Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Crazy About Cats and Horses: Wild and Tame

My son has a very specific taste when it comes to books. He wants to read about all animals all the time. For that reason his favorite publisher has become Flying Eye Books. For those unfamiliar with this publisher, they produce deluxe hardcover books that are equal parts beautiful and educational. Today, I would like to tell you about two of those books - Crazy About Cats and Horses: Wild and Tame.

Crazy About Cats is a book written and illustrated by Owen Davey. You might recognize his name from Mad About Monkeys or Smart About Sharks. This hardcover book is approximately 40 pages long and begins by explaining what cats are. There are between 37 and 41 different species of cats, which belong to a group of mammals known as felids. They can live in a variety of habitats, are carnivores, and are generally shy of people. Felid-like animals have been around for about 50 million years and are divided into eight groups based on their history of evolution. Other chapters illustrate their basic anatomy, their territory, what they eat, how they hunt, and even cats in mythology. The sections my son and I found most interesting were when they highlighted specific cats and also the awards section which told who had the loudest roar or longest jump. I was surprised to learn that tigers are actually the largest cat and not the lion. This is a gorgeous book, and Owen Davey is a masterful illustrator. He makes the animals come alive and growl right off the page. Highly recommended for the cat-lover in your life!

Horses: Wild and Tame begins by telling us what a horse is and how it evolved from a small dog-like animal to the animal we know and love today. Its hoof evolved over 60 million years from a four-toed hoof to the one part there is now. Horses each have a different character and are described as cold, hot, and warmblooded. We then progress through the history of horses from prehistoric to war horses to royal steeds and lastly work horses. The most interesting sections focuses on famous horses and legendary horses - famous horses like Bucephalus who belonged to Alexander the Great and legendary horses like Pegasus or Black Beauty. This was an interesting book that gives a detailed history not just on horses, but the way humans have domesticated them and coexisted with them through the centuries. You never really think about all the functions and uses that horses served man, but this book makes you stop and appreciate how much better our lives are because of these majestic creatures.

These books were provided to me for free by Flying Eye Books in exchange for an honest review.