10 Books with Animals on the Cover

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme run by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is a fill-in-the-blank, and initially I decided to choose “eye-catching art” as my topic. Then I realized that not only have I done a list like that before, but over half of the books I chose were also on that previous list. Boo to me. So, I decided to go with animals instead, because animals are cool and I like them. I definitely didn’t panic and go to bed first because I didn’t have any ideas after the previous list fell through. I do legitimately love these covers, though, so don’t worry about that.

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

Small Gods

This is one of my favourite Discworld novels, and this is in no small part due to the Great God Om, who manifests in physical form on the Disc as a tortoise, as most of his followers believe more in the doctrine of his religion rather than the god himself. There he is on the cover being carried by an eagle.

A Gathering of Ghosts by Karen Maitland

A Gathering of Ghosts

A sword and a serpent may not be all that original of a design for a book cover, but there is just something about the way this is drawn that I really love. Snakes are cool. Though I’ve since read this book and know all its ins and outs, for years this book was stuck in my mind as “the one with a big copper-coloured snake on it.”

Moby Dick by Herman Melville


I’ve not read this novel yet, though I’ve owned my copy for years. This copy, to be specific. It was very important to me that my copy have a good image of the titular whale on the cover, and this one does not disappoint.

Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith


I’m very interested in the topic of cephalopod intelligence, don’t get me wrong, and I really loved reading this book, but the octopus illustration on the cover definitely helped motivate me to pick it up. I mean, look at it.

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

This is How You Lose the Time War

I’ve not read this book yet either, though I do own a copy of it and intend to get to it sooner rather than later. I like the simple, fragmented design to the birds on this cover, and knowing that they specifically represent the two perspective characters in this book makes me love it even more.

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

Of the small number of nonfiction books I’ve read over the past few years, this was definitely my favourite. It really tapped into my childhood love of dinosaurs while also offering a lot to learn about these prehistoric animals and the field of paleontology. There’s a lot of great paleo-art included within too.

Watership Down by Richard Adams

Watership Down

This is a book I’ve been curious about since childhood. My best friend would talk it up so much that I can immediately identify the copy he owned, but I never actually cracked the book open for myself. I’ve since purchased the above copy, because good animal covers mean a lot to me, but who knows when I’ll actually read it. It doesn’t feel like a priority for some reason.

Mordew by Alex Pheby


I really love the art style of this cover in general, but this book sticks out in my mind as “the scratchy-looking one with the big bird on it.” I’m going to be disappointed if that bird is a statue.

The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America by Matt Kracht

The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America

I recently finished reading this book, and it was a lot of fun. Though a little rough, I really enjoyed the sketches included for each bird, which have a great drawn-in-the-field look to them. The bird on the cover is also a white-breasted nuthatch, which is a type of bird I hand-feed on a regular basis when I go hiking. I love the noises they make.

The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland

The Plague Charmer

The only repeat author on this list, and the reason is because this style of cover for her books is awesome. Look at that eel. I don’t even really remember what this book is supposed to be about, but I loved A Gathering of Ghosts, so I have a good feeling I’ll like this, and I will also love just looking at this cover in person. It seems it’s hard to get a hold of here in Canada, though, so I’m worried I may not be able to easily obtain a copy.

Until next time, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own list down below.


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