By Mindy Rhiger
April and May have been busy months. I’ve blogged about books for Earth Day, Arbor Day, Mother’s Day, Midwifery Month, and Osteoporosis Awareness Month. Since I know many Mothering families are animal lovers, I didn’t want to pass up the chance to blog about books for National Pet Month. It’s a great opportunity to talk with kids about pet adoption–or maybe adopt a pet of your own.
As always, books are a great place to start:
A homeless dog finds a family in Fleabag by Helen Stephens. This heart-warming story told from the dog’s perspective is a great example of the bond that kids can share with dogs. Buddy Unchained by Daisy Bix also tells of a dog in need of rescue. This award-winning picture book tells of a dog’s life before he was adopted by a loving family. It is a must-read for animal welfare advocates, along with Saving Audie: A Pit Bull Puppy Gets a Second Chance by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent about a dog rescued from Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring.
My three-year-old loved Pick a Pup by Marsha Wilson Chall. The bouncy rhymes make for a great read-aloud, and the adorable illustrations show a variety of dogs. We also liked Marsha Wilson Chall’s One Pup’s Up, which would be a great choice for a family with a puppy (or puppies).
Do you know a dog lover who is graduating? Skip the usual grad gift books this year. Instead give Shoot for the Moon! Lessons on Life From a Dog Named Rudy by Corrine Humphrey. It’s a purchase you can feel good about because a portion of the proceeds go to help Friends of Animals Utah help more homeless dogs find good homes.
But perhaps you feel more like the sentiment expressed in Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw: “Dogs have hair. Cats, fur / Dogs whine, yip, howl, bark. Cats purrr / I say: No contest.” In which case, you will love Won Ton, a shelter cat who is wary of the family who takes him home. The illustrations are striking, and the poems are touching.
These are just a few of the many, many books about pets that are out there. What are some of your favorites?