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Dick King-Smith's Animal Friends: Thirty-One True Life Stories

by Dick King-Smith
Illustrated by Anita Jeram

Published by U.S. edition: Candlewick, 1996
95 pages
ISBN: 1-56402-960

Ages 4 - 12

What at first glance seems to be a collection of animal stories is actually an autobiographical portrait of the author, told through his recollections of animals he has known. Beginning with one of his earliest memories (riding an elephant at the zoo) and ending with an animal he encountered while writing this book (a crow that perches outside his study window), the chronological arrangement serves to show us King-Smith's growth from boyhood through young adulthood and middle age to his present status as an elderly gent. Throughout, he has maintained his lifelong interest in animals of all species (though long-haired dachshunds figure prominently, and deservedly so). Anita Jeram's lively watercolor illustrations perfectly complement King-Smith's light, humorous tone and make this volume a perfect selection as a family read-aloud. CCBC categories: Biography and Autobiography (KTH; Jan 6)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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