The relationship between animals and children is very special, hence many children’s stories are starring dogs, cats and others, either in their animal role, or with human characteristics. The powerful animalist current has also brought them to the forefront from the denunciation and reflection: species in danger of extinction, threatened, extinct, destroyed habitats… Fewer are the occasions in which the relationship between men and animals is the central axis of the story. , For better and for worse. And this relationship is what today focuses this curious selection where the most normal thing we can find is that the deer eat noodle soup or go on strike.

His name was Popeye and he liked noodle soup, so much so that one day he traveled three kilometers to gobble down the pot of soup that day the neighbor had painstakingly prepared. They all ended up laughing. Who could get mad at a curious, gluttonous fawn with large, round, jet-colored eyes? This is just one of the many stories starring animals and collected by the canine educator Inma Arán, known on social media as @bella_bamba, an animal lover at heart who has turned countless anecdotes of her own and others starring animals into a book, some domestic but others not so much, like that Popeye that ended up being a beautiful horned specimen coveted by many hunters.

A book that records the beautiful and inexplicable bond that is sometimes established with animals, through experiences full of love, loyalty and lots of laughter and joy.

Here Romeo circulates, a wild black wolf that an entire town adopted, or Naruto, a baby bear that one day appeared at the family’s summer cabin and became one more in the following summers. Stories with happy endings, like that of Milo, a penguin who was saved from certain death by a grandfather and his granddaughter who dedicated themselves for days to cleaning off the oil that prevented him from swimming and almost breathing. In gratitude, the animal returned every summer to visit its rescuers.

Others, undoubtedly sadder but no less interesting due to the way the animals behave and the reactions they provoke in the people around them. “Each of the stories has a different teaching, but they all have the same premise: animals must be respected. They are valuable lives that need to be treated with dignity”, the author tells us. Dogs, cats, owls, crows and even an elephant… Thirty stories based on real events fictionalized by the hand of a faithful animal lover.

What would happen if suddenly the birds stopped singing, the dogs barking, the cows giving milk, the fish swimming, the children playing…. In this story the world has fallen silent. Animals and children go hand in hand. They have started a strike, a protest. Why? Because a bird has stopped singing. Something is blocking his throat. It’s something physical, nothing that can’t happen every day. In fact, the same thing happens without our knowing it. But now the Portuguese author and illustrator puts it in writing. And she draws it. A bird cannot sing and this causes a chain reaction, a protest in which animals and children go on strike.

Eduarda Lima has found a brilliant way of capturing the damaged relationship between nature and progress, between men and animals, between unconsciousness and consciousness. The latest illustrations are revealing, and embarrassing. But sadly they are still there. Also in Catalan.

In this story, men do not come out very well from their relationship with animals either. So much so, that a situation of coexistence in peace and harmony becomes an irreconcilable separation. It is explained to us by one of the great African storytellers, the Cameroonian author Bonfiface Ofogo, who has made the oral histories of his people a cultural bridge to Africa.

With the power of the colors of the African continent, Rebeca Luciani brings to life a story that goes back to the times when animals and men lived together in the same village. A relationship of equality that is broken by imposing one over the other, which leads the animals to separate and live on their own. But soon they realize that they do not know how to prepare their own food, the men always cooked, who knew the secret of fire, and if they did not want to starve they had to learn what to do soon. The boa, the only animal that never lived with men, has the answer, and we will have to go find it.

A fable with multiple readings that delves into the author’s roots and the stories of his people, where the Council of Wise Men and the Tree of the Word appear, symbols as fascinating as they are foreign to Western culture. An excellent story that reveals why in some cultures the turtle is considered a wise and patient animal. Also in Catalan and Galician.

An enormous diplodocus with bright colors as only the Italian author and illustrator Gek Tessaro knows how to conceive them, comes to visit us through these magnificent and intelligent pages to explain something that is not unknown to us, but the way to tell us is. Because this diplodocus speaks in verse: “The primordial broth was very hot/ But it didn’t burn and you could swim there/ And that is how it all began/ The world is life because it is wet.”

The diplodocus establishes a link with the reader so that he understands how things were in his day to day life, where the law of the strongest prevailed. Still, evolution prevails. Species experiment, learn, unite… become extinct. They only exist in museums, where the remains of a huge diplodocus see this crazy time go by. “This world is delirious / Much and almost more than before”, he croons. The main difference between “before” and “now” is that the dinosaur is gone, but the reader is. And he is offered a blank page with which to continue the story. Will man be the next to star in an extinct species in stories? Come on, reflect! Also in Catalan.

What if I were a tree? A question thrown into the air that we do not know at first where it comes from. A journey from empathy and dreaming to being something else, which turns us into wind, sand, sea, whale, salt, grass, bird… A children’s game that helps us get to know ourselves by putting ourselves in their shoes of other things, be they objects or animals. Who do you identify with the most?

This journey through nature is circular, balanced: it begins and ends with the tree, a symbol of the underlying environmental message that sustains it. What would happen if I were a tree? asks a girl, who knows she is part of that cycle of life. But since it can’t be, she has a beautiful alternative to continue dreaming. An idea that the colorful illustrations of the Colombian author Gina Rosas have just given the necessary evocation to get us to work.

This is the photographic report of Pipa and Otto on vacation in the savannah, where they have immortalized with their lenses such spectacular animals as gorillas and monkeys, crocodiles, snakes and giraffes, and lions. A pop-up story told in the key of rhyme to bring the little ones closer to the greatness of these sun-kissed lands.

The children’s relationship with the animals is contemplative and one of pure admiration, like that of so many travelers who enter the African savannah to do the same as Pipa and Otto. The difference is that these little ones admire both the big animals and the farm animals, where they carried out their first photographic report. Also in Catalan.

There are currently eight species of pangolins in the world, and all of them are in danger of extinction. Especially the species that live in Asian areas, where it is estimated that more than a million specimens have been hunted, sold or killed. Reasons? One of the main ones is the healing properties that traditional Chinese medicine attributes to its scales.

It is not the only animal that is threatened because men consider it a miracle cure for something. Do shark fins sound familiar to you to cure osteoarthritis? Famed ethologist Jane Goodall gives voice to this threat to pangolis through a story illustrated by London-based Chinese author Daishu Ma. The passion for science and the environment come together through both authors in one book full of scales as miraculous as that of harboring a life, that of a small pangolin.

She is the protagonist who recounts her birth and way of life in the first person until she is captured by a man who tries to sell her in the market. The providential intervention of a girl will allow a happy ending to a dramatic situation that triggers feelings of confusion, sadness, despair and finally happiness in the little pangolin. “Only if we understand will we care, only if we care will we help, only if we help can we save them all,” says Goodall. This book points the way.