Unlikely Friendships

Unlikely Friendships : 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom

4.05 (2,466 ratings by Goodreads)
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It is exactly like "Isaiah" 11:6: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid..." Written by "National Geographic" magazine writer Jennifer Holland, "Unlikely Friendships" documents one heart warming tale after another of animals who, with nothing else in common, bond in the most unexpected ways. A cat and a bird. A mare and a fawn. An elephant and a sheep. A snake and a hamster. It includes the well-documented stories of Koko the gorilla and All Ball the kitten; and the hippo Owen and the tortoise Mzee. And almost inexplicable stories of predators befriending prey - an Indian leopard slips into a village every night to sleep with a calf. A lionness mothers a baby oryx. Ms. Holland narrates the details and arc of each story, and also offers insights into why - how the young leopard, probably motherless, sought maternal comfort with the calf, and how a baby oryx inspired the same mothering instinct in the lionness. Or, in the story of Kizzy, a nervous retired Greyhound, and Murphy, a red tabby, how cats and dogs actually understand each other's body language.
With Murphy's friendship and support, Kizzy recovered from life as a racing dog and became a confident, loyal family pet. These are the most amazing friendships between species, collected from around the world and documented in a selection of full-colour candid photographs.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 177 x 203 x 17.78mm | 498.95g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 4-color throughout
  • 0761159134
  • 9780761159131
  • 7,408

Review quote

"Jennifer S. Holland's irresistible volume features heartwarming stories of interspecies love and adorable photographs that are heart-stopping in more than one sense."
-- New York Times Book Review

"The feel-good book of the summer--maybe the year--may very well be Unlikely Friendships."
-- USA Today

"Jennifer Holland documents one heartwarming tale after another of animals who, with nothing else in common, bond in the most unexpected ways."
-- Reader's Digest

"With aww-inducing photographs, the book highlights the most improbable animal connections."
-- National Geographic
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About Jennifer S. Holland

Jennifer S. Holland is a contributing writer for National Geographic. She has also written for, among others, The Discovery Channel, NPR, and The New York Times, specializing in science and natural history.
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Rating details

2,466 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 39% (959)
4 34% (839)
3 22% (532)
2 5% (119)
1 1% (17)

Our customer reviews

Last week when I picked up my library hold of Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom I knew that there would be no chance in me resisting the book after I got home and wouldn't you know it an hour and a half after I got in the door I was smiling and flipping the last page of the book. I thought that this was a delightful read. It was quick to read with very cute heart warming stories from all walks of life in the animal kingdom from all over the globe. There are 47 different tales of inter-species friendships and each story is around 2-4 pages long with accompanying photographs. Each of the stories in the book brought their own merry cast of characters and I really enjoyed each and every one of them. From the adopted iguana who made friends with his owner's cats to the elephant and the stray mutt. Big and small all the animals in the book demonstrated that animals do make friends, or at least companions in other creatures. Maybe it's due to loneliness maybe because they're instincts kick in who knows. True the scientific community still scoffs at the idea that such friendships are possible but it isn't as though science hasn't been wrong before. I personally wonder if it is really up to us to make these decisions for our animal brethren and think that we should look at these situations as children do and not wonder about the meanings behind these animal wonders. I thought this was a good book to read especially since I'm an animal lover. At present I live with 2 cats, a golden retriever, 2 gerbils, 3 hamsters and 2 infuriating budgies. While not all my animals are friendly with one another they do sometimes demonstrate a certain tenderness for one another when when one is ailing. I would highly recommend this book to all the animal lovers out there and since the holidays are coming up this might just make the perfect Christmas gift for the animal lovers in your life. Also, I think this would work equally well for children and adults because of the animal theme. For children who are a bit younger I think this would help as a lesson on how friends of all shapes, sizes, etc. can get along.show more
by Kimberly Roy
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