Our ten favourite animal characters in children's fiction (in no particular order)
- Wilbur (We could fill up all 10 spots with characters from Charlotte's Web, so Wilbur is standing also for Charlotte, Templeton and the rest of the inhabitants of the Zuckerman farm)
- Buck from The Call of the Wild
- Badger from Wind in the Willows (You may cry for Ratty, Mole, or Toad, but Badger is an Onion favourite)
- Reepicheep from several of the Narnia books
- Simpkin from The Tailor of Gloucester
- Pooh and Piglet (There was also a vote for Owl, because he can spell his own name W.O.L.)
- The Wombat from Diary of a Wombat
- Mogget from the Old Kingdom trilogy
- Tao from The Incredible Journey (and yes we love handsome Luath & dear old Bodger as well, but we are cat people)
- Kapecki from Peka-boo the Smallest Bird in All the World
Honourable mentions to animals that are just animals. (No speaking, no anthropomorphism, just wonderful, faithful, brave animals)
- Hedwig from the Potterverse
- Jack from the Little House books
- Fortinbras from the Wrinkle in Time series
- Old Yeller
- Willow from Sunny Side Up
And an extra extra extremely honourable shout-out to Mr Chicken - the most loveable cooked chicken ever to grace children's literature*.
Here is an EXCLUSIVE sneak preview of Mr Chicken's next excursion:
*Ahem... Sonya Hartnett thinks so too:
'The world's most beautiful city meets the world's most startling chicken ... Not since Quasimodo has Paris been host to a monster of such charm. In typical exuberant style, Hobbs takes us abroad with the gentlemanly Mr Chicken, who tours the magnifique sites of Paris unaware that his enormous top-hatted self is the most astonishing spectacle of all. Joyously colourful, brilliantly observed, hilariously wry, Mr Chicken Goes to Paris is Leigh Hobbs' masterpiece.' - Sonya Hartnett
You'll have to wait until August to get your own copy of Mr Chicken Goes to Paris, but keep your eyes peeled because we may not be able to resist letting him make an appearance here every now and then before that.
But back to the list... which beloved animals have we missed?