The Use Of Animals To Convey Messages

The use of humanised animals in literature is not a new fad in any case, in fact, it has been around for decades!

The style is popular for numerous reasons, some being that the child can relate more to the animal than a child or even animals are used to show human nature towards each other. Think back, what stories can you remember that involve animals? Most likely they were best sellers too.


Becoming Relatable

Since a child is normally quite young when these stories are being read, there is an interesting cognitive development. Since that part of the brain that is used to “group and sort” is not yet fully formed in the early development stages, therefore, children will naturally group things together, including animals and humans. Thus, the animal in the story is not seen as an animal, but just like a child only with fur, feathers or scales!


Showing Human Nature

Children have the amazing, yet intriguing ability to separate emotions and context better with animal’s models than with human models. To capitalize on this ability, authors will show animals standing up for one another, helping their family, and otherwise teaching a fundamental moral. These books may have the animal as the main character, or show the world the animal’s eyes, as in Watership Down.



The child can relate more to an animal than another child in the story. There are several theories as to why this is, none has been thoroughly researched however. One theory is a simple deduction of who their first “friend” was, normally a stuffed animal. A child will see creatures like their stuffed animal as someone like them. Thus, they can more identify with their emotions through animals. In stories where a character is trying to pinpoint an emotion, there is terminology that a young reader may not fully comprehend. However, a growl, purr, and so on, are realistic examples of emotion exhibited by animals.


Teaching Tools

The ever present reason for using animals in the story is for the simple reason it adds a nice distance between the reader and the subject matter. This may be helpful when having to touch on difficult subjects like death, bullying, abuse, and similar topics. For some children, they were in a very bad situation in some point of their life, so having a small animal help them cope and realize these feelings can be beneficial to the healing process.

Depending on the story you are reading, and who the intended audience is, the author is able to work magic with a plot line. From implied meanings, to very touchy subjects, animals are the ideal mode of transport for these lifelong lessons that are meant to help a child develop. There is no wonder why so many of the best-selling, most recognized books through the world all feature animals as the main character. It is for the magic, wonder, and delight of the child.

A few of my previous clients

Design against furSt Ives Memory BayEden ProjectSkyRespect for animalsPets at HomeSt Moritz Hotel

  • "I am absolutely THRILLED TO BITS with your illustrations! THEY ARE MAGNIFICENT!”
    - Susanna Jennicrai, Book Author

  • "I hope my recommendation will persuade you to use Sarah! I cannot fault her, for her professionalism, enthusiasm and talent." - Michelle Hawkins, Director: The Flying DoDo

  • "You do have a very positive feel about everything you do. I do wish you continued success in all your work. All the best, SimonSimon James, Famous Children’s Book Illustrator

  • "Our brand wouldn't be the same without her on-going input. Just fab xx”
    - Justine Rogers, Dainty Dizzy

  • "Sarah understood what I was looking for and produced a fantastic logo for me.  She is very approachable and friendly – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her” Katie Jarvis, Fancy Prints

  • "Thank you so much Sarah! What a fantastic set of illustrations for the first in our series of children’s books. We can’t wait to work with you on the second book!" Jane Archer-Wilms & Marlies Veenhof

  • "Sarah provided us with an extremely friendly courteous and efficient service and injected an energy into the project, that only Sarah could" Discovery Leisure

  • "Yes!!!! Wow…Love it!!! ..thanks so much, I absolutely the character design you have done for us!!! xx” Lisa Dell, Cornish Firewood

  • “Logos received with a BIG thanks, Basically I love them all” 
    Helen Chuah, Giggling Baby Products

  • Sarah is professional, friendly and very knowledgeable, she delivered 100% with a new logo that was spot on! We can't recommend her enough!” - Lucy @ Get Active

  • "She has a keen eye for the quirky detail, she is punctual and a joy to work with. I simply cannot praise her enough.” - Clickety Books

  • "WOW! Love it! I'm so happy with what you've produced- and with so little input from me. FANTASTIC!!! THANK YOU” - Darren Pascoe: 'Red Rabbit Book'

  • "It won’t be a struggle working with Sarah, it’ll be a pleasure. Can’t recommend enough”
    - Richard Quick

  • "i really like ur books my mommy reads them 2 me all the time ur really good at drawling and i want 2 be like u when i grow up :-)"  Natassia Flegal (hd fan)

  • "The logos are absolutely fantastic, they are spot on brief and are even better than we imagined!Paolo Pini, Step Up To Languages

  • Sarah is an extremely talented designer and illustrator. She has that rare gift of being able to find something in your business or character that you never knew existed" Craig Green

  • "These posters and flyers are perfect”
    - Julia G, Manager at the Truro branch of Pets at Home

  • “I was so nervous ringing you as i've never done anything like this before, but you were so friendly and put me completely at ease.” - Donna Purvis

  • Got home tonight and the books had arrived. Absolutely love them. My girlfriend loves your illustrations.” - Andrew Jeffery: 'Wolfboy Book'

  • "Sarah is quality.  Not just her design but she is a pleasure to work with."
    - Bob Harper, Portfolio Marketing