I love James Herriot. He’s been a favorite of mine since childhood. Now I’m buying some of his books for my daughter.
One of my favorites is “Bonny’s Big Day” first published in 1986.
The story is of an old, crusty farmer, who rose from poverty, to relative wealth. He retired the horses he owned to a sunny field, with a shady tree and running water. Most thought him hard and unsentimental, and assumed the animals would be put down when no longer useful, but the man made their last year’s as comfortable as possible. One year, he entered Bonny, his old white mare, in the pet competition at the fair.
If you like Herriot, you will love Gerald Durrell. He was a naturalist who wandered the world and collected animals for zoos, did work for the just-getting-started conservation movement, and has lots of pets. He was an exotic animal vet.
Herriot warms my heart; Durrell makes me laugh out loud. He was raised in an animal-loving, silly-crazy large family. They moved all over the world when he was growing up.
I got “Bonny’s Big Day” which I recall was beautifully illustrated one year from my Grandma.