Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Unlikely Friendships : 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom” as Want to Read:
Unlikely Friendships : 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Unlikely Friendships : 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom

(Unlikely Series)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,684 ratings  ·  455 reviews
Real friendship knows no bounds, and it's not only humans who need it. Unlikely Friendships tells one story after another of animals who, with nothing else in common, bond in the most unexpected ways and thrive on the warmth, closeness, and trust that come with being true friends.

Imagine a predator cuddling its prey. Or a bird befriending a mammal. Or a fish poking its nos
Paperback, 210 pages
Published June 21st 2011 by Workman Publishing Company (first published 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Unlikely Friendships , please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Unlikely Friendships

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Petra X
This review is written with apologies to the white horse that has been coming into my garden for years and years along with his best pal, a rather unfriendly donkey. And apologies also to Angel, the sulfur-crested cockatoo who is either best pals or very agile torturer to Juluka, Savuka and Johnny, the rotweillers.

They all live in a very large house where Angel has a perch made from branches of a dead tree. The rotweillers who are ostensibly guard dogs (bur are really pets) lie on the floor abo
shut up. it's adorable.
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I would recommend this book just for the adorable photos- I used the cover photo as my screensaver for a while. Some of the stories are incredibly touching. My favorite was about Tarra the elephant and Bella the dog from the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee. There is no doubt that these animals have complex emotions and intellect that we sometimes take for granted.
Dec 10, 2018 marked it as tbr-soon  ·  review of another edition
Can't wait to read this. I came across it in A Wolf Called Romeo by Nick Jans.
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
AMAZING!! This is a MUST READ for anyone that loves animals. It will make you smile. The stories and pictures were beautiful. I feel inspired and uplifted by these creatures that show so much love, regardless of their differences. We(humans) need to take note.
Laura Harrison
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
You would have to have an ice cube for a heart not to love this book. This is the first title in an exceptional photo book series. I would put it in the gift book category but you gotta keep a copy for yourself. The cover shot says it all. Pics of animals that have bonded with other species because animals and birds are just plain awesome. There is also a calendar series which is terrific, too.
Feb 21, 2012 rated it liked it

I didn't read every one of the 47 stories in this book, but I did read many of them and skimmed over the rest.

I love the concept here. It is wonderful, inspiring, heart-warming and thought-provoking to see various species of animals (some of whom one would think would never be "friends"--such as a leopard and a cow!) find a mutually beneficial relationship. As an animal lover and a vegan, I personally believe that animals do have emotions and can experience friendship, so some of the s
Quince Winstyn
May 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everybody who has a soft spot for animal bonding.
At the moment I am reading this book, it is soooooo good!!! The stories are really amazing. The bonds woven between totally different animals are quite remarkable. The story about the dog and the fish really impressed me. At the beginning, I thought the dog was going to ignore or eat the fish. But instead they became best buddies!!!

I can't wait to finish this book and start reading another book from the same author called "Unlikely Loves". I think it will be kind of the same, but different too.
Dec 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
I received Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom as a Christmas gift this year. It was a book I almost didn't want to like just for the cutesy factor alone. But, I have to admit that I was quickly sucked in and spent the next few hours devouring the photos and the short tales of the bonds between unexpected animal pairs and slightly larger animal groupings. It's perhaps a leap to call these bonds "friendships," especially in the tales describing simple one-time enco ...more
Mar 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
Sometimes, especially during an ugly, contentious election year, what you really want is a short, easy-to-read book about animals who get along far better than we humans seem to be able to. And here it is! With dozens of little stories and big, gorgeous full-color photos (if the photo of the pit bull napping with his ferret buddy doesn’t melt your heart, you don’t have one), the author explores unusual animal relationships—Owlet and Greyhound, Hippo and Tortoise, Elephant and Sheep, Dog and Dolp ...more
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Everyone needs a friend--someone to play with, to snuggle with, to share joys and fears with, someone to console you when you're down. This book tells forty seven short stories of unusual friendships from around the world--an iguana and a cat; a leopard and a cow; an elephant and a dog; a bird and a cat; a dog and a fish! Many people think that animals don't have many emotions. But this book about love and friendship shows how deep animals' emotions run. Beautiful photographs accompany each stor ...more
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: photography
I picked this book up at Third Street Books in McMinnville earlier this week and could not put it down. I had our #2 in mind when I did so since she is our child that would live in the wild (if she could).

And so, GOODNESS. Predators befriending prey with GORGEOUS pictures. Come on! The author writes for National Geographic and does a terrific job. The stories about these animals really are (as the title suggests) remarkable. Enjoy.
Jun 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was on vacation in Atlantic City earlier this month and found this in a cute store. I'm a hopeless animal lover, so this book was just TOO ADORABLE not to buy. I don't usually buy books. I'm an avid library-goer... so a book has to really stand out for me to buy it. I'll be happy to keep this on my bookshelf for many numerous rereads in the future!
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Vignettes

I enjoyed the vignettes of the various animal friendships. For those that don't believe animals have emotions, this book is for you. In addition to the stories, I enjoyed the pictures and the descriptions of the various species.
Jan 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: not heartless people, animal lovers
Who am I kidding?

The pictures are irresistible and damn cute, and I'll be upfront: they're the best part. BEST. PART. I mean, look at the cover: that's a baby macaque monkey cuddling with a white dove that's almost as large as he is, big round golden baby monkey eyes and all. How do you resist that?

But seriously. First and foremost, this isn't a scientific book. It's not fair to say that it's totally devoid of facts, though. It's just not... heavy, I suppose. It's extremely accessible, and its b
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I like to read something positive or inspiring before bed each night. This did a nice job of fitting that criterion. It was an enjoyable read and I am sad that the book has ended.
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Unlikely Friendships by Jennifer S. Holland is subtitled "47 remarkable stories from the Animal Kingdom." The cover shows a white dove being hugged by a tiny monkey. This is definitely a book you can judge by its cover. The most relevant word in this review is going to be "awww."

The book contains cute and touching stories about odd relationships between animals like an iguana and a house cat, a lioness and an oryx, and a tortoise and a hippo. The stories are accompanied by photos that will
Timothy Bazzett
Feb 28, 2012 rated it liked it
The many colorful photographs of various animals are indeed beautiful, and, together with the brief anecdotes that accompany each section, Jennifer Holland's book does inspire that "awwwww" response that beautiful or cute animals so often do. UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIPS was a gift, certainly not the kind of book I would buy. I read it in less than two hours. The unusual so-called friendships are often stretched from what was more than likely a posed or serendipity photo op, like "The Bobcat Kitten and ...more
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Rachel by: Syndee Collison
My friend Syndee gave this to me for my birthday.

It has a lot of cute stories about animals bonding with other animals. Some of the stories were really moving and seemed to tell of real friendships; others seemed more like closeness caused by convenience or necessity, and I didn't see that there was a real friendship formed. Many of the stories are about "exotic" animals from zoos or wildlife refuges; some of the stories are about domestic pets.

A book with a similar theme, except that it focuses
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-reads
Just look at that cover...look at it!! How can you resist reading stories about animals that in all reality shouldn't even like each other, but for some crazy reason end up comforting one another for a night or end up being best friends for years! This book offers up very original pairings of animals with pictures to confirm the stories. I read this over the course of two days and a few times I must admit to have been moved to tears. I've always thought that animals were God's gift to mankind. T ...more
Jan 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
The photos of cross-species animal interactions and friendships are adorable, and are irresistible to most adults and every child I've compulsively shared them with. If you are looking for a book to inspire a child to read this could be a good choice for later elementary and middle school students. The only trick is encouraging them to actually read the stories and not just flip through the pictures, but be forewarned, not every ending is Disney happy, there are some separations and deaths. For ...more
Oct 31, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
This is a cute, fast read, although it gets repetitive: some animal is in need and some other animal helps it out. It seemed like most of the stories, especially the cases of predators taking up with prey animals, involved animals who didn't get enough socialization with their own species and were therefore confused about who they were supposed to pal around with and who they were supposed to eat, or animals who were already nursing their own young and had a different-species baby dropped in the ...more
Mrs. Nelson's
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
From the cover picture of a macaque caressing a dove, I was hooked on this simply wonderful collection of photographs and stories illustrating the emotional needs of our animal brothers and sisters and the the strange examples of how these are sometimes met. It's designed with a sturdy paper cover that doubles as a bookmark. The short tales (all true) and all 1 - 3 pages are great pick-me-ups for the coffee table or bathroom reading! Fun for the whole family!
--Review by Carol
Natalie (Natflix&Books)
Jan 30, 2014 rated it really liked it

I can't even tell you how many hours I've wasted looking at those cute pictures on the internet of an elephant and a dog who are best friends, or a monkey and a cat, or a bear and a tiger. This is that. In a book. It is awesome.
Katlyn Twidle
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I appreciated the author for expressing that although we don't know why these relationships form, we know they do form, and that friendship is one possible (and adorable) motive behind why these unlikely animals bond with and nurture one another! Either way, this book will melt your heart...
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Not surprisingly, this is the greatest work of literature every written by man or woman.
Ellie Wyatt
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
such a good cheer up book. my duck lucky and old dog pixie would have been a perfect addition to all these stories :) they were inseparable!
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
God, I love animals.
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Very short and sweet stories about animals of different species who love each other. A quick and happy read.
Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
So touching are the stories and the photos.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Compassion of Animals: True Stories of Animal Courage and Kindness
  • The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them
  • The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats: A Journey into the Feline Heart
  • Paws & Effect: The Healing Power of Dogs
  • Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs
  • Dog Shaming
  • Kicked, Bitten, and Scratched: Life and Lessons at the World's Premier School for Exotic Animal Trainers
  • Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends
  • The Rhino with Glue-On Shoes: And Other Surprising True Stories of Zoo Vets and their Patients
  • The Company of Wolves
  • ZooBorns: The Newest, Cutest Animals from the World's Zoos and Aquariums
  • Babylon's Ark: The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo
  • Soul of a Lion: One Woman's Quest to Rescue Africa's Wildlife Refugees
  • Love at First Bark: How Saving a Dog Can Sometimes Help You Save Yourself
  • Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship
  • Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives
  • From Baghdad to America: Life Lessons from a Dog Named Lava
  • Find Momo: A Photography Book

Other books in the series

Unlikely Series (3 books)
  • Unlikely Friendships: Dogs: 37 Stories of Canine Compassion and Courage
  • Unlikely Loves: 43 Heartwarming True Stories from the Animal Kingdom
“Animals don't get enough credit for all they're capable of emotionally.” 12 likes
“Even if friendship is had only briefly, it is a plus.” 3 likes
More quotes…