The key with books about animal friendships is to entice the reader with captivating photographs as well as a meaningful story–which is what each of these books does so well. All of these stories discuss the meaning of friendship and acceptance. I think that these two messages in itself are particularly important to instill in children. These stories may make you laugh or cry (sometimes both), but I promise you that they are well worth it!
Einstein is a miniature horse that weighs less than a cat and is about as tall as a cereal box. Like all horses, he loves to “gallop and hop, sniff and trot, and lie in the warm sun.” One of his main desires is to be able to play with the other horses. Unfortunately he cannot, because he is just too small. Is there anyone on the farm that will be a good playmate for Einstein? Nature lovers will enjoy the full-color photographs and the story about finding a true friend.
Have you ever wondered how animals bond in the most unexpected ways? Unlikely Friendships shares 47 heartwarming stories that include intriguing full-color photographs. One of my favorite stories (although I loved them all), was about the Asiatic Black Bear, named Mausschen, at the Berlin Zoo. One day a black cat appeared and was immediately befriended by Mausschen. He and Muschi share meals, bask in the sun together and have been buddies for over 10 years. Be sure to give this title to any animal lover or your best friend, so they can discover Mausschen’s story and many more!
The devastating Indian Ocean tsunami of December 26, 2004, brought two unimaginable creatures together. Hundreds of villagers from a small coastal town rescued the 600-pound baby hippo from the corral reef. He was brought to an animal sanctuary, which is where he met Mzee. This charming color-photo essay is a great reminder to children to ‘never give up’, even when things seem impossible. Check out some other books about Owen & Mzee here!
Other titles about unlikely animal friendships:
City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems. 2010.
Friends: True Stories of Extraordinary Animal Friendships by Catherine Thimmesh. 2011.
Koko’s Kitten by Francine Patterson. 1985.
Little Pink Pup by Johanna Kerby. 2010.
Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends by Carol Buckley. 2009.
Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival by Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery. 2008.