Multcolib My Librarian Alison: Philosophical dogs, talking cats
Annotation:I love the fact that the main character finds solace in a library, not to mention the elements of magic realism, including an elderly man who is able to speak to cats.
Annotation:This story with allusions to Hamlet takes place on a farm where dogs are bred and trained. A mute boy is unable to speak with humans, but has a close connection with his dogs and finds himself relying on them when a man with unknown intentions comes to live on the farm.
Annotation:In Nix's Sabriel series, spirits are often bound into the form of animals who can often be convinced, or coerced, into serving humans. The Disreputable Dog and Mogget, who appears to be a white cat but who would be an uncontrollable force should the red collar around his neck be removed, are among my favorites.
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I've always enjoyed an element of the fantastical in my reading, especially when it's done with care. Here are some titles where sentient animals play a leading role - either by serving their human companions or challenging human behavior.