Books for building empathy with animals

Did you know that May is “Be kind to Animals” Month? The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) suggests several ways to celebrate by helping animals – including adopting a pet from a shelter, reporting animal abuse, and spending time with your own animal companion. “Be Kind to Animals” Month is also the perfect (or should I say “purr-fect”?) time to share animal-themed books with kids.

The spring issue of Bark! (the BC SPCA’s youth magazine) recommends books by several CWILL authors in “Pick of the litter-ature!” Stanley’s Party, a picture book by Linda Bailey (Kids Can Press, 2003), will have readers laughing as they learn the social needs of dogs. The Truth About Rats (and Dogs) by Jacqueline Pearce (Orca Publishers, 2006) and The Summer of the Spotted Owl by Melanie Jackson (Orca Publishers, 2005) are novels that will appeal to middle grade readers, while Flight or Fight by Diane Haynes (Walrus Books, 2005) will catch the interest of teen readers. The Salmon  Bears by B.C. authors Ian Mcallister and Nicholas Read (Orca Publishers 2010), is a recommended nonfiction title. CWILL member and illustrator, Scott Ritchie is also featured in the magazine with an article on “How to Draw a Cat.” Scott regularly contributes illustrations to Bark!

Anyone interested in finding out more about Bark! magazine and the BC SPCA’s programs and resources for youth can check out the BC SPCA’S website or contact Paula Neuman at A “Be Kind to Animals” poster and expanded list of recommended animal books is also available for use in setting up a library or classroom display (the BC SPCA sent a “Be Kind To Animals” Month package to over 1900 schools and public libraries in B.C.).

About Jacqueline Pearce

I am a writer (and occasionally, artist) living on the westcoast of Canada. I write novels, short stories and poetry for children and young adults. When I'm not at my computer, I explore the city, finding inspiration in hints of history, unexpected art, and glimpses of wild nature pushing up between the cracks. Sometimes, the resulting thoughts and haiku find there way onto my blog, "wildink."
This entry was posted in classroom activities, juvenile fiction, libraries & librarians, non-fiction, picture books, teaching and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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