GUEST POST on Reading Vacation
Books about animals are as fundamental to growing up as your ABC’ and learning long division. Everybody’s got their favorite animal characters from when they were a kid, those that stuck with you and oft times felt more human than many of the human characters you read about. Books about dogs dying like Old Yeller and Where the Red Fern Grows were too sad for our sensitive souls. Real, non-talking animals books like An Incredible Journey and Call of the Wild were kind of boring, and could have used a dose of magic. New school animal books like Redwall, Guardians of Ga’hoole, and The Warriors simply don’t hold much of a nostalgic place in our heart.
5. “Garfield” by Jim Davis and “Calvin and Hobbes” by Bill Waterson
Andrew goes with Garfield, the lazy, lasagna-eating, Monday-hating cat. He found something funny about his antics with John and Odie. Adam counters with Calvin and Hobbes. The philosophical, rambling stuffed tiger felt similar enough to Adam’s childhood stuffed monkey that it seemed downright autobiographical.
4. “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” by Robert C. O’Brian and “Watership Down” by Richard Adams
At a young age, reading these creepy tales gave us both a fright, but their dystopic animal worlds haunted us…in a good way. And bonus points for “The Secrets of NIMH” animated movie.
3. “Home for a Bunny” and “The Color Kittens” by Margaret Weiss Brown
The first two animal books that Adam read. One a naturalistic tale of a bunny that just wants to find a place to live; the other a surrealist picture book about two cats that mix paint to make all the colors in the world.
2. “Charlotte’s Web” and “Stuart Little” by E.B. White
White’s stories are timeless tales that both exemplify and transcend the animal genre. Choosing between them is a tough one indeed, but the edge has to go to “Charlotte’s Web” since Andrew played Wilbur in a grade school class play.
1. “Curious George” by H.A. Rey
Adam loved monkeys. Especially mischievous ones. He wanted to have his own, and it was nice to read a story about a monkey who was misbehaving…and getting into some pretty dangerous situations. These were early adventure tales that were pretty irresistible. While George never said a thing, you always knew what he was thinking.
Did we forget any of your favorites? Tell us what your number 1 animal book is.