The author of an adult book about uncommon animal attachments invites emergent readers to share the warm (Unlikely Friendships, 2011).
This is the first of four spinoffs, all rewritten and enhanced with fetching color photographs of the subject. It pairs a very young rhesus monkey with a dove, one cat with a zoo bear and another that became a “seeing-eye cat” for a blind dog (!), an old performing elephant with a stray dog and a lion in the Kenyan wild with a baby oryx. Refreshingly, the author, a science writer, refrains from offering facile analyses of the relationships’ causes or homiletic commentary. Instead, she explains how each companionship began, what is surprising about it and also how some ended, from natural causes or otherwise. There is a regrettable number of exclamation points, but they are in keeping with the overall enthusiastic tone.
The sense of wonder that infuses each simply worded chapter is contagious, and some of the photos are soooo cuuuuute. (animal and word lists) (Nonfiction. 7-9)