When I was growing up, if it had an animal in it, I would read it. No question. I dreamed of the racehorses in the Farley books, named my pet rabbit after Hazel-rah in Watership down, cheered for the rats in the Nimh books...I soon learned there were two types of animals in the stories I inhaled.
One type worked with humans, the other type was the human.
Let me esplain. Those that worked with humans were the loyal sidekicks. The animal the kid in the story aspired to save / ride / win over. They were animals, had animal feelings and we as the humans could only guess at their motives.
The other type were those that 'were' the humans in the books. Anthropomorphism, I do believe it's called. Where the animal made the city, saved the day and they had their feelings out there for all to see...they were the humans (except for that small 'has a tail and excessive body hair' bit).
An excellent example of these two types are actually blog books here, actually. *g* Hilary Wagner's NIGHTSHADE CITY features anthropomorphic rats at their best - and earthworms! - while my book, POSSUM SUMMER, is on the other end of the scale...with the heartbreaking yet (hopefully) uplifting storyline.
I've read them both, and others, and really? Some days I just want to be picked up and hurled into a world where the animals are the humans. Some days I want what was my reality for so long. Who hasn't looked at their cat, watching them from the window, and wondered what exactly that dastardly beast was planning?
And you? Which type of animal story fits you best?