Thursday, July 19, 2012

Our little furry friends

There is a special bond between children and animals. Over and over I notice how children naturally empathize with the animal characters in stories - perhaps because they too are often small, helpless and at the mercy of adults? Many children's authors have also found that books featuring animal characters can deal with more delicate topics than ones using humans; something about the animals helps make it all feel safer.

Pets are on my mind at the moment because we just welcomed a new baby into the family! I am happy to introduce Violet, a sweet little kitten who came to live with us this week:

She has stolen our hearts already - and inspired me to recommend a few books about cats (and some general animal-related reading lists).

Margaret Beames' picture book Night Cat is a sweet, funny, just-suspenseful-enough story about a cat who isn't quite as much the fearless explorer as he'd like to be!

Peg Kehret's chapter book mystery series for the middle elementary grades about Pete the cat detective are sure to entertain. There's nothing like a clever pet who figures out things the humans are too obtuse to notice!

For middle and high school readers, A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass will touch the hearts of anyone who has suffered the loss of a beloved pet.

Want more? Try these:

Roland Smith's website (Pacific Northwest author who writes many animal-related books)
Scientists in the Field (great non-fiction series, many of which describe scientists studying animals)

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