The power of animal stories |

The power of animal stories

Dawn Armstrong
Lake Tahoe Humane Society and SPCA

Storytelling is perhaps the most powerful medium of all. A good story is enthralling, entertaining and enriching for both readers and listeners. Animal stories have a universal appeal, especially for children. This animal story starter list includes themes to nurture compassion, responsibility and respect. They focus on the humane treatment of domestic and wild animals and on stewardship of earth’s shared habitat. The stories engender empathy, inspire critical thinking and help promote sound judgment. Age groupings are suggestions. Parents and teachers should review the books on the Internet or with librarians and classroom teachers.

“We shall protect only what we cherish; cherish only what we understand; and understand only what we are taught.” – Proverb

“Brave Norman: A True Story,” Andrew Clements and Ellen Beier; “Buddy Unchained,” Daisy Bix and Joe Hyatt; “Hey, Little Ant,” Phillip M. Hoose, Hannah Hoose, and Debbie Tilley; “Let’s Get a Pup! Said Kate,” Bob Graham; “Mr. Meow Visits the Shelter,” Gregory Crawford; “Ringo Saves The Day! A True Story,” Andrew Clements and Ellen Beier; “Tails Are Not for Pulling,” Elizabeth Verdick and Marieka Heinlen; “The First Dog,” Jan Brett; “The Lorax,” Dr. Seuss and Theodor Seuss Geisel; “Bears Barge In,” Joni Sensel; “Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina,” Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery; “Are You Ready for Me?” Claire Buchwald; “A Home for Dakota,” Jan Grover and Nancy Lane

“Animals Helping With Special Needs,” Clare Oliver; “Bear Dogs: Canines with a Mission,” Ted Wood; “Bentley and Blueberry a True Story,” Randy Houk; “Caesar: On Deaf Ears,” Loren Spiotta-Dimare; “Go Home! The True Story of James the Cat,” Libby Phillips Meggs; “Jaeger Finds a Family,” Jennifer Raymond Seidel; “Nora, the Fifty Cent Dog,” Lolly Stoddard; “Norman to the Rescue,” Loren Spiotta-Dimare; “Jasmine,” Randy Houk; “A Home for Dakota,” Jan Grover and Nancy Lane

“A Dog for Life,” L.S. Matthews; “Because of Winn Dixie,” Kate DiCamillo; “Champ,” Marcia Thornton Jones; “Kippy: Second Chance Dog,” Susan E. Mann; “The Ghost of Cutler Creek,” Cynthia DeFelice; “Working Like a Dog: The Story of Working Dogs through History,” Gena K. Gorrell; “The Shiloh Collection,” Phyllis Reynolds Naylor; “The Story of Lilly & Lou,” Doriane Lucia; “If Only You Knew How Much I Smell You,” Roy Blount, Jr.; “Ten True Animal Rescues,” Jeanne Betancourt

“Phantom Stallion: The Wild One,” Terri Farley; “A Dog’s Life: Autobiography of a Stray,” Ann M. Martin; “Beautiful Joe,” Marshall Saunders; “Dewey, The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World,” Vicki Myron; “From Baghdad, With Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava,” Jay Kopelman and Melinda Roth; “Straydog,” Kathe Koja; “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” Garth Stein; “Reason for Hope,” Jane Goodall; “When Elephants Weep,” Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson; “Animals Make us Human,” Temple Grandin

“Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times,” Zoe Weil

For information about the books listed here, or special topic books, call humane educator Liz Maul at 530-542-2857. 

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