Books that feature animals seem to have an almost universal appeal for young readers. Whether they are domesticated creatures such as cats and dogs that are part of many families’ lives or animals in their natural habitats in the wild, there is simply something intriguing or endearing about their behavior and personalities. A few years ago, young readers couldn’t get enough of the story of a friendship that sprang up between a 130-year-old Alhambra tortoise in Kenya and a baby hippo, marooned after the 2004 tsunami in Asia. Readers of all ages reacted powerfully to their story, told by a six-year-old girl and her father in Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship (Hatkoff, Hatkoff, & Kahumbu, 2006) and Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship (Hatkoff, Hatkoff, & Kahumbu, 2007). In fact, other books (Bauer, 2007; Winter, 2006) celebrating this most unlikely friendship were published as other authors became interested in the story. Below we share some recent titles with animals at their heart.
Young, T. A., & Ward, B. A. (2012). The Allure of Animals. Reading Horizons: A Journal of Literacy and Language Arts, 51 (3). Retrieved from https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol51/iss3/6