Thursday, May 6, 2010

Books for animal lovers part 2

I'd previously mentioned that Lesley-Anne loves animals and given my recommendations for books for animal lovers. Since then, she has discovered more terrific animal-themed books which I thought I'd share.

First, a couple of classics:

1. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

This Pulitzer Prize book is the quintessential American novel. A young boy Jody living in the Florida scrublands adopts an orphaned fawn whom he calls Flag and loves dearly. Through his relationship with his pet, Jody learns some of life's hardest lessons, even harsher than the outback environment he lives in.

If you're not fond of sad stories, then be warned, this book will make you cry.

2. Bambi by Felix Salten

It bugged me to no end that when I went to bookshops asking for Bambi, I received mostly blank looks from the salespersons. One asked, "Isn't it a cartoon?" Yes. And Michelangelo is a masked turtle.

A 1926 classic, Bambi grows up in a forest glade surrounded by animal friends and his loving mother. The woodland creatures' fear of man arouses conflicting feelings in Bambi when his friend Gobo, who had spent a winter living with humans, showed no such wariness.

This book holds many similarities to The Yearling. Another heart-breaker, Bambi was one of the few animal books I loved growing up. I found it in the library and borrowed it many times after.

Moving on to more contemporary titles:

3. Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver

This is a popular series consisting of Wolf Brother, Spirit Walker, Soul Eater, The Outcast, Oath Breaker and Ghost Hunter, in that order.

Torak, a 12-year-old boy, sees his father killed by a demon-possessed bear and sets out unwillingly to find the Mountain of the World Spirit in order to defeat the bear. His only companion in this dangerous quest is a young wolf cub. Thus begins the first installment of an imaginative and thrilling fantasy series that has captured the hearts of many teenagers.

4. African wildlife series by Lauren St John

I left Lesley-Anne's favourite series to last. It would be hard to find a richer backdrop for animal stories than South Africa. Lauren St John paints a lush picture of mystique, culture and suspense, peppered with African folklore. The protagonist is 11-year-old Martine, who finds out that she has "the gift". The first book, The White Giraffe, tells of how she sets out to thwart poachers intent on capturing the legendary white giraffe. The books follow a conservation theme without being moralistic or preachy, which adds to the appeal for animal lovers.

There are currently four books to the series: The White Giraffe, Dolphin Song, The Last Leopard and The Elephant's Tale.


Anonymous said...

Hi Monica

My daughter loves the series by Lauren St John too!

Has LA read 'Darkwing', and the trilogy 'Silverwing', 'Sunwing', and Firewing' by Kenneth Oppel? It is a fantasy story about bats. Well, I know, they aren't exactly the most lovable animals around, but my daughter seems to enjoy the suspense and the adventure.


monlim said...

LL: Bats? That sounds interesting! I don't think she has read those but I'll ask her.

Worried Mum said...

Thanks for the recommendations ! The Yearling is defintely not for my daughter -- she refuses to read Bridge to Terabithia (one of the ERP books for P4) after I told her I cried while reading it.

monlim said...

Worried Mum: LOL! Many animal books are not for sensitive souls - Bambi, Lassie Come Home, Old Yeller, Black Beauty - they all tug on the heartstrings. Maybe that's why they're memorable??

Anonymous said...

Monica, Jin's fav book in primary school was Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. It's about a boy n his dogs. Really touching you have to keep your box of Kleenex handy. He loved Gerald Durell too- My Family and other animals, A Zoo in my Luggage, and quite a few others. -Slim

monlim said...

Thanks Slim! Haven't heard of Wilson Rawls but I love Gerald Durell :)

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