Today I am delighted to welcome Patricia Furstenberg to Love Books Group blog. Patricia has written a variety of colourful and engaging children’s books. We have a guest post today by Patricia called Each animal has a story to tell. Get cosy and enjoy!
Patricia Furstenberg is the author of the Bestseller Joyful Trouble, Based on the True Story of a Dog Enlisted in the Royal Navy.
Patricia enjoys writing for children because she can take abstract, grown-up concepts and package them in a humorous, child-friendly language and attractive pictures, while adding sensitivity and lots of love. She enjoys writing about animals because she believed that each animal has a story to tell, if we only stop to listen.
Her latest illustrated children’s books are: Puppy, 12 Month of Rhymes and Smiles, The Elephant and the Sheep, The Lion and the Dog, The Cheetah and the Dog.
Patricia lives in sunny South Africa with her husband, children and their dogs.
Each Animal Has A Story To Tell
By Patricia Furstenberg
I believe that, just as each one of us has a story to tell, each animal, too, has one. It all comes down to the POV (point of view).
As humans, our cultural background and experiences will influence the way we understand and interact with the world. We see and perceive animals from an obtuse point of view, based on personal knowledge, EQ (emotional intelligence) and, of course, inhibitions and phobias. But there are over 7 million species of animals known to man and over 5 000 species of mammals; chances are we will only meet and interact with a fraction of them.
About dogs (world’s most popular pets), we known that they respond to human praise, but also choose human praise over a food treat. We know that they miss their owners and often suffer when they are away from them. In Kenia, elephant families have been observed while pulling together while struggling to survive drought and poaching. Wolf packs have been observed to adopt the cubs left with no parents. A calve will stay with his dolphin mother as long as eight years; because they are so social, dolphins live in pods of up to 1000 members. That’s a small town!
Now let’s change the point of view.
How do animals perceive us? As friends or as enemies? What do animals feel? They do look angry at times, they seem to grief, to show empathy, to feel joy. But what goes through their minds? What goes through a dog’s mind (and heart) when one of his puppies is removed from the litter? What is a mother elephant actually saying when she rumbles and trumpets to protect her calf? I love listening to the morning birds, their chirp is peaceful and soothing, but what are they actually saying to each other?
Do animals have beliefs of their own? Do they act on intend? Do they use their knowledge and plan ahead? And if they do, do we, humans, really “get it” or do we miss the point all together?
Perhaps that children are the ones closest to finding an answer. Children and naturally open to this concept of “theory of mind” as well as to learning about it. Attributing an animal desire and intents similar to their own is a characteristic behaviour for a child. Children are tuned in and they do “get” the animals’ language.
Watching animals interact and understanding them is a learning curve. It is an exercise in acknowledging that human race is not as superior as we like to believe. Animals do experience the same love and empathy as we do, but they certainly lack the hatred and the grudge that tends to overshadow and hinder us. Perhaps that one of the ways to reduce animal poaching and trafficking is through raising the bar in our knowledge of the world around us.
The Elephant and the Sheep
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076F57GTK
The Elephant and the Sheep, sure to touch a deep chord, particularly with fans of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
When a curious lamb meets a friendly elephant calf he soon discovers the secret behind the elephant’s lonely life. Sharing means s so much more than material things.
The Cheetah and the Dog
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076F1V7FQ
The Cheetah and the Dog, sure to resonate with families – particularly non-traditional ones as well as with the fans of Michael Jackson’s “Black or White”.
When a cheetah cub and a puppy dog bump into each other no one can foresee that their blooming friendship will save many lives, thus becoming the core of an African folktale.
The Lion and the Dog
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076DZ1Y6T
The Lion and the Dog, sure to strike a chord with the many fans of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”.
When a lion is crowned King of a zoo he becomes a secluded beast with no visitors but an observant and determined little brown dog. Learn how optimism and kindness can change even a wild animal into a friend for life.
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Merry Christmas from Kelly & The Team, thank you for all your support and love in 2017.