Do your kids love animals? Mine sure do! We have hefty heaps of fantastic animal books over here!
We also have a bear of a dog living in our home. His name is Finnegan and he’s a real marshmallow. And, like all members of our tribe, Finnegan enjoys a good read aloud. In fact, when my daughter was first learning to read she would sometimes only read aloud to Finnegan. She felt most comfortable reading with him.
My daughter has been reading for a couple of years now and she still reads to Finnegan at least once per day. I always joke that he’s the most well-read dog in town. He clearly loves the special time they spend together over a good book or two. My daughter always boasts that she’s “helping” him by doing this, and I believe her!
This conversation was the inspiration for an afternoon of learning! First, we talked about how people help animals. We discussed and researched endangered animals and ways to help the planet. Then, we had a conversation about how animals can be helpers, too! We discussed service dogs, therapeutic riding, and even monkey helpers!
*Disclosure: I received the following books from Candlewick Press at no cost. I was not required to write a review, nor was I compensated for my time. I just love sharing great books, folks!
Animal Helpers in History
I love to read books that are related to my children’s current interests. Soon after this conversation about helping animals, I discovered three books by Candlewick Press on animal helpers in history. My children devoured these books! I am sharing them today for the animal lovers in your life!
Dadblamed Union Army Cow by Susan Fletcher
Based on stories and newspaper articles, Dadblamed Union Army Cow tells the story of a cow that marched with the Fifty-Ninth Regiment of Indiana Volunteers during the Civil War. She is said to have traveled hundreds of miles and was witness to many battles. The cow provided milk to the soldiers and it is possible that her milk saved their lives.
The Silver Donkey by Sonya Hartnett
I have not read this story, but my 7-year-old has been consumed by it. The book tells the story of two young French girls who discover a soldier in the woods, during World War I. The soldier has been temporarily blinded and carries with him a silver donkey charm. The girls sneak food to him and work with their brother to help the soldier find a safe passage home to England. In thanks, the soldier shares with them four stories about the donkey. My little guy gives this book two enthusiastic thumbs up.
Belle the Last Mule at Gee’s Bend by Calvin Alexander Ramsey
Last but certainly not least, we read Belle the Last Mule at Gee’s Bend, the true story of a mule who played an important role in the Civil Rights movement. Having recently studied Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., my children were spellbound while I read this book and we have since reread it many times. I’ve yet to make it through this powerful little picture book without tearing up!
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Animal Helpers in History and Beyond
Love animals, too?
Be sure to check out this post. We love these books!
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me: What is your favorite book about an animal helper? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram