The last community Aubrey and Gilbert needed to contact was that of the turkeys. For the most part, Aubrey got along fine with the turkeys. Gil, on the other hand, had time and again to restrain his natural instinct to go after them. For their part, the turkeys didn’t make the best neighbors. For generations, they had harbored resentment toward people and all things associated with people.
Have you ever been with a group of people and you couldn’t get a word in edgewise? Maybe you were planning a birthday party for a friend in the neighborhood but the new kid on the block wouldn’t stop talking. Maybe your family was talking about where to go on vacation and your little sister, who reminds you a lot of Bebe, wouldn’t keep quiet, so you tried talking louder and louder and everyone ended up yelling.
“WELL, WOULD YOU look at this! Hey John! Come and look at this!” Marica shouted as she opened the door to the shuttered back porch. “Look, John! It’s a meeting of the canine minds— the ca-minds!” she said pointing at the gathering of the Big Dogs— including Tiger the Cat— who were situated among piles of books and other reference materials.
AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, Bebe was none too keen on the idea of a school. “I don’t want to go to school,” she cried. “School’s no fun! School takes all the fun out of learning. I don’t want to go to school,” she stomped her paw. “Why do we have to have a school anyway? I can learn things on my own. I don’t need a dumb school to learn things. I can count, you know— zero-one-two. I don’t…”
Dear Children and Their Grownups,
Two of my people have created a book just for you—readers who long for a story of a different sort. In our tale there are no dragons for heroes to slay, or worlds for wizards to save. It’s simply the story of how my pack and I came to realize we needed a school for all the animals on our farm who wanted to learn and teach from those great books of knowledge passed down to us through… Oh, sorry! Marica says I run on sometimes. Back to our story.
“Wholly charmed by Miss Missy, I was caught unawares by a book unique in many dimensions. Not just a child’s book, though children will indeed love it for the dogs’ adventures, surprisingly it is also a book for adults who think about how to teach…”
Now, as you know, most dogs don’t usually wear reading glasses and Homburg hats unless their people dress them up (as Beatrix Potter did her pets). Most animals don’t write in shorthand like Missy, or read British detective stories as Rocky likes to do. And most animals don’t talk in real life! To give human characteristics to nonhuman creatures and things is to anthropomorphize them.
“The development of each character engages kids and is told from a unique perspective – this isn’t just an ordinary animal story. Marica breathes imaginary life into each one of her farm’s pets with excellence…”