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message 1: by Jeanne (last edited Nov 22, 2010 11:43PM) (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 61 comments I've heard it said that children of a certain age need to be introduced to animal stories -- that if they don't read these stories while still in elementary school, they might never read them.

What are your favorite animal stories -- currently or those you remember from childhood? Some kids have a passion for horse stories, others for dog stories, yet some animal stories feature other kinds of animals.

Has anyone here read Minn of the Mississippi by Holling Clancy Holling? This story features a snapping turtle. Holling's stories are fun to read and they give us real information about geology, history, and natural science.

I think home schoolers probably know Hollings' books because they are listed in Better Than School by Nancy Wallace.


message 2: by S.M. (new)

S.M. Carrière (smcarriere) | 43 comments I remember loving 'National Velvet' as a child. Of course, there was also 'Black Beauty' and 'Charlotte's Web' as well. Reading animal stories was a short phase for me... I moved on to Frank Herbert's 'Dune' before my 13th birthday.

However, I still adore 'National Velvet' and will occasionally return to it when I need a good sob and a happy ending all in one.


message 3: by Rita, Busy Bee (last edited Nov 23, 2010 06:16AM) (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) | 351 comments Mod
I read Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. I remember how it made me cry, and yet it had one of the most beautiful endings.


message 4: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) I still love a good animal story. A few of my favorites from my childhood:

King of the Wind The Story of the Godolphin Arabian by Marguerite Henry Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight Black Beauty by Anna Sewell Born to Trot by Marguerite Henry The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford


message 5: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 61 comments Yes, Black Beauty was an important book, as well as being a good read. Told from the horse's POV, it led to better treatment of horses.

Where the Red Fern Grows is read and discussed in some elementary school classrooms. I haven't read it, but my impression is that anyone who reads it never forgets it.


message 6: by Rita, Busy Bee (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) | 351 comments Mod
And here's a slightly different approach to the topic of animal stories: fantasy stories featuring humans who have the gift to speak to animals.

The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison The Princess and the Hound is a more recent story and for an older audience, but I enjoyed it. A bit of a dark fantasy with a mystery thrown in.

The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern, #1) by Shannon Hale The Goose Girl is based on a fairy tale, but Shannon Hale did an excellent job with it.


message 7: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 61 comments Sharon,

The Incredible Journeybecame a movie. I played the video for the kids one holiday and my elderly mother was here. I think she loved the story even more than the kids did.


message 8: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 61 comments Rita, I'll have to read The Goose Girl after I catch up with my other reading. I enjoyed Hale's Princess Academy.


message 9: by Rita, Busy Bee (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) | 351 comments Mod
I loved Princess Academy. The thing that stuck out to me most was the lessons the young lady learned along the way, about leadership, about her place in the world, about her family, and about what it really means to be a princess. One of the best coming-of-age books for young ladies I've read.

That's why I also like Fever 1793, which we are reading this month. I got through the first two chapters with my daughter, who was devastated about the ending of chapter two. I had to explain to her that there is a lot of heartache in this book, but that's what makes the ending so much more beautiful.


message 10: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 6 comments I loved Princess Academy, too! I'll have to add The Goose Girl to my TBR list.

My favorite animal picture books when I was young were The Poky Little Puppy and Sylvester's Magic Pebble.

More recently I fell in love with Exiled: Memoirs of a Camel and am now reading lots of animal stories set in the Middle East. I'd love to write some of my own...


message 11: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 61 comments Ah, The Poky Little Puppy is so dear! We had an audio tape of it too. I can still hear the reader's voice.

And now that we are remembering our love for fictional animals, we must include Peter Rabbit and all his friends and Brer Rabbit and all his friends!


message 12: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 61 comments Camel Corps -- fascinating! I will order this for a pre-teen relative for Christmas. Thanks.


message 13: by Rita, Busy Bee (last edited Nov 24, 2010 07:35AM) (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) | 351 comments Mod
Jeanne wrote: "And now that we are remembering our love for fictional animals, we must include Peter Rabbit and all his friends and Brer Rabbit and all his friends!"

And how about the Velveteen Rabbit? But I remember that one always seemed scary to me.


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