Animals are in the news these days. Consider the dogs of
9/11; the dogs and cats that alert their human companions of danger; the
horses like Seabiscuit that overcome all odds and win big races; the
ever-threatened wolves and manatees.
A new small format book, Animals in the News gives the words "in the
news" another spin. This book consists of amusing black and white
photos of animals doing quite preposterous, often unnatural things, with
captions by Bill Marich and Rich Ross. The book comes from the producers
of Animal Planet's TV show The Planet's Funniest Animals.
There are both domestic and wild animals in these photos, and although some
of the photos and captions are hilarious, many are only mildly funny.
Gladly for this animal-admiring reader, many of the photos and their
respective captions make fun of people rather than of other animals.
Two of my favorites in this vein are the following. A grinning lizard
is captioned with these lines: "A famous cable infomercial spokeswoman
sued a major pharmaceutical company this week for complications she
claims she experienced with that company's antiwrinkle cream." The
other, quite similar in spirit, features an iguana sporting a cowboy hat
and a vest, saying that during a conference of dermatologists in New
Mexico, the doctors "released this dramatic photo emphasizing the
importance of a good sunscreen." You get the idea.
This is a cute gift book, one that will make many people laugh or
recognize themselves. In these often-bleak times, it is a good thing to
laugh, especially at ourselves.