STARRED REVIEW
December 2018

For the animal aficionado

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Do you know someone who likes animals a lot more than they like people? We’ve rounded up a gaggle of delightful books that celebrate creatures great and small.

STARRED REVIEW
December 2018

For the animal aficionado

Feature by

Do you know someone who likes animals a lot more than they like people? We’ve rounded up a gaggle of delightful books that celebrate creatures great and small.

December 2018

For the animal aficionado

Feature by

Do you know someone who likes animals a lot more than they like people? We’ve rounded up a gaggle of delightful books that celebrate creatures great and small.

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Do you know someone who likes animals a lot more than they like people? We’ve rounded up a gaggle of delightful books that celebrate creatures great and small.

Award-winning naturalist and author Sy Montgomery has visited remote regions of the world to study some of nature’s most uncommon creatures. She looks back on what she’s learned from them about communication, sensitivity and kindness in How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals, beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Green. In this funny, moving book, Montgomery recounts transformative episodes with beasts both domesticated and exotic. “Being with any animal is edifying,” she writes, “for each has a knowing that surpasses human understanding.” From Clarabelle, a “pretty and elegant” tarantula, to the playful, 40-pound Pacific octopus Octavia, the animals in Montgomery’s book have unique dispositions that align them with humankind. Montgomery’s writing is rich and lyrical, her insights invaluable. And as all animal lovers know, “Knowing someone who belongs to another species can enlarge your soul in surprising ways.”

HONORING THE ANIMALS
A touching tribute to the creatures we let into our hearts and homes, Love Can Be: A Literary Collection About Our Animals brings together contributions from a remarkable lineup of authors. Susan Orlean, Lalita Tademy, Rick Bass, Joyce Carol Oates, Alexander McCall Smith and Juan Felipe Herrera are among the 30 writers spotlighted in this excellent anthology. Standout selections include a moving essay by Delia Ephron about the bond between pets and humans; Dean Koontz’s remembrance of his golden retriever, Trixie; and an ingenious cat-inspired poem by Ursula K. Le Guin. Literature fans will love the photos of authors and their animal companions that accompany each piece. In keeping with the spirit of the season, proceeds from sales of the book will go to animal charities. This is a heartwarming, hopeful anthology.

PAMPERED POOCHES
In Puppy Styled: Japanese Dog Grooming: Before & After, Grace Chon celebrates dog grooming the Japanese way, with hand-scissoring techniques to create cuts that play up the personalities of canine clients. For this irresistible volume, Chon—an acclaimed pet photographer—snapped nearly 50 pups as they transitioned from scruffy to smart. She writes that Japanese dog grooming “has one objective: to make the dog as cute as possible!” Cuteness undoubtedly abounds in the book, along with fresh ideas for turning your frowzy mutt into a chic chien. Check out Rocco, a Yorkshire terrier whose bangs get lopped into an asymmetrical ’do, or Bowie, a bichon frise whose wayward tangles are trimmed to form a fluffy nimbus. From start to finish, Puppy Styled is crammed with tail-wagging glamour.

 

This article was originally published in the December 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Get the Books

How to Be a Good Creature

How to Be a Good Creature

By Sy Montgomery, illustrated by Rebecca Green
HMH
ISBN 9780544938328
Love Can Be

Love Can Be

By Teresa Miller, edited by Louisa McCune
Kirkpatrick Foundation
ISBN 9780999699300
Puppy Styled

Puppy Styled

By Grace Chon
Countryman
ISBN 9781682681763

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