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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Listed: Animals in Fiction

As a general rule, I don’t read books solely about animals. I have, in the past, and could never really get into them (with the exception of Winnie the Pooh). They were alright, but I most definitely prefer dealing with a human main character. That said, however, there are certain animals in books that I love – as much as, if not more than, a lot of the other characters that grace the pages of the book.

Here are some of my all-time favourite animals in books.

  1. Shadowfax. From J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings. Originally appears in The Two Towers. Originally Published 1954. I love Shadowfax so, SO much. I will fully admit that the first time I saw The Two Towers in theatres that I may totally have gotten misty eyed. He’s one of the Rohirrim’s horses; the fastest horse in Middle-earth. Gandalf tamed him when no one else could, and he accompanied Gandalf on many an adventure.
  2. Aslan. From C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. Originally appears in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Originally Published 1950. Okay, so the whole alternate version of Christ seems like it would make the story too much, and I know that a lot of people who have read the Narnia books as adults don’t like how Christianity seems to sort of be shoved down your throats in the books, but! In so many fantasy stories there is some sort of creation myth, and some sort of god/goddess figure, so it doesn’t bother me. And I love that that god was portrayed as a lion in this one. He is fearful, but he’s also loving and totally cares for his world and the people in it.
  3. Tate. From Catherine Webb’s Horatio Lyle books. Originally appears in The Extraordinary and Unusual Adventures of Horatio Lyle. Originally Published 2006. I love that we get to see some of Horatio Lyle’s adventures from the perspective of Tate. Catherine Webb is a genius who is totally awesome at giving Tate his own unique voice. Love it.
  4. The White Rabbit. From Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Originally Published 1865. The White Rabbit is the animal that first draws Alice into Wonderland, and appears many other times throughout the novel at important parts. He goes from being snooty to those he believes are his servants, to groveling before the Queen of Hearts. I love the contrast in him.
  5. Mr. Bobo. From Gideon Defoe’s Pirates! in An Adventure With Scientists. Originally Published 2004. Mr. Bobo is Darwin’s Man-panzee, a monkey that can communicate through flash cards and is pretty awesome.
  6. Tim. From Sam Enthoven’s Tim: Defender of the Earth. Originally Published 2008. Yeah, dinosaurs that save the world totally count as awesome animals. Totally. Tim is freaking AWESOME – such a fabulous personality and an awesome top-secret military project.
  7. The Ice Dragon. From George R. R. Martin’s The Ice Dragon. Originally Published 1980. I love the relationship that the Ice Dragon has with Adara, how the Ice Dragon would totally risk it’s own life for the girl who it has formed a bond with.
  8. Eeyore. From A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh. Originally Published 1926. Eeyore is SOOOOO pessimistic about everything that he is half the joy of reading this book (and The House at Pooh Corner).
  9. Josephine. From Arthur Slade’s Jolted. Originally Published 2008. OMG! Pigs who hunt truffles who are named Josephine! Adorable! (Cannot form full thoughts when it comes to Josephine).
  10. Hedwig. From J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Originally appears in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Originally Published 1997. Hedwig, Harry’s owl. She’s there throughout the majority of the series, so it’s hard NOT to love her. I found she wasn’t given as much of a personality as some of the other animals on this list, but she was a constant companion, and that is enough to make me love her.

There were so many others that I wanted to include – at least a couple from L.M. Montgomery’s books, the horse from Arthur Slade’s Megiddo’s Shadow, so many others, but as am keeping the list to 10, these ones are my top favourites.

I swear, one of these days I will make a list that does not include anything Horatio Lyle related. But I can’t help it right now – I’m obsessed.

Anyway! Do you have any favourite animals in books?

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 7:27 am August 24, 2009.
Category: Listed

  • Memory

    Reepicheep, all the way. He was my childhood hero.

  • Grace

    My favorite animal in books has to be Black Beauty. I always have trouble reading books about horses because they always made me cry but I just love Black Beauty.

  • Kailana

    I agree on a lot of those. Great list! :)