06 March 2009

An Onion's best friend

What a lovely rainy day. A good day to be snuggled in your burrow or safe in your den.

Our ten favourite animal characters in children's fiction (in no particular order)

  1. 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)
  2. Buck from The Call of the Wild
  3. Badger from Wind in the Willows (You may cry for Ratty, Mole, or Toad, but Badger is an Onion favourite)
  4. Reepicheep from several of the Narnia books
  5. Simpkin from The Tailor of Gloucester
  6. Pooh and Piglet (There was also a vote for Owl, because he can spell his own name W.O.L.)
  7. The Wombat from Diary of a Wombat
  8. Mogget from the Old Kingdom trilogy
  9. Tao from The Incredible Journey (and yes we love handsome Luath & dear old Bodger as well, but we are cat people)
  10. 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)

  1. Hedwig from the Potterverse
  2. Jack from the Little House books
  3. Fortinbras from the Wrinkle in Time series
  4. Old Yeller
  5. 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?


Nicki Greenberg said...

The velveteen rabbit!!!

I get a bit teary just thinking about him.

lili said...

I second the Velveteen Rabbit.


The Alien Onions said...

I cant BUHlieve we forgot Iorek! How did we DO that?? And Hester! oh Hester!

Also the Velveteen Rabbit - yes yes! I have to admit to never having actually READ it. But I had an abridged version on audio tape that I loved. I don't know who read it but she had the most beautiful gentle voice.


The Alien Onions said...

comment update - I just engaged in a spot of googling, and I guess the Velveteen Rabbit audio book I had wasn't abridged. I didn't realise it was so short.

(And back in the days of cassette tapes, rather than CDs, almost everything was abridged so you didn't have to lug around 50 tapes.)


Anonymous said...

I vote for Tabby from the Muddle Headed Wombat and Toad from the Frog and Toadstories

Penni Russon said...

Hunca Munca and Tom Thumb from Two Bad Mice, because they were so bad, and who could blame them?

Little Grey Rabbit, who was so put upon by that selfish Squirrel and that vain Hare, and yet she was so brave.

Old Pig.

But my two biggest shout outs go to:
Mrs Frisby and Nicodemus and well everyone from Mrs F and the rats of Nimh.

And John Brown and the Midnight Cat. Gosh I loved John Brown.

Wasn't the Velveteen Rabbit a toy rather than an animal? I never did quite get the becoming real part. Then again that does also rule out Piglet and Pooh but I'm not sure about Rabbit who may have actually belonged to the wild world, I am almost certain his friends and relations did, particular Alexander Beetle.

A latte beckons said...

Black Beauty!!

Anonymous said...

Mr Percival - of course.

And can I vote for all the deamons in His Dark Materials, even though they're not animals? But they sort of are - the idea of a soul that takes animal form is so utterly brilliant.

Oh - just another two cents - the thing I love about wombat from Diary of a Womat is that she(?) is SUCH a wombat... and very patient with her dumb humans.