Author: Sherry Helms
Today is World Animal Day, the day to remember and pay tribute to all animals and the people who love and respect them. Started in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species, this day was declared to be celebrated every year on October 4 as it is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. It’s celebrated in different ways in every country, with no regard to nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.
To pay our tribute to all the animals and animal-lovers on World Animal Day, we have enlisted below some popular books that represent the story of animal’s heroic presence in human lives. The animals in these books teach us some of the life’s greatest lessons; lessons on what it is to be a rescuer, forgiver, and a loyal and self-sacrificing companion. And, the most important, how to love and care unconditionally everyone we love as well as all those whom we’re endeared by. Since we’re targeted here our adult readers, this list doesn’t carry any title from the children’s book category. Here goes the list:
A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron – This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog’s search for his purpose over the course of several lives, touching on the universal quest for an answer to life’s most basic question: Why are we here? Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden-haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey’s search for his new life’s meaning leads him into the loving arms of 8-year-old Ethan. Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh-out-loud funny, this is a dog’s-eye commentary on human relationships. This moving and beautifully crafted story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron – How much of an impact can an animal have? How many lives can one cat touch? How is it possible for an abandoned kitten to transform a small library, save a classic American town, and eventually become famous around the world? You can’t even begin to answer those questions until you hear the charming story of Dewey, the beloved library cat of Spencer, Iowa. This is a true story of a cat, Dewey who won the heart of people from town to town, then state to state, and finally, amazingly, worldwide, with his enthusiasm, warmth, humility, and, above all, his sixth sense about who needed him most. Dewey taught every human came to his way the lesson to overcome any crisis with happiness.
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell - A handsome and sweet-tempered horse, Black Beauty is strong and spirited. His mother warns him that there are bad, cruel men in the world, but he sees none of it in his fine, happy home, until the day when he is sold, when his life changes immeasurably and he finally sees the truth in his mother’s words. This is the story of Black Beauty’s own long and varied life, from a well-born colt in a pleasant meadow to an elegant carriage horse for a gentleman to a painfully overworked cab horse. Through beauty’ story, Anna give a universal and timeless message: animals will serve humans well if they are treated with consideration and kindness. Children can easily make the leap from horse-human relationships to human-human relationships, and begin to understand how their own consideration of others may be a benefit to all.
Animals as Teachers and Healers: True Stories and Reflections by Susan Chernak McElroy – Susan Chernak McElroy credits her astounding triumph over cancer to the love of the animals in her life. In this moving epic, she shares her remarkable story along with true stories from others who have been touched by the loving energies of animals. This book stories like a German Shepherd cocoons its body around a toddler during a house fire; a coyote gives a couple wisdom about their rebellious daughter; a little three-legged frog imparts a valuable lesson to a frightened nine-year-old girl, and more alike. Unique and compelling, this volume invites us to reconnect with the boundless gifts of joy, wisdom, and deep healing that flow from our ageless and intimate relationship with the animal kingdom.
The Tale of Hill Top Farm by Susan Wittig Albert – The author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit as well as a recognized conservationist, Beatrix Potter is still, after a century, beloved by children and adults the world over. In this first Cottage Tale, Author Susan Wittig Albert introduces Beatrix, an animal lover who has just bought a farm in England’s beautiful Lake District. As Beatrix tries to win over the hearts of her fellow villagers, her animal friends set out to solve a mystery all their own. This book works on little cozy mysteries that are told mostly from the people’s points of view, but the animals do their own investigations and share gossip also.
If you have your own favorite book with an animal as the protagonist, which didn’t make the list, please feel free to share the same with us in the comment below.