Sunday, December 27, 2009

What do a very obedient dog, a blind cat and a barking parrot have in common?

Why, all three are beloved pets that are the focus of the books I'm here to tell you about. So pull up a chair, cuddle with your furry (or feathery) friend and check these out...

Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle
by Major Brian Dennis, Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery

Major Dennis discovered Nubs, a mongrel with hacked-off ears, at a border fort in Iraq while serving there in the Marine Corps. Although he visited the fort infrequently and stayed only a few days at a time, Dennis and the feral dog bonded as the soldier shared his food and bed with the loyal animal. Often they even stood guard duty together. One winter day, when the Marines traveled 70 miles north across the frigid desert to headquarters, Nubs followed, arriving there, thin and footsore, two days later. Determined not to leave him behind again, the Marines adopted him, and eventually Dennis raised the money to have Nubs shipped back to America. Few will not be moved by the concluding photograph. Told in brief text augmented by Dennis's facsimile e-mails and illustrated with clear color photos, this story presents a view of the Iraq war that makes it accessible to very young gradeschoolers, a welcome addition to collections serving that audience and especially useful for children of soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kirkus Review

Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale,
or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat

by Gwen Cooper

Cooper had every intention of saying "no" to the veterinarian who asked her if she was interested in adopting a four-week-old stray kitten with a "particular handicap." She was fresh off a bad breakup, working a low-paying job and living rent-free in a friend's bedroom-plus she was worried about the social implications of adding one cat to the two she had already adopted: "The neighborhood kids will... say things like 'That's where Old Widow Cooper, the cat lady, lives.' " But as soon as she picked up the tiny kitten and he started to purr, she caved. She settled on a name and brought Homer home. His intrepid explorations of his new environs quickly challenged Cooper's expectations of a blind cat. And through 12 years, six moves, several boyfriends and a showdown with a burglar, this tender and affecting book reveals Homer's lessons about love and acceptance-and how he transformed Cooper into the woman she had always wanted to be.

Publisher's Weekly

The Parrot Who Thought She Was a Dog
by Nancy Davis-Bell
Ellis-Bell, a California-based literary agent with a proven track record for helping rescue animals, adopted a one-footed, foul-mouthed blue-and-gold macaw with a propensity for biting. Here, this self-described woman who loves animals too much touchingly chronicles her daily adventures with Sarah and a menagerie of "sweet babies" (birds, dogs, cats, and visiting raccoons). What begins as a cautionary tale of avian domination and destruction (replete with jealous tirades, physical attacks, and earsplitting screams) develops into a story of "Icarus reclaimed," freedom and flight. Ellis-Bell shares amusing anecdotes about the one-bird demolition derby, cage-free domesticity, Sarah's curious diet (consisting of kibble, nuts, and the occasional gin and tonic), the bird's prolific climbing achievements, affectionate mannerisms, and profound sense of play ("Sarah saw dirt as kindergarten"). This winsome book will surely delight animal rescuers and avid fans of Animal Planet. Listings of general bird-rescue organizations are included.

Library Journal Review

All three were great reads and I hope you enjoy. See you in the New Year!

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