Children’s Literature

Mustelids have a long history in children’s literature. Most often they are found in English and other European novels based in the early 20th century. Most of the books listed here are intended to teach children about compassion and friendship.

Rather than list literature that has a minor mustelid character appearing in just one or two pages, below are fictional novels and comics that have at least one mustelid a part of the main story. Several of the books listed are rare gems that are out-of-print, but some can be found used at your local book store or online.

English common names for species

There are several pieces of literature below written by English authors. Whenever they refer to a character’s species simply as a “weasel”, they are almost exclusively referring to England’s native least weasel, especially when using the phrase “stoats and weasels”. Likewise, if a species is simply labelled a “badger”, “otter“, “pine marten”, or “polecat”, they are most likely referring to the European badger, Eurasian otter, Eurasian pine marten, and European polecat.

Literature by Species


(1) Badger’s Beech by Elleston Trevor [ISBN: 9780876951095]

A rhyme in an ancient chest hints at buried gold for those who follow its directions.

(2) Badgers by the Bridge by Lucy Daniels [ISBN: 9780340736647]

The badger baiters are back in Welford. Mandy and James are caring for two cubs abandoned by their mother. They engage a TV reporter to investigate the evil sport hoping to find the mother if she hasn’t been killed already.

This book is a part of the Animal Ark series, a book series written by a collection of authors under the direction of Ben M. Baglio, using the pseudonym Lucy Daniels starting in 1994.

(3) Badger in the Basement by Lucy Daniels, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas [ISBN: 9780590187541]

When James leads Mandy to a badger sett he’s been watching, they find it has been deliberately destroyed. Even worse, they discover an abandoned cub. As well as looking for a new home for the young badger Mandy and James begin to unearth some suspicious activities in Piper’s Wood.

This book is a part of the Animal Ark series, a book series written by a collection of authors under the direction of Ben M. Baglio, using the pseudonym Lucy Daniels starting in 1994.

(4) Badger’s New House by Robin Muller [ISBN: 9780805063837]

Badger loves his cozy little cottage. The door sticks and the shutters bang, but Badger doesn’t mind-until a huge storm makes a mess of his house. He doesn’t think he can fix the damage, so he sells the cottage to Grandmother Mouse and moves to a lovely mansion.

However, Badger feels lost and lonely in his huge new house, so he’s happy when Grandmother Mouse invites him to tea. He doesn’t even mind fixing the sticking door. Each time Badger visits he fixes something else, and soon the little cottage is as good as new. The only problem is that it’s too small for Grandmother Mouse’s family to visit, but Badger can fix that, too!

(5) Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley [ISBN: 9780688115180]

All the woodland creatures—Mole, Frog, Fox, and Rabbit—love old Badger, who is their confidante, advisor, and friend. When he dies, they are overwhelmed by their loss. Then they begin to remember and treasure the memories he left them.

Told simply, directly, and honestly, this uplifting story will be of tremendous value to both children and their parents. A gentle classic that can help foster communication, care, and understanding.

(6) Bill Badger and the Bathing Pool by David Severn

Requires a synopsis.

(7) Bill Badger and the Buried Treasure by David Severn

Requires a synopsis.

(8) The Bill Badger series (8 books) by Denys Watkins-Pitchford

The series begins as Bill Badger and Izzybizzy the hedgehog set out on the canal in their narrow boat ‘Wandering Wind’. They have a cargo of conkers, and hidden beneath them is a treasure, but they must defend it against Big Ginger and his band of fierce cats.

The series included eight books over a decade from the first in 1957 (Wandering Wind, reprinted as Bill Badger and the Wandering Wind). The final in the series was Bill Badger and the Voyage to the World’s End in 1969.

(9) Boris Badger: Boris learns a lesson by Michael E. McDevitt, illustrated by Olga S. Tenyakova [ISBN: 9781733588201]

Introducing Boris Badger, Raven, Babushka and Jack the donkey. Boris and Raven share breakfast. Raven tells a story. Badger and Raven embark on an adventure to obtain a birthday present for Jack. Babushka and her two dogs intervene. Boris and Raven learn a lesson.

(10) Boris the Lost Badger by Brian Hainsworth, illustrated by Mair Perkins [ISBN: 9781781485859]

Boris the badger is heading home along a winding track. He has as to make a choice, left or right? Which way will take him back? Journey along with Boris as he tries to find his way home. In the wood he meets a number of creatures, from bees to butterflies, snails to squirrels.

(11) Digger the Badger Decides to Stay by Thornton W. Burgess

Digger the Badger is without a home, and watches Old Mother West Wind open her bag and shake out her children Merry Little Breezes, and this helps him to decide to stay in Green Meadows.

Thornton Burgess has written hundreds of animal storybooks stretching from 1910 to the 1960s. His books occasionally include mustelid characters such as Digger the badger, Glutton the wolverine, Billy the mink, Joe the otter, Shadow the weasel, Pekan the fisher and Spite the marten.

 (12) The Fern Hollow book series (17 books) by John Patience

This series revolves around a village populated by anthropomorphic animals in an early 20th century setting. The majority of mustelids that appear are badgers Brock Gruffy, Farmer and Mrs Bramble. One book centres around a couple of weasels in the Brass Band Robbery, but we felt it was best to include it here, rather than give the book it’s own species category.

We are unsure if a mustelid appears in every book, but it does seem badgers are included in most of them.

(13) The Mr. Badger and Mrs. Fox series (6 books) by Brigitte Luciani, illustrated by Eve Tharlet

This series follows the adventures of a badger and fox family. They have difficulty getting along, until hunters chase Ginger the fox and her mother out of their den. Afterwards, Mr. Badger and Mrs. Fox decide they should all live together. Grub, Bristle, and Ginger have a BIG PLAN to change their parents’ minds . . . but it’s going to take a lot of cooperation to prove that they just can’t get along!

This beautifully illustrated series teaches children the importance of getting along with others despite their differences.

(14) The Rupert Bear comic strip by Mary Tourtel (1920–35), Alfred Bestall (1935–74), Freddie Chaplain (1965–78), James Henderson (1978–1990), Ian Robinson (1990–2002) and Stuart Trotter (2008–)

Since November of 1920, this comic strip has been published daily in the Daily Express, with many of these stories being printed in books. In this comic an anthropomorphic European badger named Bill Badger is the best friend of the main character Rupert.

(15) The Tale of Benny Badger (Sleepy-Time Tales) by Arthur Scott Bailey [ISBN: 9781406592382]

Requires a synopsis.

(16) The Tale of Mr. Tod by Beatrix Potter [ISBN: 9780723247838]

The tale is about a badger called Tommy Brock and his arch enemy Mr. Tod, a fox. Brock kidnaps the children of Benjamin Bunny and his wife Flopsy, intending to eat them, and hides them in an oven in the home of Mr. Tod. Benjamin and his cousin Peter Rabbit have followed Tommy Brock in an attempt to rescue the babies.

(17) Why the Honey Badger Loves Honey: Baba Indaba Children’s Stories by Anon E. Mouse, narrated by Baba Indaba [ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 220]

In this 220th issue of the Baba Indaba’s Children’s Stories series, Baba Indaba narrates the South African tale of why the African honey badger, (also known as the ratel), loves honey.

The life of the honey badger is not an easy one. There is a lot of competition in the South African bush for scarce food resources, especially wild honey. So when a honey badger finds a fresh beehive, they are apt to raid it for all its worth.

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates to “Father of Stories”.


(1) Farley the Ferret of Farkleberry Farm by Patricia Derrick [ISBN: 9781933818122]

Farley the Ferret and Farmer Finley take fresh boysenberry jam (and bread) to the fair to share with the children. But, when the drought hit Foley County, there was no jam to share, no boysenberries anywhere. Children danced around the vines and made silent wishes in their minds. Find out what happened to the boysenberries.

(2) Felicia the Ferret & the Atom Smasher by Gary Duehr, illustrated by Joseph Chou [ISBN: 9781945247484]

This book is inspired by the true story of Felicia the Fermilab Ferret. In 1971, she journeyed from her farm in Minnesota to the Fermilab particle accelerator near Chicago, where she played a key role in the atomic age and became world famous.

(3) The Ferret Chronicles series (6 books) by Richard Bach

A series of novels written from the point of view of anthropomorphic ferrets.

(4) Ferret Fun by Lucy Daniels, illustrated by Paul Howard [ISBN: 9780340735893]

Freddie, a stray ferret, is found under the shed at Lilac Cottage. To make Freddie feel at home, Mandy comes up with a way to include her in a school Fun Day to raise money for new story books. Freddie’s real owners spot their missing ferret on Mandy’s stall, but then she goes missing.

This book is a part of the Animal Ark series, a book series written by a collection of authors under the direction of Ben M. Baglio, using the pseudonym Lucy Daniels starting in 1994.

(5) Ferret Princess (Tales from the Keep) by Joan Lennon [ISBN: 9781846470646]

When trouble arrives at her castle, in the form of two disreputable younger sons looking for a kingdom to take over, the princess uses all her ferrety nous to win the day.

(6) Fuffles the Ferret by Ronald Schneider [ISBN: 9780999337707]

Back in 1935 when 7-year-old Harold Samuels got Fuffles, few if any people kept ferrets as pets. Fewer even knew what a ferret was, including Harold, who when his father surprised him with Fuffles thought he was a weasel. Despite the mistake, Harold was immediately captivated by the small, cute, cuddly creature. He couldn’t take his eyes off of him or put him down. Quickly, Fuffles came to occupy a big place in Harold’s life. With the joys and fun came the responsibilities. And what Harold was soon to learn, sometimes to his distress and horror, was how much trouble, excitement and mischief a playful, curious ferret can cause.

(7) My Name is Musky: A Ferret’s Story by Matty Giuliano, illustrated by Morgan Spicer [ISBN: 9780578535326]

A small white ferret is abandoned and left by the side of the road. Things start to look up, though, when a nice lady named Stephanie shows up and saves the day. It’s off to the cozy, warm animal shelter for this little ferret, but will anyone want to adopt a different kind of furry animal friend?

This is a charming short story with beautiful illustrations that teaches children that ferrets do not know how to survive in the wild, and that they depend on the kindness of humans to love and care for them.

(8) No Fair Ferret by Tracy White, illustrated by Valerie Lackey Stone [ISBN: 9780979973826]

No Fair Ferret is a book about a North American polecat named Cecil, who can’t stop taking things that don’t belong to him. This behavior doesn’t go over well with the other neighborhood animals. Because ferrets are pick-pocketers by nature, he doesn’t even realize that he is being naughty. Eventually, Cecil learns to change his ways after meeting a lovable new friend. Once again, in her classic writing style, Tracy White charms us with this endearing story about a little ferret who learns a big lesson.

(9) Peach and Pun: The New Family Ferret by Ashieda, illustrated by Amory Abbott [ISBN: 9781468584813]

Fuzzy creatures involved: Pun: a gentle yet excitable ferret who finds herself accepted into a new home, the already claimed territory of Peach! Peach: an adorably stubborn and, at times, fierce creature who feels the need to protect her home from this unseemly family member, Pun! Join us in this lovely animated and courageous tale of a ferret who outwits and perseveres during times of change. Can Peach and Pun both find some fun in growing together?

(10) Scruffy Hawk and Freddy Ferret by John Divenuto [ISBN: 9781625103178]

Scruffy Hawk and Freddy Ferret is the story of two natural enemies who join forces when an environmental disaster entraps them and all the forest creatures.
Will they continue their animosity for each other, or will they learn the value of cooperation, friendship and team work, becoming heroes?
The reader will be kept in suspense while developing vocabulary skills along the way.

(11) Those Fun Lovin’ Ferrets & The Magical Stone! by Larry Johnson [ISBN: 9780983356530]

The two siblings, Frinkles and Fusha Ferret are the two main fictional characters in the book. They are fun seeking, fun lovin,’ adventurous, and curious. The family moves from a mid size city in the United States to a seemingly quiet, boring, small town called Ark City which is anything but a city. What they see, learn and experience is far beyond their wildest expectations, especially when they discover there is a magical stone near their home down at the river’s edge.

(12) Zucchini by Barbara Dana [ISBN: 9780553154375]

Zucchini, an independent young ferret, escapes from the Bronx Zoo and sets out to journey to the Oklahoma prairie.

This book contains a number of incorrect basic facts about ferrets, such as claiming that they are herbivorous rodents.

(13) Zucchini Out West by Barbara Dana and Lynette Hemmant [ISBN: 9780062036025]

Zucchini is Billy’s pet and his best friend. When biologists at the ASPCA think that Zucchini is a rare North American polecat (a.k.a. black-footed ferret), Billy is in a quandary. He loves animals and does everything he can to help the ecology, but realizes that he can’t keep an endangered animal as a pet. Can Billy do the right thing and risk losing Zucchini forever?


(1) Ereth’s Birthday (Poppy) by Avi, illustrated by Brian Floca [ISBN: 9780380804900]

The fourth book in the beloved Poppy series. Erethizon Dorsatum—better known as Ereth, the self-centered, foul-tempered old porcupine—is having a birthday; and he fully expects his best friend Poppy, a deer mouse, to help him celebrate in a grand manner. However, Poppy has gone off somewhere with her husband, Rye, and it appears she has forgotten all about it.

In this book a fisher named Marty stalks Ereth do him harm.


(1) Fling, the Story of the Pine Marten by H.G. Hurrell [ISBN: 9780901474070]

Requires a synopsis.

(2) Marty the Marten: A Young Marten Learns about the Forest by Joyce A. King [ISBN: 9781984159205]

Marty the Marten tells the story of a young North American marten who learns about the forest and some of the other animals who share it. Marty’s mother helps Marty and his brother and sister understand the need for learning, how to accept who we are, and the need for all things on the earth.

(3) Peter Marten & Friends: Stories from the Newfoundland and Labrador Forest by Brent Cole, illustrated by Courtney Gabriel [ISBN: 9781926689951]

The main character Peter Marten, a Newfoundland marten (M. a. atrata), also happens to be a game warden. Peter’s job is to protect all wildlife, including martens just like him. Written by the late Brent Cole, who was a wildlife officer for 17 years.

(4) A St. Nicholas Story: The Fiercest Little Animal In The Forest by Terri Reinhart, illustrated by Patrick Reinhart [ISBN: 9780984309306]

This book tells a simple version of the St. Nicholas story without bringing religion into it. Author’s words – “The image of this pine marten came to me one morning after I had been struggling to find just the right St. Nicholas story to tell to my kindergarten children. I could almost see this little creature in my imagination carrying the gold coins in his teeth and dropping them into the stockings. When story time came, I just started speaking the story and I allowed the pine marten to lead me. The story in this book is what resulted. This is the first time it has been published in book form.”

This book also contains beautiful illustrations of the marten character.


(1) A Mink’s Story by Emil E. Liers [ISBN: 9780812702057]

A year in the life of a mother mink, her two litters of kits, and their animal friends and enemies near the Mississippi River in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

(2) Billy Mink by Thornton W. Burgess [ISBN: 9780486481074]

Join Billy the mink, Bobby the raccoon, and Jumper the hare as they battle the rats – a crew of robbers that takes over the Big Barn and makes life miserable for the peaceful creatures of the Green Forest.

Thornton Burgess has written hundreds of animal storybooks stretching from 1910 to the 1960s. His books occasionally include mustelid characters such as Digger the badger, Glutton the wolverine, Billy the mink, Joe the otter, Shadow the weasel, Pekan the fisher and Spite the marten.

(3) Monica Mink by Jane Frank

In rhyme the obstreperous Monica Mink “who wouldn’t listen and didn’t think” is finally taught that “all Mother Minks know best”. — Review published by the National Council of Teachers of English

(4) Northern Mink by Keenan Poloncsak [ISBN: 978-0-9952795-3-7]

This is a story about a wild mink living in the boreal forest of Québec; particularly a young mink named Oakley, who is fascinated with the lake on the other side of the road. This is a trilingual book written in English, French and Inuktitut.

(5) Phantom the White Mink by Hal G. Evarts

Requires a synopsis.

(6) The Tale of Peter Mink (Sleepy-Time Tales) by Arthur Scott Bailey [ISBN: 9781406521290]

Requires a synopsis.


(1) The Adventures of Little Joe Otter by Thornton W. Burgess [ISBN: 9780448127552]

The story of an otter, of his home and foods and of his friends and enemies who live near the Smiling Pool.

Thornton Burgess has written hundreds of animal storybooks stretching from 1910 to the 1960s. His books occasionally include mustelid characters such as Digger the badger, Glutton the wolverine, Billy the mink, Joe the otter, Shadow the weasel, Pekan the fisher and Spite the marten.

(2) Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas by Russell Hoban, illustrated byLillian Hoban [ISBN: 9781524714574]

The story tells of Emmet Otter and his mother, Alice Otter, who live along the river in the village of Frogtown Hollow. Alice and Emmet struggle to make ends meet through odd jobs and projects for neighbors and villagers, but this Christmas they dream of having enough money to buy each other a special gift. As Christmas approaches and the economic situation in Frogtown Hollow grows worse, they hear of a talent contest in the nearby town of Waterville, and they separately decide to enter to buy nice presents for each other. However, they must sacrifice each other’s livelihood for the talent contest.

(3) If You Take Away the Otter by Susannah Buhrman-Deever, illustrated by Matthew Trueman [ISBN: 9780763689346]

When the sea otters disappear, why does their kelp forest habitat disappear, too?

On the Pacific Coast of North America, sea otters play, dive, and hunt for sea urchins, crabs, abalone, and fish in the lush kelp forests beneath the waves. But there was a time when people hunted the otters almost to extinction. Without sea otters to eat them, an army of hungry sea urchins grew and destroyed entire kelp forests. Fish and other animals that depended on the kelp were lost, too. But when people protected the sea otters with new laws, their numbers began to recover, and so did the kelp forests. Susannah Buhrman-Deever offers a beautifully written account of a trophic cascade, which happens when the removal of a single element affects an entire habitat. Asides that dig deeper are woven throughout Matthew Trueman’s dynamic illustrations, starring a raft of charismatic sea otters. Back matter includes more information about sea otters and kelp forests, including their importance and current status, the effects of the international fur trade on indigenous peoples, and a list of books and websites for readers who wish to continue to explore. — Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.

(4) Oscar Otter by Nathaniel Benchley [ISBN: 9780064440257]

A young otter named Oscar likes to play slide, but his neighbor a beaver blocks his slide to build his own dam. Oscar has a clever idea to climb further up to build his slide, and that gets him into trouble with a series of other animals.

(5) Otter Moon by Tudor Humphries [ISBN: 9781906250690]

In the land of the otters, Flibberty lay in his secret place, watching the moon rise and daydreaming instead of catching fish. So the King of the River sets him a seemingly impossible task: to find and serve him a great fish on a silver dish before daybreak.

The illustrations within this book are simply amazing, and are drawn by the author himself.

(6) Otter in the Outhouse by Lucy Daniels [ISBN: 9780340699553]

Mandy and James are staying by a Scottish loch, helping their friend with her otter project. But the peace is threatened by a newcomer with plans to open a watersports centre. The family of otters disappear, leaving a baby otter behind. Can Mandy and James stop the newcomer from doing more damage?

This book is a part of the Animal Ark series, a book series written by a collection of authors under the direction of Ben M. Baglio, using the pseudonym Lucy Daniels starting in 1994.

(7) Ripple-Swim the Otter by Elleston Trevor

Requires a synopsis.

(8) SQUIRT the Otter by Tracy L. Mikowski, illustrated by Peter Richard [ISBN: 9780986028700]

When a baby otter was found in a farmer s field, Tracy the zookeeper was called to the rescue. She and her Welsh Corgi Muffin befriended Squirt. They opened their home to her and gave her all the love she needed to grow into a strong healthy otter, but not without their fair share of adventure and adversity along the way! This is a heartfelt story of love, compassion, and friendship. Tracy, Squirt, and Muffin help us reconnect to the natural world and show us how the bond between humans and creatures can flourish, especially when we open our hearts.

(9) Walter the Wanderer: An Otter’s Tale, on a Grand and Global Scale by Pavle Sabic, illustrated by Via Fang [ISBN: 9781480872073]

Walter the Wanderer teaches us how to lead with love and celebrate the diversity of others. Join Walter as he travels the world inspiring compassion and friendship through the simple gift of a hug. We hope that the book will inspire reciprocity and kindness. The world needs the love. This charming book includes beautiful illustrations by Via Fang.

(10) Wonderful Adventures of Ozzie the Sea Otter by Nora Dohlke, illustrated by Forest Stearns [ISBN: 9780982204603]

This book tells the story of a little sea otter named Ozzie, along with his mother on an ocean journey. It includes ninety pages of full-colour paintings.


(1) The Secret Life of Phil: The Journey of an Endangered Black-Footed Ferret by Melissa Currier Marsted (Author), Angela Lewis Houle (Editor), Cait Irwin (Illustrator) and Aileen Aquino (Contributor) [ISBN: 9781938136658]

Welcome to The Secret Life of Phil, the fourth book in our Wildlife Adventures for Young Readers series. Phil’s story takes place from the Black Hills of Wyoming to the two national parks in South Dakota – Wind Caves and Badlands National Parks. Please join Phil, an endangered North American polecat (a.k.a. black-footed ferret), as he encounters other endangered species and hides from predators in awe-inspiring places like Devils Tower and Mount Rushmore. The North American polecat is protected by the Endangered Species Act. Our story aims to raise awareness among our readers about endangered species and the important role we all play in protecting them. Most of all, The Secret Life of Phil seeks to inspire a wonder about the beauty and magic of nature.

(2) Wild and Free: The Story of a Black-Footed Ferret by Jo-Ellen C. Bosson [ISBN: 9780924483684]

Nearly extinct because of man’s encroachment on their habitat, North American polecats (a.k.a. black-footed ferrets) are given a new lease on life from conservation efforts. Read how a mother ferret keeps her family safe from dangerous predators.


(1) Tayra’s Not Talking (Kitty and Friends) by Lana Button, illustrated by Christine Battuz [ISBN: 9781525304842]

The students in Miss Seabrooke’s kindergarten class don’t understand why the new student won’t respond when they talk to her. Speaking louder doesn’t help. Tayra doesn’t even answer the teacher! Should they just leave her be? Maybe, Kitty decides, she can show Tayra things instead of telling her. Happily, it works! Soon the pair find they can communicate with gestures, dancing, drawings and smiles. And when the others see how much fun they’re having, they join in, too! It seems words aren’t the only way to connect and be friends!

Lana Button uses playful, cadenced rhyming text to explore the art of making a friend. This story sensitively captures a kindergartener’s fears and uncertainties, especially around being new and “different” and models compassion, acceptance and friendship as a reassuring way for others to respond. Christine Battuz’s expressive illustrations convey the friends’ emotions as they process this new experience and try to decide what to do about it.

Weasels (excluding minks, polecats, and the ferret)

(1) The Animals Of Farthing Wood: Weasel’s Adventures by Colin Dann [ISBN: 9780099522713]

Weasel and Measly now have a family, and decide that White Deer Park is no longer the best place for them. So they set off bravely into the big outside world with their two babies, Fido and Cleo, but finding the right home proves more difficult than they expected.

(2) Beasel the Weasel: A Very Happy Weasel by Rick Gilmore and Cherie Dalldorf [ISBN: 9781733120432]

Meet Beasel the very good natured, fun loving Weasel, who’s off on the adventure of life! From the time he is born through all his adventures, Beasel loves his life. Learning is fun! Playing and hunting is fun! Meeting and enjoying new friends is fun! In every experience, Beasel has the ability to make the best of the situation. Even in the midst of fear and confusion he chooses to love his life and embrace all the good. We have much to learn from Beasel! — Back cover.

(3) The Case of the Missing Weasel by Sloan J. Kaczynski, illustrated by Paul Cowan [ISBN: 9781724935724]

Being a Weasel isn’t always easy. Elizabeth, a young girl from the Southwest, finally gets her dream gift of a pet weasel. She can never imagine a life without it, but sometimes unexpected things can happen. Join our beloved, yet mischievous, weasel on his journey of twists and turns as he tries to Navigate his way back home from traveling state to state and continent to continent.

(4) The Chesterton picture book series (5 books) by Dean Coe, illustrated by Robyn Whaples and Sasha Rudyakov

Chesterton is a series of books that feature an ever-curious and good natured Cape Cod weasel named Chesterton.

(5) Eddie the Ermine written and illustrated by Josh Verhagen [ISBN: 9781594338724]

A story of a young stoat (refereed to as an ermine in this book) who learns the importance of not taking from others and the joy of being able to achieve a difficult task.

(6) Frightful’s Daughter Meets the Baron Weasel by Jean Craighead George, illustrated by Daniel San Souci [ISBN: 9780525472025]

Sam Gribley lives in the hollow of a hemlock tree, deep in a mountain forest. His animal friends include Frightful the falcon and her offspring and the mischievous Baron Weasel, among others. As winter approaches, both Frightful’s daughter and the Baron Weasel have hungry families to feed, and Sam discovers that the Baron has his eye on the baby falcons. What is a friend to do?

This is the fifth and last book of the Mountain series.

(7) The Hole that was Too Narrow, (from The Story of the Hare and the Tortoise and Other Tales) by Peter Holeinone [ISBN: 2921171155]

Due to being part of a larger book, this is an unusual addition to our list of mustelids in literature. However, since each of the 23 tales in The Story of the Hare and the Tortoise and Other Tales are individual short stories, we decided The Hole that was Too Narrow deserved a mention. It’s a story about a stoat that finds a chamber full of food, becomes bloated and unable to fit through the hole to escape.

(8) Kärp by Harri Jõgisalu

Requires a synopsis.

(9) Kattemor Som Rømte Fra Setra / The Mother Cat Who Ran Away From the Shieling
and Kattemor Hjemme Igjen / Mother Is Back Home by Synnøve Gill Dahl

Both books are part of a single story. This is a Norwegian-only tale that tells about a mother cat and her three kittens who embark on a journey back to their farm home after being brought to the shieling with the cattle for summer. Faced with a major obstacle in the form of a vast lake, the mother cat persuades a stoat to transport the kittens across to the other side and promises to pay the favor with a mouse and a rat, and another mouse and a rat in return saving a kitten’s life. They agree to meet by the next full moon, but it’s easier said than done, as the rats turn out to be harder to catch than mother had bargained for.

The book is told in a way that offers kids and adults alike a first time glimpse into the world of animals sharing their lives with people, as well as the wilderness and how everything connects in nature. The tone of the book is honest, and while it’s filled with entertaining antics and charming characters, it’s deeply rooted in observations of real life behaviour.

It is appropriate to give the female stoat a special mention here, as she is a great example of the balance between fact and fiction. Although stoats don’t make deals with cats in real life, her actions and solutions to the problems at hand educates the reader about the species’ abilities as both a creative survivor, a responsible mother and an effective predator. In the lake scene described above, the stoat uses a flat piece of wood as a transportation device. This could easily be interpreted as anthropomorphism, but there have been some unconfirmed reports of stoats doing this to move their young across large bodies of water.

Published in 1949 this piece of work has no ISBN number, is out of print and given how hard it is to find a copy, there is a particular attention to detail in the synopsis above. However, the two books are available to read in their original language at (the digital collection section as part of the official website of the National Library of Norway), here and here.

(10) The Legend of the Flying Hotdog picture book by Celeste White [ISBN: 9780881381313]

A weasel who enjoys playing practical jokes gradually changes into a flying hotdog, but a boy’s kindness convinces him to change his ways.

(11) The Lion and the Stoat by Paul O. Zelinsky [ISBN: 9780688025625]

Two great artists, a lion and a stoat, are in constant competition with each other.

(12) A Little Bit Worried by Ciara Gavin, illustrated by Tim Warnes [ISBN: 9781788815697]

When Weasel is caught in a big, angry storm, he builds a fortress to hide in. But then he meets Mole, who loves to play in the wind and splash in the rain. Can Weasel learn to overcome his fears and find joy, whatever the weather?

A great read behind the inspiration for this book.

(13) Little Grey Rabbit: Rabbit and the Weasels by Alison Uttley [ISBN: 9780001941144]

Requires a synopsis.

(14) Never Tease a Weasel by Jean Conder Soule, illustrated by George Booth [ISBN: 9780375872853]

A funny, finger-wagging rhyme with some very good advice: never tease a weasel.

There are apparently two versions of this book. The original was illustrated by Denman Hampson.

(15) The Strange Story of Slim the Stoat by R.D. Humber, illustrated by David Body

Slim changes into his white winter coat too soon, and this causes him all sorts of social problems.

(16) Stoat and the Monsters by Anne Whyte, illustrated by Amanda Doyle [ISBN: 9781723754616]

In the shadows of the night Stoat meets his friend Snake. Snake describes a fierce monster who has come to live in their neck of the woods. But who is this creature? Perhaps there is more than one! Maybe they are not fierce at all! Because lots of monsters are friendly and nice, Stoat sets off to find out.

(17) A Stoat Called Longfellow by Trevor Smith [ISBN: 9781788303590]

When Longfellow the stoat wakes up on a snowy day and wants an egg for breakfast, he has to cross the farmyard and brave the wrath of Pint, the farmer’s Jack Russell dog. All seems well until the horse, Cobweb, unwittingly sounds the alarm and Pint wakes up and gives chase. Longfellow finds a safe refuge, but soon something worse comes calling. Longfellow runs away – but then something even worse arrives! Can little Longfellow get safely to his home in the dry stone wall?

Written by a former gamekeeper who knows the countryside, this beautifully illustrated book is far more realistic than most depictions of weasels in fictional literature, and tells about actual dangers a stoat may encounter.

(18) The Tale of Grumpy Weasel (Sleepy-Time Tales) by Arthur Scott Bailey

Requires a synopsis.

(19) The Travels of Ermine series (3 books) by Jennifer Gray

Ermine the Determined is a stoat who seeks to travel around the world. From New York to Sydney and beyond, her travels are full to the brim with adventure.

(20) Two for Me, One for You by Jörg Mühle [ISBN: 9781776572397]

Bear finds three tasty mushrooms on her way home through the woods. Her friend Weasel cooks them up in the frying pan. But the friends have a problem: how to share three between two?

(21) The Wainscott Weasel by Tor Seidler [ISBN: 9781481410113]

Bagley isn’t your typical trouble-making weasel—and he doesn’t mind if his non-weaselly ways prompt teasing from his friends. For while other young weasels dance under the pines, Bagley thinks about Bridget, the mesmerizing fish who lives in a pond down the brook from his den. As the two unlikely friends grow closer, Bagley realizes that there is big trouble in Bridget’s future. Only a true hero can save Bridget from the gruesome fate that awaits her, and this is exactly what Bagley, much to his own surprise, proves himself to be.

(22) Weasel in My Meatsafe by Phil Drabble [ISBN: 9780718116354]

As an only child, the author enjoyed exploring the outdoors and catching everything from butterflies to newts. He tamed rats, hedgehogs, squirrels and stoats. Later, a badger came into the house, and he kept a weasel in his mearsafe.

(23) Weasel’s Perfect Present by Kathy Mattenklodt [ISBN: 9781634891936]

It is the day before Weasel’s birthday, and the animals of Friendly Forest are on the hunt for the perfect present. However, Weasel believes that his friends have forgotten his special day and decides to snoop around.

(24) Weasels with Measles by Lesley Sims, illustrated by David Semple [ISBN: 9781474946605]

The little weasels have woken up covered in spots! Have they really caught the measles? Find out in this entertaining story for beginner readers, with simple rhyming text, stylish illustrations and parents’ notes on phonics at the back of the book.

(25) Wilf Weasel’s Speedy Skates by Edward Holmes, illustrated by Horace Faithful [ISBN: 9780723807162]

Requires a synopsis.

(26) World of the Weasel series (2 books) by Salvo Lavis and James Munn. Illustrated by Dave Leonard

A very charming ongoing series that we highly recommend. The World of the Weasel book series is good in terms of both educating children, and establishing a positive attitude towards weasels and wildlife.


(1) Animals Illustrated: Wolverine by Allen Niptanatiak, illustrated by Patricia Ann Lewis-MacDougall [ISBN: 9781772272987]

This book teaches children how wolverines raise their young, where they live, what they eat, and other interesting information such as how they use their distinctive scent.

(2) Buddy, the Wayward Wolverine by Amanda Shufelberger and Mary A. Livingston [ISBN: 9780984775668]

Buddy, California’s only documented wolverine, is from the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. This is a tale of Buddy’s imagined journey from Idaho to California. Told by Buddy expert and wildlife biologist, Amanda Shufelberger.

(3) Send Me a Box of Wolverines by Suzanne Stutzman [ISBN: 9780986251900]

This book introduces you to the habits, diet, character, and attitude of this little-known creature and makes a case for its re-introduction into the wilds of Colorado.

(4) Wally Wolverine (Animal Pride Series) by Dave and Pat Sargent, illustrated by Jane Lenoir [ISBN: 9781567635591]

While looking for food and shelter on a cold snowy night, a grouchy wolverine learns that if you help someone, the goodness will come back to you. Includes factual information about wolverines.

Contains Multiple Mustelids

(1) Bill Badger and the Pine Martens by David Severn

Requires a synopsis.

(2) Cheeky and Charlemagne by Donna Marie Seim [ISBN: 9781937721534]

Cheeky, a fun loving North American river otter, and his friend Charlemagne, a persnickety North American marten, are on a mission to help save the furry animals of the North Country from the treacherous trappers. Their journey will lead them to raging rivers, tall mountains, blinding blizzards and dangerous hidden traps.

(3) The Comical Creatures from Wurtemberg by an unknown author

This book was published in 1851 by New York: G.P. Putnam, and contains six individual stories. One of which is titled The Weasels of Holm-Wood.

(4)  Ermine’s New Home by Stephanie Smith, illustrated by Robert Hynes [ISBN: 9781931465175]

Ermine is growing up fast! He is ready to find a home of his own. But finding a new home is not an easy task, especially when a wolverine tries to make a meal out of Ermine. Will Ermine escape the deadly jaws of the wolverine and the unforgiving temperatures of the tundra?

(5) Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dah [ISBN: 9780142410349]

A story is about Mr. Fox and how he outwits his farmer neighbours to steal their food from right under their noses. He is friends with a Eurasian badger and least weasels.

(6) Lesser Spotted Animals by Martin Brown [ISBN: 9781338089349]

Although not 100% about mustelids, this book was included as a rare exception due to the author’s attempt to educate children about lesser known animals. They mention the North American polecat (a.k.a. black-footed ferret) and even the striped polecat— the latter being a mustelid you will be hard pressed to find mentioned in any other children’s book.

Mr. Brown is also the author of Even More Lesser Spotted Animals [ISBN: 9781338349610], which includes the yellow-throated marten. We applaud Mr. Brown’s efforts to bring a little uncharismatic minifauna to the world.

(7) Scamperfoot the Pine Marten by Elleston Trevor

This is a story about a Eurasian pine marten named Scamperfoot, and his best friend Ripple-Swim the otter. Scamperfoot spends much of his time escaping from being shot by a farmer, tormented by crows and chased by a cat. Once Ripple-Swim inspires the marten to try to steal some fish from a fishing boat, the real adventure begins.

Children’s Literature | Young Adult Literature | Educational and Nonfiction

Mustelids in Media