Review: All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott

James Herriot is a master storyteller. Today I’m reviewing the 20th anniversary edition of his book All Creatures Great and Small, which is subtitled “the warm and joyful memoirs of an animal doctor”. In this first memoir of several, Herriot shares how he became a veterinarian assistant and all the adventures this occupation entails. His stories are funny, gritty, riveting, eye-opening, and a host of other positive adjectives. I’ve enjoyed reading Herriot’s memoir this week, as much I did when I first discovered it as a young person. When I initially read All Creatures Great and Small, the animal stories … Continue reading Review: All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott

Review: A Horse for All Seasons, Stories Collected by Sheila Kelly Welch

A Horse for All Seasons is a collection of stories for horse lovers, compiled by Sheila Kelly Welch. Her short story contribution to it is The Strays. In that story, Brent is a teenager living in foster care with the McCormicks. His birth mom has just signed all the necessary plans for the adoption agency to make an adoption plan. If Brent decides not to let the McCormicks adopt him, he’ll need to move into another foster home. Ember is a horse that had been stabled with Sky, who recently slipped on a patch of ice in the pasture. Brent … Continue reading Review: A Horse for All Seasons, Stories Collected by Sheila Kelly Welch

Review: Misty of Chincoteague

Imagine growing up on an island where wild ponies roam. For Paul and Maureen Beebe, characters in Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry, it leaves them with an insatiable desire to have one for themselves. They even have a particular pony in mind: the Phantom. Some said she was dark like the pine trees; others said she was the color of copper with splashes of silver. When Paul catches a glimpse of her, however, the feature which most stands out is a strange white marking that begins at her withers and spreads out like the United States of America. Now … Continue reading Review: Misty of Chincoteague

Review: Simpson’s Sheep Won’t Go To Sleep by Bruce Arant

Simpson’s Sheep Won’t Go to Sleep by Bruce Arant is a fun and colorful picture book. Drawing on his personal experience as a parent and a sense of humor, Arant has created an imaginative fun twist on a familiar bedtime struggle of putting young ones to sleep. His pastel illustrations also help bring Simpson’s farm to life. “I need a drink.” “I want a snack.” “I have to go!” Every last one of these laments are excuses we’ve all heard one time or another. They’re also all complaints that Farmer Simpson is plagued with on a nightly basis. The difference … Continue reading Review: Simpson’s Sheep Won’t Go To Sleep by Bruce Arant

Review: Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson

“This here hill is full of animals,” says Tim to Louie, two of the human characters in Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson. This statement is true of the hill, which boasts rabbits, squirrels, mice, woodchucks, skunks, moles, and deer. The statement is also true of the book, which is about a rabbit family and their critter friends. If you like animals, especially those found in the country, you will treasure this tale. The book begins, as all good stories should, with the excitement of change: “On every side there arose a continual chattering and squeaking, whispering and whistling, as the … Continue reading Review: Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson

Review: Early Bird by Nigel Grey

A friend of mine brought me back the perfect gift after her trip to Australia: a book! Early Bird written by Nigel Gray and illustrated by Elise Hurst is an adorable story of a young girl named Melody who wishes to know: “Why do the birds sing their dawn chorus? And why do they stop when the sun rises?” Bold watercolor  illustrations alternate with simple black-and-white sketches to perfectly complement this four-chapter whimsical tale. I like Melody! When she wakes, she lies in bed and listens to the sounds of the coming morning. An hour before sunrise, the main sound … Continue reading Review: Early Bird by Nigel Grey

Review: Two in The Cricket Series by George Seldon

One night I was coming home on the subway, and I did hear a cricket chirp in Times Square. The story formed in my mind within minutes. —George Seldon, Wikipedia Tucker Mouse. Harry Cat. Chester Cricket. These three creatures are George Selden’s most famous characters. I have loved all four books about them since my childhood. When my cat Lucy took sick back in December of 2013, I pulled the set from my shelves to read aloud during her convalescence. Although she never recovered, our family’s three current pets have been treated to hearing one chapter per day. The unique plot … Continue reading Review: Two in The Cricket Series by George Seldon

Review: Bird and Squirrel on the Run by James Burks

Today I’m reprinting the first in a series of animal book reviews selected from my former blog Allison’s Book Bag. The initial reviews will focus on backyard animals, just to add a little variety. I’ll start with one published in 2013, but seven years later remains enjoyable to read. Allison’s Book Bag ran from 2010 to 2018. During that time, I reviewed a lot of animal books, most of which I have yet to feature here. I also still occasionally receive books to review, and so at some point will post new reviews. As I noted in a recent article, … Continue reading Review: Bird and Squirrel on the Run by James Burks