Andy Warner’s Oddball Histories: Pests and Pets

Andy Warner’s Oddball Histories: Pests and Pets header

Andy Warner, the author of the entertaining popular history Brief Histories of Everyday Objects, returns with a similar, animal-focused book, Andy Warner’s Oddball Histories: Pests and Pets.

Readers discover when and how certain animals were domesticated and some of the beliefs held about them. Some of the animals are eaten, some die in war, some are pampered, some are fads.

He’s divided this collection of interesting facts and explanations into three categories:

  • “Creatures We Find Cute” goes beyond dogs, cats, and hamsters to include rabbits, guinea pigs, goldfish, and horses.
  • “Creatures We Find Useful” are cows, pigs, donkeys, sheep, chickens, and bees!
  • Creatures That Find Us Useful”, aka pests: rats, mice, pigeons, sparrows, raccoons, and cockroaches.

Andy Warner’s Oddball Histories: Pests and Pets

The colorful sections, with their cartoony illustrations, make history entertaining by adding in fun and unusual facts, presented with humor. The disturbing parts of the story aren’t avoided, either, with mention, for example, of cockfighting in the chicken chapter and the plague with the rats. It’s a fascinating book to dip in and out of, or if reading through, to note the many similarities throughout the centuries.

(Review originally posted at Good Comics for Kids.)

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