A collection of eight short animal tales from the perspective of a country veterinarian in England, this Treasury for Children by James Herriot is one of my favorite read aloud books for preschool and kindergarten aged children. The classic stories included are thoughtfully written with rich, descriptive language and a beautiful simplicity. They’re the perfect length to hold a young child’s attention from beginning to end, and while the stories each have their own degree of gentle humor, their most attractive quality is the tender sweetness found in every tale.
The full page illustrations by Ruth Brown and Peter Barrett are absolutely delightful (my children will sit with this book and pore over the pages, absorbing every detail). They inspire the same heartfelt sense of sweetness as the stories, working in perfect harmony to create a timeless work that parents and children can enjoy together again and again.
- “Moses the Kitten” – A humorous tale about a tiny stray kitten who finds a warm home with a family of piglets.
- “Only One Woof” – The story of an adorable, capable sheepdog who only ever barks once.
- “The Christmas Day Kitten” – A pitiful stray mother cat entrusts a kind woman with the care of her only kitten, who grows up among basset hounds and becomes more of a retriever than any of them.
- “Bonny’s Big Day” – A sweet, proud tale of a kindly farmer and his pet horses, long since put out to pasture, but for one day brought back to the center of the community.
- “Blossom Comes Home” – After many years of service, a dairy cow is regretfully sold away from home, but refuses to stay away!
- “The Market Square Dog” – The country vet and a jolly policeman work together to aid a mixed breed dog known for begging in the marketplace.
- “Oscar, Cat-About-Town” – A very amusing story of an oft-missing cat who enjoys going out visiting!
- “Smudge, the Little Lost Lamb” – This little lamb starts out with adventure on his mind, but in the end he’s quite content to stay safely at home!
My children enjoy every one of these stories, and I know it’s a book we will continue to read time and time again! I highly recommend it to any family with children!