Top positive review
3 of 3 people found this helpful
Warm and fuzzy
on December 13, 2003
Most of the series of 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' has the kind of warm and fuzzy story that many find endearing and sweet. They are not 'deep' most of the time, but do point to things beyond themselves; for my own use, I often find sermon illustrations and stories within the pages of volumes of Chicken Soup -- as chaplain at a retirement centre, many of the stories help people to recall happier times, and help them deal with their present situation.
This particular volume involves stories with animals. The relationship between animals and people of all ages can make for some of the funniest, most heart-warming, most sad, and most meaningful stories. There are contributing authors of some note (Barbara Bush, James Herriot, Jimmy Stewart, Gilda Radner, Art Linkletter) among other authors who had stories to tell and volunteered them. Much in the manner that Readers Digest accepts unsolicited stories from amateur authors, so does the Chicken Soup series. Often the most meaningful stories are those that happen to people who are not professional writers.
Few animals are left out here, as many animals have come to be companions with humans over the centuries. Dogs and cats feature prominently, as do horses and other farm animals, but there are also wolves, birds, dolphins, deer, wild turkeys, gorillas and even a Christmas mouse. The stories cover a wide range of topics, including pets as friends and healers, animals as rescuers and performers of other amazing feats, animals whose companionship meant a lot, and finally on the sadness and meaning of saying goodbye to an important family member.
Each of this stories can easily be read in a short time. This makes it a good source for 'falling-asleep reading', for use in public speaking and preaching opportunites, for shared reading-aloud times, and for simple enjoyment and entertainment. Many of the stories here are ones that stay with you; the story about the wild turkeys and the story of the Christmas mouse are stories I use again and again in my chaplaincy, and they are always appreciated.
The editors of the primary series 'Chicken Soup' are Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen; for purposes of this volume, they are joined by Marty Becker and Carol Kline, authors and animal-professionals in various capacities.
My cats give their paws-up to this!