Tuesday, August 09, 2011

11: All Creatures Great and Small

The students started today! BUM BUM BUUUUM. Our kids are out of elementary school for the first time, so they're usually pretty reticent, but a couple of my classes were already hyper. I have a feeling they'll be experiencing "punishment detail" (i.e. worksheets in rows) a good bit earlier than usual!

My feet would like everyone to know that they completely wimp out every summer and don't like going back to all that tile in August. Yeeeowtch!!

The eyeball I scratched last Sunday is feeling much better. Given that my vision is excellent while my other bits and bobs are less so, I'm thrilled that there's no lasting damage!

All Creatures Great and Small
James Herriot
Published: 1976

Why?: All of Herriot’s books are delightful, and are often referred to as a group by the name of the first book, All Creatures Great and Small. The full series of books is All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, and All Things Wise and Wonderful. I first heard this book instead of reading it, and the easy-going charm of Herriot’s stories immediately drew me in. Herriot (born James Alfred Wight) deftly combines the people and animals he met as a country veterinarian in Yorkshire with a dash of fiction and light-hearted writing. These are “feel good” stories, designed to lift the spirits. There are few things I love more than short stories that can bring you out of a case of the dumps!

Early in the school year, it's always s busy that I don't have time for novels. I tend to revisit short stories by authors like Herriot. :)

Lazy picture taking is lazy on the first day of school!

I bought my hardback copies of all three books at the Alachua County Library Sale when I lived in Florida. If you live anywhere near Gainesville and you’ve never been to the library sale, make sure to get the details! You have to get there ridiculously early to get in the line, the air is stifling and hot, the noise of voices and giant fans bound off the warehouse walls, and you have to elbow people out of the way. It’s wonderful!

Gist: James Herriot is a country veterinarian in Yorkshire. These are the stories of not only his animal patients, but also his human clients, neighbors, and friends.

Bonus Trivia:
The titles for Herriot’s books (or collected volumes; they were originally smaller books) come from an old song called “All Things Bright and Beautiful.”

Perfect For: Ages 12+ (or advanced readers)

Fiction, Short Stories
Keywords: Humor, Memoir

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