Richard Adams is one of my favorite authors. He is most famous for his novel Watership Down, which is about several rabbits who leave their home on a farm after one of them has a vision that something terrible is going to happen. Adams does a wonderful job of writing the story from the rabbits’ point of view, even giving them their own language, customs, and legends. In 2012, an illustrated edition of Watership Down was released featuring beautiful paintings by Aldo Galli. Adams also published Tales from Watership Down, which is a collection of short stories that includes many of the myths referred to in Watership Down, and several others that every rabbit hears as a young kit.
Animals play a strong part in most of Adams’ other works. The Plague Dogs is about two dogs who escape from an experimental laboratory and become friends with a fox who helps them learn to survive in the wild. Shardik is a fantasy story about a gigantic bear who mysteriously appears in a far off land whose people then believe him to be a god. The Unbroken Web: Stories and Fables is a collection of fairy tales from around the world – most of them involving animals – retold by Adams. Traveller is the story of Robert E. Lee’s favorite horse, told from the horse’s point of view. Just a few months ago, The Tyger Voyage – a verse picture book that chronicles the epic adventures of a tiger and his son, and is beautifully illustrated by Nicola Bayley – was rereleased.
The sad news is that only Watership Down, Tales from Watership Down, The Plague Dogs, and The Tyger Voyage are currently in print. I’ve had to find copies of anything else at Powell’s, and even there I haven’t had much luck. The good news is that all of these books, and several more, are available through our system!