Animal Stars – book review

Animal Stars

This book was a gift and covers more than just dogs.  Horses, birds, cats, monkeys and other animals also feature.  (The book opens with a section on horses, moves to other animals, and then sections devoted to dogs and cats, follow.)

Published in support of the American Humane Association (co-author Robin Ganzert is the President and CEO of the AHA) , which provides representatives on film sets to ensure animals are treated well, I had high hopes for the book.

Perhaps I was looking to hear more about the animal’s background before they started training to be animal actors, or perhaps I was expecting more detail about the training methods used,  or perhaps I needed to see the stories set out in chronological order so we could build a history of animals in film… For whatever reason, this was one of those books which I simply couldn’t get into.

It has a nice format, with small vignettes in the margins featuring quotations from actors and directors.  But somehow, the book felt like a marketing exercise for the AHA (most vignettes espouse the value of having the AHA on set).  It lacked a consistent ‘voice’ since it is really a compilation of stories written by those involved in films and training; a better job at editing the content may have resulted in a book that was more consistently entertaining and an easier read.

Recommended as ‘borrow from the library’ rather than ‘buy’.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand



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