You'd have to have, like, a lentil for a soul to hate wiener dogs. ~Zuzana from The Daughter of Smoke & Bones by Laini Taylor

Monday, August 22, 2011

GUEST POST! Animals and Reading by The Familiars Authors

Please welcome Adam Jay Epstein and 
Andrew Jacobson to BookHounds YA!

Books about animals are as fundamental to growing up as your ABC’ and learning long division. Everybody’s got their favorite animal characters from when they were a kid, those that stuck with you and oft times felt more human than many of the human characters you read about. Books about dogs dying like Old Yeller and Where the Red Fern Grows were too sad for our sensitive souls. Real, non-talking animals books like An Incredible Journey and Call of the Wild were kind of boring, and could have used a dose of magic. New school animal books like Redwall, Guardians of Ga’hoole, and The Warriors simply don’t hold much of a nostalgic place in our heart.

5. “Garfield” by Jim Davis and “Calvin and Hobbes” by Bill Waterson

Andrew goes with Garfield, the lazy, lasagna-eating, Monday-hating cat. He found something funny about his antics with John and Odie. Adam counters with Calvin and Hobbes. The philosophical, rambling stuffed tiger felt similar enough to Adam’s childhood stuffed monkey that it seemed downright autobiographical.

4. “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” by Robert C. O’Brian and “Watership Down” by Richard Adams

At a young age, reading these creepy tales gave us both a fright, but their dystopic animal worlds haunted us…in a good way. And bonus points for “The Secrets of NIMH” animated movie.

3. “Home for a Bunny” and “The Color Kittens” by Margaret Weiss Brown

The first two animal books that Adam read. One a naturalistic tale of a bunny that just wants to find a place to live; the other a surrealist picture book about two cats that mix paint to make all the colors in the world.

2. “Charlotte’s Web” and “Stuart Little” by E.B. White

White’s stories are timeless tales that both exemplify and transcend the animal genre. Choosing between them is a tough one indeed, but the edge has to go to “Charlotte’s Web” since Andrew played Wilbur in a grade school class play.

1. “Curious George” by H.A. Rey

Adam loved monkeys. Especially mischievous ones. He wanted to have his own, and it was nice to read a story about a monkey who was misbehaving…and getting into some pretty dangerous situations. These were early adventure tales that were pretty irresistible. While George never said a thing, you always knew what he was thinking.

Did we forget any of your favorites? Tell us what your number 1 animal book is....

The Familiars: Secrets of the Crown is in bookstores and online September 6th. Please visit www.thefamiliars.com to learn more.


Leave a comment here and I will add it on as an extra entry!


  1. Oh i loved that book and looking forward to my next. I have a bunny the same color as Pakanshara and i call her that all the time. ^^


  2. I remember our teacher reading us Where the Red Fern Grows, and yes, it was too sad! I love Hobbes!

  3. I cant wait to read those books, they are on my wishlist. Great interview! I loved Charlottes Web when I was little but I was a bit afraid of the spider.


  4. You certainly got my attention. I'm intrigued.




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