5: Sheep - Of all the farm animals--including the always popular chickens, cows, and pigs--sheep are the most popular. Kids are primed to love sheep due, primarily, to Ba Ba Black Sheep.
4: Lion - I think they are popular because they have hairdos. Otherwise, they're just big, boring cats.
3: Turtle - Turtles appear in almost every book my kid has. Turtles are, at best, an aquarium animal; they aren't usually at zoos or farms, except in children's books. But they have a shell, and based on the rule of "having something unique makes you cool to kids" means that shell is gold in child currency.
2: Giraffe - My friend's 2 year old daughter used to think giraffes say, "I'm tall, I'm very tall..." Primarily because my friend would read her books and make animal sounds, but nobody knows what a giraffe sounds like! She did hit on the giraffe's claim to kiddie famethey are very tall.
1: Rhinoceros - Rhinos pop up everywhere. In one book, rhinoceroses snort and snuff, in another they're mean, and in yet another they dance. One thing is clear, their horns make them easily distinguishable, and therefore (for some reason) likable.
What animals do the kids in your life (or did you) love? Add their favorites in the comments below. And be sure to like us on Facebook!