And you can think beyond the standard, kitty-cat wall border or dino bedding; some of today's designs have a sophistication that will please style-minded parents, too.
So to quote Maurice Sendak, "Let the wild rumpus begin!"
Dwell Studio: This bastion of chic kids' decor offers deer, triceratops, unicorn and zebra papier-mâché wall art that could easily inhabit any room in the house. Owl and unicorn shower curtains are rendered in Dwell's signature muted-colour palette. Here too are French textile designer Paule Marrot's high style, textural giclee bird paintings on linen. (www.dwellstudio.com, papier-mâché, $76; shower curtains, $66; Paule Marrot wall art, $2,200)
Ferm Living: Folk-arty silhouettes are the story at this Scandinavian design house. There are friendly tiger, owl and octopus poly-filled cushions and mobiles, a sweet group of bird-shaped cushions, and a snake in fun, stripy organic hues. An unlikely yet whimsical Animal Tower decal stacks a rooster on a giraffe on a dog on a horse on an elephant — wall art sure to inspire some fantastical storytelling. (www.fermlivingshop.com, cushions, $34.25 and up; mobiles, $45.75; Animal Tower, $110)
RoomMates: Silhouette decals including monkeys, pelicans, turtles and more come packaged together ready to affix in whatever creative narrative strikes your fancy. There are realistic dinosaurs as well, packaged in multiples. (www.roommatesdecor.com, animal decals, $71.49; dinos, $14.49)
Little Lion Studio: Based in Montreal, Leonardo Cortes creates quiet, whimsical-sleepscape wall decals. A family of koalas snoozes in eucalyptus branches; a big yet benign whale takes a little sailboat for a ride. A watchful mommy giraffe can be positioned over the crib, with baby giraffe on the other side. Cortes' simple and charming style is reminiscent of that of Babar's creator, Laurent de Brunhoff. (www.leolittlelion.etsy.com, whale, $45.02; koalas, $81.54 and up; giraffes, $97.03)
Restoration Hardware: Vintage illustrations of rhinos, camels and lions will have children dreaming of exploring Africa. (www.rhbabyandchild.com, artwork, $439)
Rug Company: London-based designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby choose to depict animals the way they behave in the wild, so their Fishes rug features a school of swimmy friends, while a slithering serpent makes his way across the Snake rug. (www.therugcompany.com, $5,508 each)
Mimi Lou: In a past life, Miriam Derville was an advertising exec for high-end fragrances. But when she started drawing versions of her children's stuffed animals on their bedroom walls, people took notice, and Mimi Lou was born. She's created a charming collection of wall stickers featuring elephants, mice, penguins, bears and a menagerie of creatures with French flair. (www.mimilou-shop.fr, $52 and up)
KidsonRoof: The Dutch design studio created by Romy Boesveldt and Ilya Yashkin link modern design with nature in a series of recycled cardboard totems of birds and other wild animals. They can be easily assembled into table sculptures. (www.kidsonroof.com, starting at around $20)Suggest a correction