Monday, November 12, 2007
Animals in the House
Keenan, Sheila. 2007. Animals in the House: A History of Pets and People.
I loved, loved, loved this book. It is a great example of a great nonfiction book. It is full of information. Some of it is relatively common knowledge, but I'll admit it now, a lot of it was new-to-me, and all of it was just downright fun. This one was just a joy to read. I loved every minute of this one. Why it's so great? Visuals all over the place. Pictures. Drawings. Fun sidebars. Charts. Graphs. Color everywhere. Just a great page design/ page layout. It presents the history of pets through the centuries, through various cultures and continents, but it also presents the fundamental, basic aspects of pets. The different animals. The different breeds. The different needs. The kid appeal is definitely there as well. I think kids almost always fall into two groups. Those that have pets already. And those kids that want pets and are always begging their parents to let them have a pet. This book will serve the interests of both groups. This is a book that kids and adults can easily skim and browse. It's important to realize how nonfiction books work. That for most people, they don't "read" nonfiction the same way that they "read" fiction. They browse. They skim. They read things out of order. They just look at the photos and read the captions. They use the index to find what they need, etc. The book also offers a selected bibliography and index.