Friday, April 8, 2016

Top ten unappreciated animal heroes

Swapna Haddow is the author of Dave Pigeon: How to Deal with Bad Cats and Keep (Most of) Your Feathers, illustrated by Sheena Dempsey. At the Guardian she tagged her ten top unappreciated animal heroes, including:
Templeton from Charlotte’s Web by EB White and Garth Williams

I’m sure many of you will be surprised that I didn’t choose Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web as my unappreciated hero. Charlotte is a kindly spider who, despite the spider typecast, saves Wilbur and her babies at the sacrifice of her own life. And don’t get me wrong, she is most definitely a hero but for this top 10, I chose Templeton as his character goes on so much more of a journey to heroism in this story. Stick with me and you’ll see.

Templeton is a grumpy rat and he is most definitely not a likeable character. He’s bad-tempered and selfish and even EB White describes him as having “no morals”. He needs so much coaxing to get on board to help save Wilbur’s life but despite that Templeton eventually proves himself a true hero when he abandons his ratty ways and helps save Charlotte’s babies.

See? What did I tell you? It’s all about Templeton’s journey.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Charlotte's Web is among Lara Williamson's top ten goodbyes in children’s literature, Culture’s critics' eleven best children’s books (for ages 10 and under) ever published in English, Holly Webb's ten top children's books on death and bereavement, Sara Brady's top six talking-animal characters she’d like to have a drink with, Joel Cunningham's favorite talking animals in fiction, Scott Greenstone's top twenty books with fewer than 200 pages, Mohsin Hamid's six favorite books and Sarah Lean's top ten animal stories; it is a book Kate DiCamillo hopes parents will read to their kids.

--Marshal Zeringue