About the Post

Author Information

Elizabeth is a Vancouver-based writer, editor, and author. Her first book “Beyond Black and White” is available now. She is an old soul who's young at heart, a human jukebox, and a corgi lady in training. Follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @ElizabethThe.

Book Review: Lisa Rogak’s “One Big Happy Family”

Sometimes, the most incredible family bonds are not the ones we were born into, but the ones we find for ourselves.

In “One Big Happy Family“, Lisa Rogak shares heartwarming stories of interspecies parenting and guardianship among animals you wouldn’t expect to see living together, much less supporting and caring for one another. In these special cases, these surrogate parents defy their predatory instincts in favour of their parental instincts, by rescuing the lives of orphaned, abandoned, and at-risk young creatures and choosing to raise them as their own children.

The book showcases fifty profiles of animals of one species mothering or fathering young animals from a different species. Each pairing or grouping is accompanied with adorable photography (featuring these foster families interacting or cuddling with each other) and a short yet sweet blurb describing their incredible relationship. These unlikely and unique combinations include the lioness and the antelope calf, the orangutan and his lion cubs (spotlighted on the book’s covers), the chicken, the goose, and their three ducklings, the pig and her kitten, and many examples of canines (man’s best friend) connecting with other animals.

“One Big Happy Family” celebrates the complexities of parenthood and the miracle of interspecies animal adoption. As these stories demonstrate, the instinct to love and to nurture those in need is universal, and that instinct can override the tendency to remain within the boundaries of one’s own kind. As stated in the introduction, the actions of these altruistic animals “serve[s] as a stellar example of the caring and compassion that we humans can strive for.”

It is astonishing and remarkable how the extraordinary behavior of these caring creatures represents the truest form of compassion. The relationships cultivated by interspecies animal adoption can teach humans a number of important lessons on the true meaning of family. In many of these stories, the foster parent also endured abandonment and/or abuse in their infanthood, which ultimately motivates them to overcome their upbringing and give back to those they most understand. Above all, the strongest message “One Big Happy Family” is that You Can Define Your Family. When you decide to take others under your loving wing (or paw), miracles will happen.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


  1. One Big Happy Family | Elizabeth Rosalyn - December 16, 2013

    […] Continue reading on The Hudsucker… […]

Leave A Reply [Invalid Emails Will Be Marked As Spam]

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: