Recent research has revealed the rich emotional lives and emotional intelligence of animals. In her books, National Geographic Magazine writer Jennifer Holland explores the depth of animal relationships, both between animals of different species and between animals and humans.
Unlikely Friendships is the phenomenal New York Times bestseller that’s spent 44 weeks on the list and has 615,000 copies in print. It’s struck a chord with media, from CBS This Morning to USA Today, and Temple Grandin has praised it as “amazing. It shows the power of friendship.” Now its author, Jennifer Holland, who writes about animal relationships with insight, compassion, and a fine narrative touch, explores animal attachments that, in human terms, can only be called love.
Packed with beautiful, breathtaking full-color photographs, Unlikely Loves is a celebration of love between species. Here are stories of parental love, like the Dalmatian who mothers a newborn lamb—a lamb that just happens to be white with black spots! Stories of playful love, including the fox and the hound who become inseparable. And stories of orphaned animals who have found family-like ties in unexpected combinations, like the elephant who’s bonded with sea lions, goats, and other animals in her walks around the Oregon Zoo.
Ms. Holland has interviewed scientists, zoologists, and animal caretakers from around the world, tracking down firsthand sources and eyewitnesses. The stories are written with journalistic integrity and detail—and always filled with the author’s deep affection for her subjects.
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 heartwarming 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. 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-color candid photographs.
In her heartwarming New York Times bestsellers Unlikely Friendships and last year’s Unlikely Loves, Jennifer Holland revealed the surprising emotional bonds that exist between animals of different species. Her books spent dozens of weeks on bestseller lists and caught the attention of major media from CBS This Morning to USA Today. Why? Because she opened our eyes to the rich inner lives of animals, showing us that the power of love and friendship is not for humans only.
In Unlikely Heroes, Ms. Holland uncovers and celebrates yet another side of animals that we often think belongs primarily to people—heroism, that indefinable quality of going above and beyond, often for altruistic reasons, often at great personal risk. These 37 inspiring true tales show animals whose quick acts have saved lives, like the pod of dolphins who protected swimmers in New Zealand from a great white shark by forming a screen around them. There are stories of animals who simply and unselfishly give, like Rojo the llama, who shines his very special light of loving kindness on the elderly patients in an Oregon rehab center.
And there are compelling stories of heroic resilience: like Naki’o, the abandoned puppy who lost all four paws to frostbite but found the grit not only to overcome that terrible hardship but to reclaim the joy of life—that’s him, smiling on the cover of the book.