Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Nonfiction Animal Welfare

What Animals Want

The Five Freedoms in Action

by (author) Jacqueline Pearce

illustrated by Julie McLaughlin

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Oct 2021
Animal Welfare, Pets, Farm Animals, Zoos
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
Recommended Reading age
9 to 12
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


All animals need food, water and shelter. But what about their social and emotional needs?

Modern science tells us that animals experience a wide range of emotions—from fear and anxiety to friendship and happiness. What Animals Want is an animal-care book with a difference. It introduces young readers to the Five Freedoms and helps them think about their pets’ physical and emotional needs, providing a framework for thinking about the welfare of all animals in human care, including farm, exotic and wild animals. Author Jacqueline Pearce wrote this book in consultation with the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA), an organization internationally recognized for its innovative humane education and animal welfare work.

About the authors

Jacqueline Pearce is the author of 12 books for children and teens. Her novels and nonfiction explore her fascination with local history, people, nature and animals, including Dog House Blues and The Truth About Rats, which were written for the BC SPCA Kids Club. Jacqueline has degrees in English literature and environmental studies. She has volunteered for the BC SPCA humane education program for many years and has both fostered and adopted many rescued animals with her family. She currently lives near Vancouver with her husband, daughter, dog and two cats.


Jacqueline Pearce's profile page

Julie McLaughlin is an award-winning illustrator whose work includes commissions for editorial, advertising and publishing clients from around the world. Her previous books have been nominated for several awards, and she won the 2015 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction for Why We Live Where We Live. She is the illustrator of What Animals Want in the Orca Think series and Pride Puppy! Julie grew up on the Prairies and now resides on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.


Julie McLaughlin's profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens

Editorial Reviews

“Highly readable and not preachy...this title will hold meaning for readers all over the world. Recommended.”

School Library Connection

“Balanced, up-to-date coverage...Students, teachers, and parents will appreciate these detailed and engaging offerings.”


“This comprehensive and up-to-date book has a lot to offer animal lovers who can use its information to bolster their convictions about the need for compassion towards animals, or to share it with anyone concerned about issues frequently in the news. Highly Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“Useful facts…Concise answers...The author provides many suggestions for creating empathy and understanding for all animals.”

Sal's Fiction Addiction

Other titles by Jacqueline Pearce

Other titles by Julie McLaughlin