Having recently visited the Adelaide Zoo I thought it might be fun to do a post on all kinds of animal books. A lot has been written and spoken about the more obvious animal characters such as those portrayed by Beatrix Potter or Alison Uttley, but what of the less well known ones.
Catherine Porter in Collecting modern books states: Initially used mainly as moral emblems, animals come alive to children and can easily and memorably be given different attributes. Animals, whether realistic or anthropomorphised (the act of giving the characteristics of humans to an animal, a God or an inanimate thing) in a natural or make-believe setting, bring home the sense of wonder and variety in the world, two of the most important factors in determining the children’s literature that rises above the norm and proves to be timeless.
I could not have put it better myself!
I could not have put it better myself!
Children's Zoo with pictures by V. Junek published in 1961. Very pretty book featuring twenty different animals, including hippopotami, giraffes, monkeys and lions, each short descriptive paragraph is accompanied by a full-page colour illustration.
Feed the animals by H. A. Rey published in 1960. With transforming pages (life the flap to reveal the animal underneath). Told in rhyme - Harry the keeper is ready to bring a bag which is tied at the top with a string. Now WHAT's in the bag, and for WHOM will it be? Just open the flap, and then you will see. Animal lore and disorder by James Riddell published in 1950. Turn over the flaps to join the top half of an animal with the bottom half of another. This produces some weird and wacky animals with strange names like cophant, cog and elemel!
Ameliaranne at the zoo by by K. L. Thompson 1st edition, 1936. The pretty illustrations are by Susan B. Pearse. One of a series of books published between 1920 and 1950. This is an unusual series as it involves eight different authors working with a single illustrator. Ameliaranne is the oldest daughter of Mrs Stiggins who also has five other children. I assume there must be a Mr. Stiggins but he is not mentioned in any of the books. In this story Ameliaranne looks after the neighbours' pets while they are away on holiday. After a few weeks she has enough money to take her brothers and sisters on a visit to a real zoo.
Battle of the beasts written and illustrated by Diz Wallis published in 1993. Beautifully illustrated story based on the Grimms' tale, the willow wren and the bear.
Billy Monkey a true tale of a Capuchin monkey by Rose Fyleman 1st edition, 1936. Illustrated by Cecil Leslie. Here come the lions by Alice E Goudey. 1st edition, 1964. Two stories about a family of lions. Oworo by Rene Guillot published in 1959. The story of Oworo the chimpanzee from his birth on the
. The illustration in
the background is from the little folk’s picture natural history, 1902. It's in damaged condition but is much too beautiful
to throw away so it's another that's found a home on my shelves! Ivory Coast
The panda carts were a big hit with Zoe and Lilly. We are always sad when we fly home and leave our family in
, but the memories are very special. Australia
When we went to the Zoo we saw a gnu,
an elk and a whelk and a wild emu.
We saw a hare, and a bear in his lair,
and a seal have a meal on a high-backed chair.
We saw a snake that was hardly awake,
and a lion eat meat they'd forgotten to bake.
We saw a coon and a baby baboon.
The giraffe made us laugh all afternoon!
We saw a crab and a long-tailed dab,
and we all went home in a taxi-cab.
I've read lots of animal books – Rudyard Kipling’s the jungle book, Anna Sewell’s black beauty and The Incredible Journey, by Scottish author Sheila Burnford, are three I've enjoyed.. What about you – do you enjoy animal stories?
All the books featured here are now sold, thank you for looking.
Update July 2016: March House books closed on my retirement in 2015, but I do still blog here at March of Time Books and always appreciate your visit.