Books on animals deliver array of adventures

November 30, 2015


Who’s on the bookshelves this month? Dogs, wolves, birds and cats. And butterflies. Beautiful butterflies. Here are some of the new animal-related books that have hit the market.

"Butterflies" by Thomas Marent and Ronald Orenstein (Firefly): Writer Orenstein and photographer Marent have teamed up to produce a magnificent book on some of the most interesting and beautiful creatures on Earth. Readers will see the diversity of butterflies and learn their history and ecology.

"Finding Home: Shelter Dogs & Their Stories" by Traer Scott (Princeton Architectural Press): The dogs that stare out at readers from the pages of Scott’s book are haunting. The three dozen portraits by Scott, a longtime shelter volunteer, are beautiful. She also tells the stories of how each animal ended up in a shelter. Do yourself a favor. Read "Finding Home," then go out and adopt a shelter dog.

"James Herriot’s Animal Stories" (St. Martin’s Press): In the third book of Herriot’s stories republished in recent months by St. Martin’s (the other two focused on dogs and cats, respectively), the late author regales his followers with 10 charming tales featuring some of the animals he encountered during his decades as a vet. Wonderfully illustrated by Lesley Holmes.

"A Friend for Lakota: The Incredible True Story of a Wolf Who Braved Bullying" by Jim and Jamie Dutcher (National Geographic Kids): The Dutchers spent six years living with a pack of wolves in Idaho, resulting in three documentary films and three Emmys. Their research now gives young readers this book about Lakota, a wolf pup who learned to stand up to bullying.

"The Dogist: Photographic Encounters With 1,000 Dogs" by Elias Weiss Friedman (Artisan): New York documentary photographer Friedman started a photo project in 2013 to celebrate man’s best friend. Since then, he has featured more than 2,500 dogs. This book, with some of his favorites, is impossible to look at without laughing. There are categories — "ears," "cones of shame," "head tilts," "puppies" — and so many more. Hundreds of beautiful photos.

"The Annihilation of Nature: Human Extinction of Birds and Mammals" by Gerardo Ceballos, Anne H. Ehrlich and Paul R. Ehrlich (Johns Hopkins University Press): Three eminent conservationists show how humans have driven thousands of animal populations into extinction and how, in turn, humanity itself is threatened. It’s an important topic underreported by the media and worthy of public discussion. This book serves as a wake-up call.

"How Dogs Work" by Raymond Coppinger and Mark Feinstein (University of Chicago Press): Coppinger, professor emeritus of biology at Hampshire College, and Feinstein, a professor of cognitive science at Hampshire, take a scientific look at dogs and other canids, such as wolves and coyotes. They explain why dogs do what they do — why they play, why they bark, how they forage — as well as how they have evolved into the animals they are.

"Bird Love" by Leila Jeffreys (Abrams): Fine art photographer Jeffreys offers some 80 color plates — beautiful portraits — of birds from her native Australia and North America. Songbirds, budgies, parrots and birds of prey are among her lucky subjects.

"The Teachings of Shirelle: Life Lessons From a Divine Knucklehead" by Douglas Green (Cavalleria Press): Green, a psychotherapist specializing in kids and teenagers, says that early on, he saw the dog he’d adopted as something of a goof. But soon he realized that Shirelle was "my greatest teacher, a guru of the deeper truths of life." As the dog went about living her life to the fullest, she opened his eyes. Their lives meshed to the point that she helped him in his counseling. Green has taken what he learned and now imparts Shirelle’s lessons to the rest of us.

"Animal Hospital: Rescuing Urban Wildlife" by Julia Coey (Firefly): Aimed at kids 9 and up, Coey’s book takes readers into a wildlife rehabilitation center, where they’ll learn how sick and injured animals are saved and returned to their habitats.

"Catify to Satisfy: Simple Solutions for Creating a Cat-Friendly Home" by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin (Tarcher Penguin): Whether you’re considering getting a cat or just want to upgrade your feline’s home — you know, the home that used to be yours — Galaxy and Benjamin’s book is the place to start. They explain how to design your home to be not just cat-friendly, but also conducive to making your pet’s life full and happy.

"Wolf: Legend, Enemy, Icon" by Rebecca L. Grambo (Firefly): One of nature’s most fascinating and misunderstood creatures is examined by Grambo. With photographs by Daniel J. Cox, "Wolf" combines science, history and current events to tell the story of an animal that humans seem intent on destroying.

 

 


McClatchy-Tribune Information Services