Creator: Kristin Tipping
Publisher: Uncivilized Books
Release Date: April 30, 2019
A Book for Sad Pets is a beautifully illustrated collection of Kristin Tipping’s reflections on the bond between pets and their owners. Tipping does not go the typical route of telling a familiar story of an owner-pet relationship (eg, I own two dogs and two cats, and this is what our days look like together). And that is precisely what makes this collection so unique and affecting.
One page contains a simple line of text — such as, “Tell me I am of value to someone.” — that is paired with an accompanying image displayed on the subsequent page. As with the example mentioned previously, each line is something that both humans and animals can relate to. We all want to be valued; we all want to be loved; we all want to be told we are smart and good. Accordingly, rather than focus on a hierarchical relationship, Tipping highlights what makes our bond with animals so mysterious and enduring. And, in doing so, this book doubles as a story about love between humans. Even if you aren’t an animal person, it’s impossible not to have an empathic response to A Book for Sad Pets. From the first line, I was feeling complex things! And then I felt more things and more things with each page.
This is not a lovey book, in the typical romance, ooey-gooey vein, and that is probably why I find it so, so appealing. It is very much in the dark humor, existentialist philosophy category. And that works so well for a book like this. Not only is it full of depth and wisdom, but it’s also full of lovely illustrations. Tipping’s watercolor, minimalist style pairs perfectly with the brief text, and their coloring helps to achieve the right tone.
A Book for Sad Pets is just too good to pass up on. Buy one for yourself, and then buy a few others to give as gifts for any occasion.