Today’s question, courtesy of MizB at Should Be Reading, is:
What animal-related books have you read? Which do you love? Do you have a favorite literary dog? (Snoopy, anyone?)
I cannot think of a single one that I have read recently – I suppose thrillers are rarely narrated by the police hounds. But there are plenty of animal-related favourites from my childhood:
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, which I must have read at least ten times. Sewell apparently did not write the story for children, but “to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses”. Yet it has become a British children’s classic, a beautiful story told by a handsome black stallion of his life as a London taxi-cab horse, among other roles.
Blinky Bill by Dorothy Wall – Blinky is a young koala, growing up in the bush without his parents if I remember rightly, but with his sister Nutsy and his friend Splodge the kangaroo… Blinky is always getting into scrapes and tearing his knickerbockers… Blinky Bill is an iconic Australian children’s book. Not just because it features the Reverend Fluffy Ears:
The Silver Brumby by Elyne Mitchell – this series (of which I have only read the first, I didn’t know until just now that there was a series!) depicts the life of Thowra, a beautiful silver-coloured stallion brumby (brumbies are wild Australian horses) in the Snowy Mountains of Australia. The opening scene, describing Thowra’s birth during a storm, is just beautiful.
And finally, all of the Thoroughbred series and the Saddle Club series – these occupied lots of my reading time between the ages of 8 and 12.
I’m quite tempted to dig out my old copies of these three and give them another read!