But I did read one animal book as a child that has stayed with me for life. Somehow it is indelibly imprinted on my mind. I read Black Beauty. I remember crying so hard that my mother threatened to take the book away from me before I finished it. Maybe the memory of sobbing through a book is what has turned me off animal books to this day.
Product description from Amazon: "A horse is a horse of course unless of course the horse is Black Beauty. Animal-loving children have been devoted to Black Beauty throughout this century, and no doubt will continue through the next. Although Anna Sewell's classic paints a clear picture of turn-of-the-century London, its message is universal and timeless: animals will serve humans well if they are treated with consideration and kindness.
Black Beauty tells the story of the horse's own long and varied life, from a well-born colt in a pleasant meadow to an elegant carriage horse for a gentleman to a painfully overworked cab horse. Throughout, Sewell rails--in a gentle, 19th-century way--against animal maltreatment. Young readers will follow Black Beauty's fortunes, good and bad, with gentle masters as well as cruel. Children can easily make the leap from horse-human relationships to human-human relationships, and begin to understand how their own consideration of others may be a benefit to all. (Ages 9 to 12)"
This a is picture of a current edition of Black Beauty. I think mine was an old Whitman Classics version. In fact, it might still be here around the house if I would just go looking. (Now that I'm thinkiing about it there was also an old Spin and Marty book about a rich boy going to a dude ranch and learning all about horses and other critters that I read at about the same time period. That might be here too.) I'm spending Christmas Break in the house my parents built and brought me to as a 6-month-old baby.