Favorite Animals

It would be easy to make a catalog of all the pets we've had over the years, but that's not the kind of "favorite animals" we're talking about. Favorite animals are those animals that have most thoroughly captured the imagination and love of humans. Okay, so maybe love is the wrong word to describe the dragon-craze or our enduring fascination with dinosaurs, but it surely applies to horses, dogs and cats.

The philosopher Plato had an idea that subsequent thinkers called "idealism." They didn't mean that Mr. Plato was an idealist in the way we'd call Rosa Parks or Gandhi idealists: the term idealism referred to the concept that for everything in the world (trees, chairs, noses), there was an ideal form or version of that thing in the spiritual realm.

According to Plato's theory, the azalea bush in your front yard is simply a physical representation of the perfect Azalea Bush floating who-knows-where in the infinite void. While we don't want to start any kind of philosophical war here, that's kind of the idea we're going for in this category. The animals you'll encounter in these stories, coloring books, and reference volumes embody "horseness," "catness," and "dragon-ness."

After all, the image Fred Gipson paints of Old Yeller is just a bit too good to be true. Sure, many of us have had a favorite dog who could do no wrong in our forgiving eyes, but Old Yeller is like every awesome dog who ever lived rolled into one mangy mutt. Which is the whole point—by creating a slightly unreallistic portrait of an old doggy, Gipson is able to celebrate doghood itself.

In a culture that generally looks only at the way things sometimes appear to be, however,it's easy to value animals too highly. Sure, they deserve our attention and care as representatives of creation, but no more. The Creator who made them is the only One deserving all our praise, glory and love; the animals He's made are simply avenues through which to show our worship and gratitude.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.

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45 Items found

Big Red
by Jim Kjelgaard
from Yearling
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
Location: A06-03A
$4.50 (2 in stock)
Big Red
by Jim Kjelgaard
from Holiday House
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
Location: A06-03A
$8.95
Biggest Bear
by Lynd Ward
from Sandpiper Books
Realistic Animal Stories for Preschool-1st grade
1953 Caldecott Medal winner
Location: CPB-03
$6.95
Call of the Wild
Puffin Classics
by Jack London
from Puffin Books
Action/Adventure for 7th-10th grade
Location: A06-03A
$4.99 $3.00 (1 in stock)
Call of the Wild
Dover Thrift Editions
by Jack London
from Dover Publications
Action/Adventure for 7th-10th grade
Location: ALT-10A
$2.50
Call of the Wild & White Fang
Sterling Classics
by Jack London & Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
Action/Adventure for 7th-10th grade
Location: A04-04A
$8.00
Case of the Cat's Meow
An I Can Read Book Level 2
by Crosby Bonsall
from HarperCollins
Mystery/Suspense for Kindergarten-2nd grade
Location: B10-00B
$3.99
Dragons of the Deep
by Carl Wieland
from Master Books
for 5th-8th grade
Location: BSR-11B
$15.99 $11.00 (2 in stock)
Henry and Mudge
by Cynthia Rylant
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Realistic Animal Stories for Kindergarten-2nd grade
Location: B08-00C
$3.99
Henry and Mudge in Puddle Trouble
by Cynthia Rylant
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Realistic Animal Stories for Kindergarten-2nd grade
Location: B08-00C
$3.99
Henry and Ribsy
by Beverly Cleary
from HarperCollins
for 2nd-4th grade
Location: A09-01A
$6.99
Irish Red
by Jim Kjelgaard
from Yearling
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
Location: A06-03A
$6.99
Mouse and the Motorcycle
Mouse & the Motorcycle #1
by Beverly Cleary
Reissue from HarperCollins
Animal Fantasy for 2nd-4th grade
Location: A07-02A
$6.99 $3.00 (2 in stock)
Mouse and the Motorcycle Series
by Beverly Cleary
from HarperCollins
Animal Fantasy for 2nd-4th grade
Location: A07-02A
$17.82
Mythical Beasts - Coloring Book
Dover Coloring Books
by Fridolf Johnson
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-6th grade
Location: A01-DOV
$3.99
Old Sam, Dakota Trotter
by Don Alonzo Taylor
from Bethlehem Books
Realistic Fiction for 5th-8th grade
Location: A06-03A
$10.75
Old Yeller
by Fred Gipson
from HarperCollins
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
1957 Newbery Honor Book
Location: A06-03A
$6.99 $3.00 (1 in stock)
Outlaw Red
by Jim Kjelgaard
from Yearling
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
Location: A06-03A
$3.50 (1 in stock)
Runaway Ralph
Mouse & the Motorcycle #2
by Beverly Cleary
from HarperCollins
Animal Fantasy for 2nd-4th grade
Location: A07-02A
$6.99
Saving Shiloh
Shiloh #3
by Phyllis R. Naylor
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for 4th-7th grade
Location: A06-03A
$5.99
Scout Series
by Piet Prins
from Inheritance Publications
Action/Adventure for 4th-8th grade
Location: A06-03A
$58.37
Scout's Distant Journey
Scout Series
by Piet Prins
from Inheritance Publications
Action/Adventure for 4th-8th grade
Location: A06-03A
$9.95
Scout: The Flying Phantom
Scout Series
by Piet Prins
from Inheritance Publications
Action/Adventure for 4th-8th grade
Location: A06-03A
$9.95
Scout: The Haunted Castle
Scout Series
by Piet Prins
from Inheritance Publications
for 4th-8th grade
Location: A06-03A
$9.95
Scout: The Mystery of the Abandoned Mill
Scout Series
by Piet Prins
from Inheritance Publications
Action/Adventure for 4th-8th grade
Location: A06-03A
$9.95
Scout: The Sailing Sleuths
Scout Series
by Piet Prins
from Inheritance Publications
for 4th-8th grade
Location: A06-03A
$9.95
Scout: The Secret of the Swamp
Scout Series
by Piet Prins
from Inheritance Publications
Action/Adventure for 4th-8th grade
Location: A06-03A
$8.95 $4.00 (2 in stock)
Scout: The Treasure of Rodensteyn Castle
Scout Series
by Piet Prins
from Inheritance Publications
Action/Adventure for 4th-8th grade
Location: A06-03A
$9.95
Sea Monsters - Coloring Book
Dover Coloring Books
by Peter F. Copeland
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-6th grade
Location: A01-DOV
$3.99
Shiloh
Shiloh #1
by Phyllis R. Naylor
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Realistic Animal Stories for 5th-8th grade
1992 Newbery Medal winner
Location: A06-03A
$7.99 $3.00 (2 in stock)
Shiloh
Shiloh #1
by Phyllis R. Naylor
from Bantam Books
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-7th grade
1992 Newbery Medal winner
Location: A06-03A
$3.00 (4 in stock)
Shiloh Season
Shiloh #2
by Phyllis Naylor
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for 4th-7th grade
Location: A06-03A
$5.99 $3.00 (2 in stock)
Shiloh Trilogy
by Phyllis R. Naylor
from Simon and Schuster
for 4th-7th grade
Location: A06-03A
$17.97
Snow Dog
by Jim Kjelgaard
from Yearling
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
Location: A06-03A
$6.99
Sounder
by William H. Armstrong
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction for 3rd-8th grade
1970 Newbery Medal winner
Location: A09-01A
$5.99 $4.00 (3 in stock)
Sounder
by William H. Armstrong
from Scholastic Inc.
Realistic Fiction for 3rd-8th grade
1970 Newbery Medal winner
Location: A09-01A
$3.00 (2 in stock)
Squire and the Scroll
by Jennie Bishop
from Warner Press
Allegories and Moral Stories for 2nd-5th grade
Location: CPB-03
$12.99
Stone Fox
by John Reynolds Gardiner
from HarperCollins
Realistic Animal Stories for 2nd-6th grade
Location: A06-03A
$5.50 $3.50 (4 in stock)
Stormy
by Jim Kjelgaard
from Yearling
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
Location: A06-03A
$5.99
Stormy, Misty's Foal
by Marguerite Henry
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Realistic Animal Stories for 3rd-6th grade
Location: A06-03A
$2.50 (1 in stock)
Stormy, Misty's Foal
by Marguerite Henry
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Realistic Animal Stories for 3rd-6th grade
Location: A06-03A
$5.99
Stuart Little
by E. B. White
from HarperCollins
Animal Fantasy for 3rd-6th grade
Location: A07-02A
$6.99 $3.00 (1 in stock)
Where the Red Fern Grows
by Wilson Rawls
from Bantam Books
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
Location: A06-03A
$6.99
White Fang
Puffin Classics
by Jack London
from Puffin Books
Action/Adventure for 7th-10th grade
Location: A06-03A
$4.99 $3.00 (1 in stock)
White Fang
Puffin Classics
by Jack London
from Puffin Books
Action/Adventure for 7th-10th grade
Location: A06-03A
$2.50 (2 in stock)