If you are looking for a simple, unique critter to knit The Knitted Odd-Bod Bunch by Donna Wilson (128 pages, 200 color photographs, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-906525-42-2) is your book.
There are cats, dogs, owls, and....critters. These are not the anatomically correct teddy bears that have been filling knitting books lately.
Um, that didn't come out just right. Let me try again.
These stuffed animals don't have true to life forms. They are more along the lines of a child's drawing in 3-D, complete with in-line legs and rounded edges.
In fact, in the introduction Wilson says she was inspired by children's drawings.
I poked around online, and it turns out she has a line of interior furnishings. You can see some of the animals in the book in the designs on her items. (I like the cloud pillows. Which aren't in this book. There is, however, a doughnut in the book that looks rather delicious. )
The patterns all look approachable, with simple shaping, so they might be good for both beginner knitters and first toy projects. At the same time, there are a few with fair isle bands, one with cables, and another with beads if you want something a little more challenging.
"Mitten Kitten" here is one of the fair isle ones. You can also see the in-line leg shaping I was talking about.
Another thing I like is there are a range of gauges from fingering through worsted. I have to imagine most of them are on the small side, so they will probably work up quickly.
People on Ravelry have made 15 of the projects in the book. There are comments about using up stash to make some of them. That makes total sense since the quirky nature of the patterns lends themselves to unusual colorings as well.
It's a cute little book to have around. Especially if your kids are open minded about how stuffed animals should look.