Unlikely Friendships by Jennifer Holland
47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom

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Jennifer Holland’s Unlikely Friendships puts an interesting twist on cultural conflict.


It is exactly like Isaiah 11:6: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid . . . ” Written by National Geographic magazine writer Jennifer Holland, Unlikely Friendships documents one heartwarming tale after another of animals who, with nothing else in common, bond in the most unexpected ways. A cat and a bird. A mare and a fawn. An elephant and a sheep. A snake and a hamster. The well-documented stories of Koko the gorilla and All Ball the kitten; and the hippo Owen and the tortoise Mzee. And almost inexplicable stories of predators befriending prey—an Indian leopard slips into a village every night to sleep with a calf. A lionness mothers a baby oryx. Ms. Holland narrates the details and arc of each story, and also offers insights into why—how the young leopard, probably motherless, sought maternal comfort with the calf, and how a baby oryx inspired the same mothering instinct in the lionness. Or, in the story of Kizzy, a nervous retired Greyhound, and Murphy, a red tabby, how cats and dogs actually understand each other’s body language. With Murphy’s friendship and support, Kizzy recovered from life as a racing dog and became a confident, loyal family pet.

These are the most amazing friendships between species, collected from around the world and documented in a selection of full-color candid photographs.

About Jennifer Holland

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Jennifer S. Holland is a contributing writer for National Geographic magazine, specializing in science and natural history. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with her husband, three dogs, and numerous lizards. Her unlikeliest love story: One of her dogs found and saved the life of her runaway pet chameleon, Hank.
Published June 15, 2011 by Workman Publishing Company. 210 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Sports & Outdoors, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Aug 14 2011
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Unlikely Friendships
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0


Reviewed by Marsha Dubrow on Jul 11 2011

The kitchy-coo factor is mighty high, without ever being kitschy in “Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom”...

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Reviewed by Richard Weaver on Jun 25 2011

Jennifer Holland’s Unlikely Friendships puts an interesting twist on cultural conflict.

Read Full Review of Unlikely Friendships: 47 Rema...

Washington Times

Reviewed by Marion Elizabeth Rodgers on Oct 28 2011

Her text continuously raises skeptical questions. Each time the author supports her thesis with solid examples of science and behavior.

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The Express Tribune

Reviewed by Sameen Amer on Sep 24 2011

Unlikely Friendships is a charming collection of anomalous interspecies friendships, and it is inspiring to see these animals bond with each other, because if a cat and a rat can get along, then there is hope for the rest of us after all!

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