What could be more unlikely than a boy growing up with a pet cheetah? This true story, told in photographs, text, and drawings, has fascinated my kids ever since they were toddlers—and it is downright compelling for grown-ups, as well. Xan Hopcraft grew up with a pet cheetah (who was abandoned as a baby) at his home in Nairobi, Kenya. When the magnificent animal, Dooms, died, Xan wrote a story about what it was like to have a cheetah as part of his family, and the impact of his loss. How it Was With Dooms is a tender and moving book, but also one that shows that cheetahs are, in fact, wild—and like all living things, deserve our respect. --S.B.