Animals in the News
Richard Crystal
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Animals in the News* online

Animals in the News

Richard Crystal
Warner Books
88 pages
August 2003
rated 2 of 5 possible stars

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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.

© 2003 by Deborah Straw for Curled Up With a Good Book

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