Book Review: “What the Walrus Knows”

Book Review: "What the Walrus Knows"

I’ve always been an avid reader. Everything from fiction to biographies have passed by my eyes so very few books surprise me anymore. However, Sarah Bamford Seidelmann’s book “What the Walrus Knows” has actually left me feeling a little in shock. Sarah’s book discusses the power that “beasties,” or animals, can bring to us; though not in your typical sense. This isn’t a book about how owning a dog can change your life (though she does admit that this does happen) or how training kittens can make you a better person. Instead, it’s about listening to the natural world around us and interpreting meaning from signs and signals that “beasties” relay to us. This may mean garnering a personal message when a squirrel drops a nut on your head or when a crow caws loudly outside your window – examples of ‘Guest Beasties’ who come to us briefly to deliver a message.

I know, seems a bit strange. That was my initial impression too. Then as I delved a bit deeper into the book I came to the section on ‘Core Beasties’ or your inner animal that you have a special connection with (which you might not have even known about prior to reading this book). Sarah provides an easy method for uncovering your Core Beastie – who can provide insight into why you do the things you do, how to approach new projects, or how to simply interpret an event – by including a series of simple questions you can ask yourself. For example, what was the first stuffed animal you owned as a child? Or, if you look around your room, do you have any animal decorations? That’s when it hit me – my Core Beastie is a tiger! The first stuffed animal I ever owned was a tiger cub named Raja and glancing about my room I noticed I had a tiger rug as well as a picture frame with tiger stripes. Damn. After that “ah-hah” moment, I really began to listen to what Sarah was saying in this book. That’s when I realized she is an extremely talented writer with an intimate connection to nature that most people would never be able to understand – until now.

Her book lets everyone in on the secret of how to connect with your natural surroundings and the myriad of creatures that populate it. A reference guide in the back allows you to see what each and every creature represents so if you come across a “beastie” and aren’t quite sure what to make of it, you can flip to the back of the book and read the beautifully poetic messages that each animal may bring to us. This all might sound a little bit confusing, but trust me, it’s definitely worth a read. She can explain everything way better than I can, after all! If you’re at all interested in cultivating a deeper sense of self-awareness and/or creating a strong bond with nature then you should read “What the Walrus Knows.”

You can buy Sarah Bamford Seidelmann’s book on her website here.

Edit: I’ll be giving away two copies of “What the Walrus Knows” to two lucky readers who comment on this post. Just write something and I’ll pick your names out of a hat! Good luck!