"This companion to Survivors tells the stories of 33 animals who served alongside humans in wartime. Long introduces dogs such as Tipperary Beauty, a terrier who rescued pets during the London Blitz, and Ricky, a Welsh collie sheepdog who cleared minefields. Noncanine subjects include Sergeant Reckless, a Mongolian racehorse who helped U.S. Marines during the Korean War; Simon, a ship cat who prevented rats from eating sailors’ food during the Chinese Civil War; and Voytek, a bear taken in by the Polish Army corps who transported artillery shells and became fond of beer and cigarettes. Hyndman’s matte, earth-toned illustrations imagine the animals leaping across smoky battlefields, navigating cities of rubble, and, in the case of carrier pigeons, careening across the sky with lifesaving messages. Readers will be heartened to learn of the accolades many of the animals received following their service, and that several enjoyed retirements as pets." Publisher's Weekly
"A large-format hardcover gathers together true stories of adventure and survival.Two that are well-known, at least to adults, are Ernest Shackleton's ill-fated Antarctic expedition and the ordeal of Aron Ralston, who cut off his own arm with a dull pocketknife in order to extricate himself from a dislodged boulder that trapped him in a narrow canyon, the subject of the film 127 Hours. Lesser known is the story of Poon Lim, who survived 133 days alone in the South Atlantic when the merchant ship he was serving on was sunk by a U-boat. At one point, he caught a shark several feet long, pulled it aboard his raft, beat it to death, and proceeded to suck its blood and eat it raw for nourishment. Seventeen-year-old Juliane Koepcke, the sole survivor of a plane crash in the Peruvian rain forest, relied on survival lessons taught by her parents. During her nine-day ordeal, she poured gasoline on her wounds, which succeeded in removing 35 maggots from one arm. In a skiing accident, Anna Bågenholm was trapped under freezing water for so long her heart stopped. Four hours later, medics managed to warm her blood enough to revive her. The attractive design features a full-page or double-page-spread color illustration depicting a pivotal moment in each well-told story. ... A great collection of harrowing, true survivor stories."
Thirty-three tributes to heroic working animals and doughty mascots, mostly in wartime.
Though the most colorful yarn here stars Voytek, a bear cub adopted by a brigade of expat Polish soldiers who taught him to smoke, drink, and even carry artillery shells, there's a distinctly British (and doggy) slant to this large-format companion to the human-centered Survivors (2017). Long sticks mostly to the two world wars, with occasional excursions to ground zero on and after 9/11, the (latest) war in Afghanistan, and a few other bidders. He relates, in no obvious order, exploits of Murphy the donkey, the "four-legged ambulance" of Gallipoli; "Sgt." Reckless, a packhorse awarded two Purple Hearts in Korea; several rescue dogs in the trenches and the Blitz; homing pigeons who carried timely or lifesaving messages for incredible distances; even a cat who helped the crew of a damaged ship survive a monthslong siege. The author goes for sentiment over gritty detail (Blitz rescue dog Rip's "little heart eventually gave up"), and if not all of the animals survived their heroics, the narratives at least end on upbeat notes. Hyndman adds painted portraits at the chapter heads and occasional double-page scenes of climactic moments; human figures likely default to white, though they are uncommon and their faces are turned away or left in shadow. There is a table of contents but no index or source list.
Repetitive in bulk, but in digestible doses, rewarding fare for younger browsers. (Nonfiction. 9-12)