Animals in Children's Literature
Animals often appear in children's literature to teach moral lessons while entertaining readers, often, while behaving as humans.
Children's books tend to treat animals in one of two ways: either the animals represent attributes such as love and loyalty, however, strictly realistic (Where the Red Fern Grows, The Black Stallion) or interacting with peers animals and humans interact with each other (Frog and Toad Are Friends, bread and jam for Frances). Personally, I've always preferred the second, after reading Kenneth Grahame The Wind in the Willows, with its own rodents and amphibians English lunch on sandwiches and the use of life, real animals looked bored. Since then I have changed my point of view, but still can not help wishing that a smiling cat to help me cope with the existential enigmas, a cat of Lewis Carroll, Cheshire.
Indeed, the Victorians had the fairy tale concept of talking animals and ran with it. However, instead of their animals infused with the wisdom of prophesying donkeys and birds, authors like Grahame, Carroll and Charles Kingsley created characters based on human attributes. Mr. Toad, therefore, defines the maverick kind, the White Rabbit shows a type A personality, and the otter Kingsley The Waterbabies represents all parents who have ever claimed to want the best for their children, setting a negative example in his greed and cruelty.
Contemporary writers of children still use humans as animal models, either to continue the great fabulist tradition, as does Jon Scieszka, or to help children learn about friendship and affection, as Arnold Lobel and Tomi Ungerer do. The late Richard Scarry once said that the animals used to eliminate racial stereotypes, and also because children relate better to animals that talk of stories for children to talk. It's an interesting premise that has been connecting children in reading for years.