Thursday, January 24, 2008
Animals in the House: A History of Pets and People
Keenan, Shelia. 2007. ANIMALS IN THE HOUSE: A HISTORY OF PETS AND PEOPLE. New York: Scholastic. ISBN 9780439692861 [Suggested Grade Levels 3-8]
There are more pets than people in the United States. That astounding fact begins this fun-filled look at how animals and people co-exist in modern society. Full of colorful illustrations with a snappy lay out and witty text, the book leads the reader through the history of people domesticating wild animals, describing how changing cultural and religious attitudes resulted in the pets we enjoy today. Then the author focuses on specific pets. Dogs and cats get more in depth coverage, but birds, reptiles, and fish along with pet rocks and sea monkeys all receive mention. The last chapter entitled Eternal Pets discusses how we have buried and mourned our pets for centuries. Fun facts and trivia including famous pets and their owners are sprinkled throughout adding to the fun. This worthwhile addition to the pet book section is well researched with an extensive bibliography and notes.
Young people tend to really connect with pets. Studying history through the eyes of historical figure’s pets can spark interest. Try researching the famous animals that have shared the White House with their presidential owners (www.whitehouse.gov).
Other books about coping with pets:
Barnes, Peter W. PRESIDENT ADAM’S ALLIGATOR : AND OTHER WHITE
HOUSE PETS. ISBN 9781893622135
George, Jean Craighead. HOW TO TALK TO YOUR DOG. ISBN 9780060006235
George, Jean Craighead. HOW TO TALK TO YOUR CAT. ISBN 9780060006228
By Jane H. Claes