Dog’s tales and meowmoirs: the irresistible rise of endearing animal books

A cuddly antidote to worrying times, ‘pet lit’ has become a publishing phenomenon. But isn’t it all a bit twee?

Picture the scene: it’s the end of a long day. You’re tired, you’re cold, you need to curl up with a cup of tea and something comforting to read. But wait! You also love animals. What better, then, than a copy of A Pug Like Percy, Fiona Harrison’s tale of a cute canine who has been dumped in an animal shelter, but who brings a “little miracle” to Gail and her unhappy family? Or Daisy Bell’s The Christmas Guest, a “heart-warming tale of a homeless puppy with a huge heart”? Or Jacqueline Sheehan’s A Dog Like Lloyd (“Roxanne Pellegrino’s … new life of solitude is interrupted when she meets Lloyd – a stray black labrador with an equally unhappy past”). You get the idea.

The genre – let’s go ahead ...