Weekly Geeks – It’s All About Animals

30Apr09

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This week at Weekly Geeks, it’s all about animals. In books, movies, or real life. So, here goes…

Which are your favorites?

Of course, there are the usual suspects, like Black Beauty, The Jungle Book and Charlotte’s Web. All classics, all incredibly written, and they can be read over and over again. 

Also, Morpurgo’s WarHorse has to get a mention. WarHorse reminded me that animal ‘autobiographies’ (i.e. where the narrator is the animal) can occasionally be more thought-provoking than a first person human narrator. 

There was Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals, which described his adventures as a ten year old in the Greek island of Corfu. It was a funny warm light-hearted read, which ended in me yearning to have the same experiences as Durell. 

Finally, saving the best for last, is Shadow the Sheepdog, an Enid Blyton classic. Probably not her most famous work (in fact, far from), this book is a collection of short stories about Shadow, a sheepdog (hmm, I wouldn’t have guessed that!), and his adventures with Johnny (his owner), and the other farm animals. As Shadow grows up, from being a naive pup to being a responsible sheepdog, we see his relationship with the young boy (Johnny) changing; and resulting in the reader literally being able to feel the bond between the dog and his master. 

Which touched your heart the most?

It has to be Shadow the Sheepdog, for the reasons mentioned above. It’s a feel-good book, a must for every child. It’s a book about honesty, friendship, growing up, and sacrifices. And the penultimate chapter actually has you reaching for the tissue box. If you haven’t read this book yet, please do!

Which have found their way onto your wish lists or TBR stacks?

Watership Down; Marley and Me; and, The Wind In The Willows.

Is there a childhood favorite?

You mean other than Blyton’s Shadow the Sheepdog? Let’s see… I enjoyed reading Aesop’s Fables, which were essentially animal stories. Loads of the Lady Bird books I read, like, Puss In Boots and The Little Red Hen. Dr. Seuss’ The Cat In The Hat has to pop up if we’re talking about childhood favorites. And there are a fair few other Enid Blytons, where the pets may not be the absolute central character, but they are one of them: be it Buster in the Five Find Outers, or Timothy in Famous Five, or Scamper in Secret Seven.

Have you ever named a pet after an animal in a book or movie? 

I’ve never had a pet, but I did name one of my stuffed toys Boxer – the horse from Orwell’s Animal Farm. I’ve also always wanted to own a horse called Comanche. Don’t ask me where the name came from though! 

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One Response to “Weekly Geeks – It’s All About Animals”

  1. I had forgotten about Shadow the Sheepdog!
    Happy Weekly Geeks :)


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