When I was a kid, I used to go to the library at my school and ask the librarian for books about animals without any people in them (librarians love a challenge). And one of my favorites was a book called Kitty’s New Doll.
Like many kids, I had a lot of books around me to choose from, but only ever wanted to read maybe two of them (the second one was Richard Scarry’s What Do People Do All Day, which is FANTASTIC). Why did I love it so much?
To be honest, I can’t really explain it. Like all kids, I just knew what I liked. Kitty’s New Doll, by Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt, told the story of a little girl cat whose mother takes her to the store to buy, you guessed it, a new doll. There are lot of dolls to choose from, and they all have different bells and whistles (I remember one of them could walk and talk) — all except for one, that is.
Kitty, being precocious and imaginary, passes these fancy dolls by and instead picks out a rag doll (the doll is also a cat) that is very simple and doesn’t have any crazy abilities. Kitty doesn’t see this as a limitation, though. Instead she sees this as very, very special. She may not be able to walk and talk, “But she can pretend cry and pretend sleep … and she can say anything I want her to say,” says Kitty. As she walks home with her new doll, she pretends that it whispers “I love you” to her. Awwww. Doesn’t that just warm your cold little heart?
So, in the spirit of childhood, tell us: what animal-themed books did YOU love to read when you were growing up?