Staff Picks: Bealeton Staff Recommends Animal Stories
Like many of our patrons, the staff at the Bealeton branch library enjoys their pets and neighboring animals, wild or domesticated and adore our library cat Ernie! We thought we would bring you a few of our Bealeton Library staff favorites featuring a variety of animals and pets.
Pumpkin: The Raccoon Who Thought She Was a Dog by Laura Young
After a stint of reading lots of heavy-duty, thought-provoking books, I sometimes need to cleanse my mental palate by reading something that’s just cute for the sake of being cute.
If you have a similar desire, then “Pumpkin: The Raccoon Who Thought She Was a Dog” might be the perfect short read for you too. This is the true story of an orphaned raccoon who was adopted as a baby and raised by a family in the Bahamas. Featuring lots of ridiculously sweet photographs of Pumpkin and her two canine buddies Oreo and Toffee, the book is heavy on images but without too much text, just like a grown up version of a picture book! I was charmed by the antics of this little raccoon and found her obvious curiosity about the world around her utterly adorable. When you check it out, be sure to pay attention to the inside covers of the book also, which feature a pattern made up of tiny raccoon footprints. Who couldn’t use an extra dose of cuteness, right?
~ Frances, Library Clerk
Eighty Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts
This is a true story of love and second chances. Harry de Lever is a Holland immigrant whose show jumping dreams are dashed by Nazi occupation of his homeland during World War II. Snowman is a flea-bitten gray workhorse that is literally headed for the slaughter house. I enjoyed how Letts intertwines facts of the time — the state of the plummeting horse population in 1950s America and hardships faced by displaced immigrants — with this tug-at-your-heartstrings, feel good success for the man and equine characters that are destined to be together! A true cozy, feel good fall read.
~ Alicia, Library Associate
In 2007, Stockton took in an orphaned coyote pup, Charlie. Through snippets from Stockton’s journal and blog, Charlie is portrayed as a wild animal (not a pet!), with wild instincts, yet one who has learned to trust and bond with a human being and live in harmony with domesticated animals. The author – a professional photographer – also includes numerous pictures of Charlie with her dog and cat on her Wyoming ranch. I was amazed at the relationship between the author and the coyote, as well as her photography of his growth and relationships.
~ Mary Sue, Reference Librarian
Locally Laid: How We Built a Plucky, Industry-Changing Egg Farm–From Scratch by Lucie B. Amundsen
With a cover featuring a row of fluffy chicken posteriors, how could I possibly not take a look to see what it was all about? Inside, I found a fun and wittily-written true story about how one family went from having no farming experience to becoming fully fledged (no pun intended) poultry farmers specializing in organic, free-range eggs and meats in the span of about a year.
One of my favorite sequences comes at the very beginning of the book when the author reminisces about the trials involved in teaching 900 adolescent chickens how to be chickens – specifically the value in ‘coming home to roost’ – when they had never seen the outdoors before. The book is equal parts a hysterically funny memoir of the misadventures of young entrepreneurs and an eye-opening exposé on American poultry farming practices in the 20th and 21st centuries. Whether you’re an old pro at keeping chickens or have never so much as seen a hen, you’re sure to enjoy this read.
~ Frances, Library Clerk
The Bealeton Library Staff had these other great recommendations of animal stories to inspire you: