An Armful of Animals by Malcolm D Welshman (Book Review)

An Armful of Animals by Malcolm D Welshman

Today I get to combine my two most favourite subjects, animals and books! This is an Indie publication called An Armful of Animals by Malcolm D. Welshman, a retired vet who has many fascinating stories to tell.

Postcard An Armful of Animals 2

Malcolm D. Welshman has had a lifetime filled with exciting encounters with animals. As a lad in Nigeria, he is attacked by soldier ants and terrified by a snake in his treehouse. His treasured companion, Poucher, an African bush dog, prevents him and his mother from being savaged by baboons.
Once qualified as a vet Malcolm has to attempt life-saving surgery on his beloved parrot. On a road trip across the Sahara, there is a tussle with a lame camel and the operation on an Ostrich gored by an antelope.
Settling back in West Sussex in England, he tackles a cow that’s got stuck in a tree, wily cats and battles with cunning badgers and baby bats.
He shares all these fascinating experiences in this gently humorous memoir that will guarantee to tug at the heart strings while bringing a smile to your face. Anyone who loves animals will be enchanted and enthralled

‘A witty take on a young vet’s life that pet lovers will find endearing.’ – Bel Mooney, Daily Mail.
‘A joyful read full of animals and fun.’ – Celia Haddon, author and former Daily Telegraph columnist.
‘Bursting with exotic creatures and eccentric characters, this touching memoir makes for a spellbinding read where the author’s love of animals shines through.’ – Jenny Itzcovitz, editor of


Purchase Here from Amazon

My Review

This is a delightful memoir written by a retired vet who first recalls his encounter with Nigel the Newt as a young boy. He goes on to tell us about his lifelong affinity with animals, stretched across several continents, and from both a personal and professional perspective.

There is Polly the African Grey parrot, acquired in Nigeria where Malcolm’s father was based in the army. She was bought to England and loved to torment the poor little Maltese dog called Yambo by imitating the doorbell. She had a vast vocabulary and incredible ability to imitate members of the family.

So, imagine how you would feel, as a newly trained vet, when you need to do emergency surgery on your lifelong pet parrot?

Did Polly survive? …You’ll have to read the book to find out!

Then there is Poucher the African bush dog whose heroics saved lives, Houdini hamsters, a large roost of rare bats and a dog who disliked having his claws trimmed (a bit like my Darcy!)  We are also treated to humorous anecdotes regarding animals of the more exotic kind, a lame camel and a herd of elephants are just a few.

I could happily go on and on about this amazing book. However, I don’t want to spoil the endearing, funny, brave and heartwrenching encounters. The chapters are short and the stories bite-sized.  This makes it ideal to read to a child who loves animals (especially if they have aspirations to become a vet!)

I read the book in one sitting, I found the true-life stories fascinating. An Armful of Animals took me back to my childhood, being a massive fan of James Herriot.

Malcolm D.Welshman obviously does love all creatures great and small and has the expertise to help them too. There are parts where tissues will be needed and other honest tales of some of the more frustrating elements of being a vet.

This is a five-star read and I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Many, many thanks to the author for providing an advance copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly.

About the Author


Malcolm is a retired vet and author of three fictionalised novels about the life of a young vet in his early days in practice. In September 2011, the ebook of the first, Pets in a Pickle, reached number 2 in Kindle’s bestseller list. The following year, Barnes & Noble in the US chose Pets in a Pickle as its Free Friday selection from their Nook books. As a result the ebook got 68,000 hits and 450 reviews, over half of which were 5*.

The third novel in the series, Pets Aplenty, was a finalist in the People’s Book Prize 2015.

His latest memoir, published September 2018, relates, through a series of very personal and heartfelt anecdotes, how animals that have influenced his life from a youngster in Nigeria through to his early years as a vet, starting with Nigel the newt.

Malcolm also writes features for national newspapers such as The Daily Mail, and magazines such as Dorset Life, Parrots Magazine and Cat World. The People’s Friend has run two series each of 30 stories, entitled ‘Tales from Prospect House’.

In addition, his writing and plethora of animal anecdotes, has enabled him to participate as a guest speaker on cruise ships with a tally of 44 engagements worldwide to-date.

His website is:

Twitter @malcolmwelshman


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