How to Be a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery

Sy Montgomery has spent a lifetime studying animals in their native habitats. She has written over 20 books including several very popular children’s books. She has had an adventurous and exciting life.



Sy has spent her life studying the behavior of a wide variety of animals around the world. From domestic animals such as cats and dogs, to animals in the wild such as Emus and Octopi.

She shares some of the most memorable moments with her readers. From early childhood to modern times (published in 2018). She brings us with her on a journey of learning, happiness and sadness.

What I Liked:

This is definitely a feel good book. It is a semi-auto-biographical look into the life of Sy Montgomery and the animals with which she shared her life. Sy shows us how these animals helped to shape the person she is today, transforming her from the child of a military family into an intrepid adventurer and then, later, into a confident and relaxed creature.

She has a message in all of this and it’s pretty subtle. If you didn’t know the title, you might not get it. All of Sy’s experiences led her towards becoming a better creature. I really liked that she gave us this message in the form of happy (and sometimes sad) stories about her life. I like that she didn’t beat us over the head with her message.

Areas for Improvement:

The one thing that could be improved is the one thing that makes the book as good as it is. It’s the message. If I didn’t know the title already and I hadn’t read the acknowledgements, I wouldn’t have understood the message Sy was trying to get across.


I would highly recommend this book. It is a somewhat of an auto-biography but it reads more like James Herriot’s stories of veterinary life in 1930’s England. The author brings us on a journey that, at various times, makes us want to laugh out loud with joy or cry with sorrow. But all the while it’s entertaining and engaging. I didn’t want to put it down.

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