In keeping with this month’s theme at the BeZine, I thought I’d recommend some of the best books about animals that I have read.

© 1972 James Herriot
© 1972 James Herriot

The theme “All God’s Creatures” immediately reminded me of one of my favorite series of animal books by author James Herriot. He was a British rural veterinarian who wrote books using many of his own cases as material. The series starts with All Creatures Great and Small, and continues in All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Things Wise and Wonderful, Dog Stories, The Lord God Made Them All, and finally, Every Living Thing. Herriot’s tone is gentle but wise, and his compassionate nature and witty humor make these books a must-read for anyone who loves animals (including the human animal).

 

 

 

 

 

Image from deweyreadmorebooks.com
Image from deweyreadmorebooks.com

Next on my list would have to be Dewey, The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter. Cat lovers everywhere will adore this true story of a tiny, orange kitten who was abandoned inside a small-town library book drop! How the library staff dealt with this windfall and how it changed not just the library, but the entire town is a story that both inspires and touches the heart. Don’t miss it!

 

 

 

 

 

Image from Johngroganbooks.com
Image from Johngroganbooks.com

And then there’s Marley and Me, by John Grogan. This one is more for dog lovers, and fair warning: it’s a tear-jerker. It’s the story of a lovable, yellow Labrador retriever named Marley and how he managed to wiggle his way into the hearts of his family, their friends and everyone who was lucky enough to get to know him. From an adorable puppy to a ninety-seven pound giant with a heart of gold, Marley will take you on an adventure you’ll never forget.

 

 

 

 

 

Image from amazon.com © 1993 Jim Brandenburg
Image from amazon.com © 1993 Jim Brandenburg

Wolves have always been one of my favorite animals, so I had to include Brother Wolf, A Forgotten Promise by Jim Brandenburg. Jim is a wildlife photographer, who has spent years capturing and creating images that stir and move the viewer’s soul. Brother Wolf is often told from the eyes of the wolf, beginning with a heart-felt, haunting letter to mankind. In addition to the breath-taking photography, Brandenburg’s text is philosophical, poetical and will leave a lasting impression on the reader.

Image from Wikipedia © Tad Williams and cover art by Braldt Bralds
Image from Wikipedia © Tad Williams and Cover Art by Braldt Bralds

Next on my recommendation list is Tailchaser’s Song, by Tad Williams. This wonderful story explores the myths and legends of cats from the feline point of view. The cat characters in this mystical, magical tale are all highly relatable and memorable. It was originally marketed for young adults back in 1985, but it’s such a good story that people of any age can enjoy it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Richard Adams 1972
© Richard Adams 1972

Last, but certainly not least on this list, is Watership Down by Richard Adams. This is a well-written story about a colony of rabbits and their heroic adventures to find a new home where they can be free and safe. While it was written for children and young adults, it has some deep, adult themes that should be considered before reading it to kids.

There are so many more incredible animal stories out there, but this post would be pages long trying to list all of them. Hopefully, you will enjoy one or more that I’ve suggested, or maybe you have your own recommendations to add in the comments below.  🙂
– Corina Ravenscraft

© 2015, words, Corina Ravenscraft, All rights reserved; illustrations as indicated above

3 thoughts on “Animal Stories

  1. Long ago, James Herriot dominated my year as I read through a handful of his books. Such pleasure! Recently, our online bookstore sold a copy of “Stay!: Keeper’s Story” by Lois Lowry – which was purchased by Lois Lowry herself! Here’s a synopsis: “This is the story of a dog who tells his own tale. As a pup he is separated from his mother and siblings. This unusual dog learns about living on the dangerous streets and even makes up poetry.”

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