cover image A Prayer for the Animals

A Prayer for the Animals

Daniel Kirk. Abrams, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4197-3199-0

Commemorating World Animal Day on October 4, an author’s note explains, Kirk (Rhino in the House) wishes peace to the inhabitants of earth, sea, and sky, and he entreats readers to remember that these creatures want the same things they do: safety and security, “good things to eat,” and “the companionship of friends and family.” The animals (“wild animals, working animals, and pets alike”) are distinctly cuddly and often regard the audience with a direct, trusting gaze and the whisper of a smile. Kirk frames some subjects within the oval shapes of old-fashioned portraiture (in one, a green frog seems to wink), but lush double-page spreads are the real showstoppers: four pigs, happily gorging at the trough, represent a marvelous study in pinks and rich browns. The book’s prayerful wish is simple and powerful, and it could work equally well as a meaningful bedtime read or a discussion starter about what stewardship means, beyond being “a friend, a protector of the big and the small.” Ages 4–8. [em]Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Sept.) [/em]