countering stereotypes, as these are things I looked for myself.
Read with purpose about the world we want to help us imagine and make it. These books encourage compassion and present farming accurately. Many children's books show farmers as best mates with the animals who they are about to kill, which we know not to be the case. Books with non vegan themes can be useful discussion starters. However, keeping some vegan titles at home can help counter inaccuracies we find elsewhere. Baby can feel part of a vegan movement, even if they don't meet others everyday. What's more, we can have a lovely cuddle while reading; which will equally help birth the society of the future.
When my child was a toddler who can't sleep after a frightening book, so I take care with the topics I read them. This is why I have separated the vegan kids books into age appropriate subject categories below. However, I am all for reading complicated books to younger children to help them learn language patterns, along with simpler books to help them identify the meaning of words.
Many of the book articles have links to videos and learning resources, so as you can find out more, and I've noted which books are printed on recycled paper. Look for other recycled, second hand books in: Preloved or Oxfam.
Vegan baby books
with thick card pages for easy turning, cleaning and gnawing. Babies can practice naming animals, making their sounds, and relating to them. These books have no menacing behaviour, as my child currently copies everything. One day they will be old enough to discuss that some things are better not copied, and some things are just pretend. For now, I can only limit what they are exposed to.
Vegan Toddler books to build empathy
Why would a child eat an animal if they can see themselves in it? Animals in these books have characters for children to get to know, and feel an affinity for. Use them to hold onto children's natural interest in animals, and build on it by naming what we have in common. In turn, this helps us connect with other humans; and realise that we are all one big Earthling family, with our origins in the same cosmic dust. The stories often use rhymes, refrains, alliteration, or just pictures to appeal to younger readers. We like to add in actions too.
Nonviolent books for critical thinking
In which carnivore creatures convert to herbivorism and stop eating each other. They allow themselves to pause and think, to expand their circle of compassion beyond the norm; even if it means standing out. The stories deal with difficult comments from the animal's peers, much like we face in our own lives. This helps us compose ourselves and prepare factually weighted witty retorts... The animals live their lives in their own way, without antagonism. Their grace and commitment sees them through, and sometimes brings others to join them too.
Activist calls to action
Child protagonists saving the day and leading by example! They are a less toxic type of superhero than most; ones whose kindness is their power. Kiddie readers learn that you can stand your ground without fighting, and win people over with strength of character. Unlike flying or freezing people, these are qualities which we can find in ourselves. We do not need to become supernatural alpha people; just be fully who we are and spring to action from a place of love.
Action stories- real life animal escapes to inform
Many of these books are true stories. They introduce the reality of farming and zoos, but with a happy ending where the animals escape to freedom. This demonstrates that animals have agency and emotions. The domesticated farm and pet animals still want to exist in their own right; however paternalistic the human owner may be. They are more like their wild cousins, or us humans than artificial definitions allow.
The stories often end with the animals befriending a less controlling human, who has put themself out to help. This way we maintain the hope in humanity, so needed for social activism.
Information on animal exploitation
These books explain the gory truth about the violence of farming, and other types of animal captivity and exploitation, for children who are able to deal with difficult subjects. This is generally hidden in children's literature, perhaps as parents are concerned non vegan children wouldn't finish their dinner if they knew. These books would be useful if children ask why they can't eat what their friends eat. As children grow older they can engage critically with information and make their own decisions. For example, I became a vegetarian at 10, and vegan at 17 without my parent's input. However, I found my toddler aged child thought everything should be copied.
Vegan food cook books for kids
Healthy, vegan cookery books for children, with simple instructions and colourful illustrations. Also books for vegan kids about diet, nutrition and where food comes from. Children can take pride in learning to look after themselves. They can take responsibility for tidying up, as full participants in the communal family unit...
Vegan activity and colouring books, and books with printable learning resources
books which are inclusive of the diversity of vegan children. Generally, there is an under representation of girls, BAME characters and other minorities. I can recognise the impact of seeing yourself in the media on my own child and a student I worked with.
Vegan teenage, parenting and teachers books
Free, Activism, Representative, Information, Toddlers, Preschool, Infants
Free: I Live in a Hut
download book, audio book, dramatised video and song
The author co founded Sadhana Forest vegan community within the Auroville ecovillage, India. This book is about a day in the life of her daughter. Be inspired by by all the ways she conserves resources, enjoys herself, and expresses gratitude. The pictures combine action photos on dreamy, vibrant watercolours. They make me feel warm as I remember my time there.
Free: Violets Vegan Comics
Violet Plum and Miranda Lemon
Comics, nursery rhymes, stories, and activities. All of this is free to enjoy online at violetsvegancomics.com with links to more than twenty titles in paperback. The books are also available to borrow from a free lending library at 'Oh My Goodness vegan cafe' in Eastbourne', or to watch as videos in 'Vegan Storytime'.
Preschool, Infants, Nonviolence, Activities, Local library, Peace
How to be a Lion
Leonard is one of my favourite characters. Unsurprisingly, he was created by an award winning author, who is also artist in residence at the Born Free Foundation. Leonard is a lion, and model for gentle masculinity. With Marianne the duck by his side, he writes poetry and appreciates the moment. However, other lions suggest Leonard should 'chomp' Marianne. Together they remain strong, contemplate, and respond through verse on the theme of mutual repect and tolerance. The language and images have heartfelt poise, but also a sense of humour.
Infants, Juniors, Empathy, Poetry, Representative, Activities, Local library
The Little Book of Vegan Poems/ Talking Turkeys/ Nature Trail
Poetry by the People's Laureate, musician and activist against all forms of prejudice.
Toddlers, Preschool, Empathy, ABC, Activities
Just Like Me
picture book and colouring book, Mini Vegan ABC
'The beautiful animals are just like me'; noticing the animal's similar body parts, we are prompted to do actions and make animal sounds. The illustrations are friendly and alive. The words are minimal, but well chosen, in a big lively font. The colouring book is printed with plant based inks with recycled pages.
Toddlers, Preschool, Empathy, Activities
book or app, and Planet Rescue
Award nominated, interactive, and origional; with cool graphic design. See- through pages invite little ones to rescue animals themselves from a range of exploitative situations. On a typical page, a parent animal wants to be reunited with their child, who is picutured on the next accetate page. Children can relate to the feeling of wanting to be close to loved ones. Human adults can discuss the animal rights issues in age appropriate depth.
Published by Patrick George.
That's Not My Momma's Milk
Julia Barcalow, Kayleigh Castle
This combines two of my Baby's favourite things- breasts! It also features other baby animals. It is therefor very popular in our home and has come on holiday with us more than once. Familiar cosy subjects and repetition.
Infants, Nonviolence, Activities, Local library, Peace
Julia Donaldson, David Roberts
From the author of legendary Gruffalo, this is another tale of brains over brawn, with her trademark rhyme and musicality. Drip is accidentally born into a family of carnivores, who do not accept his herbivore ways. He stays true to himself, until his 'vibe attracts his tribe' (as a sign in Thenga Cafe reads). There was also: an activity book, teachers guide, and early reader version.
Preschool, Infants, Nonviolence, Local library, Peace
T Veg: The Story of a Carrot Crunching Dinosaur
Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Katherina Manolessou
Written by an award winning author, and BookTrust writer in residence; T Veg. bounces along with rhythm, rhyme, and joyful colour. Reginald's love of vegetarian food is not accepted by his peers, so he runs away... only to return and save the day. He is welcomed back by the other dinosaurs, who realised they missed him. A story of hope for many of us who have been through this process.
Published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. printed on FSC paper in China. For ages 2 to 7+.
Infants, Representative, Activism, Activities
Vivi the Supervegan series
Tina Newman, Holly Clifton-Brown
Vivi is a popular role model to many. The comforting and spirited book for ages 3 to 8 is about an inspirational but relatable child who uses her magic powers to help others. It combines humour and suspense with friendly pastel pictures. The plot goes around introducing the characters ready for the next books in the series. Learning resources: maze, wordsearch, colouring and Teachers pack.