The Incredible Journey

by Sheila Burnford | Children's Books |
ISBN: 0440226708 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 10/19/2007
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, October 19, 2007
I found this somewhat-battered paperback at the Nashua library book sale, and nabbed it as another release copy.

One of my favorite animal stories, "The Incredible Journey" still grabs me. It's sweet and funny, and dramatic in all the right places - and to this day I can bring tears to my eyes just by thinking about the final few paragraphs. [Good tears, I hasten to add...]

Those who are only familiar with the story via the talking-animals movie of recent years are missing a lot. Oh, I enjoyed the film well enough, but by anthropomorphizing the animals so much it changed the whole tone of the story. In the book, the animals do not "talk". Their behavior is always well within the bounds of what animals could do [though the story does start out assuming that they are a more closely-knit trio than most groups of pets]; even their most unnerving adventures are believable, and if there's a coincidence or two along the way to help them out of difficulties, well, those things happen {wry grin}.

One of the reasons I found the book so touching was that it did make the animals so realistic: the young dog's loyalty to his first master, his pained confusion at their separation [the three animals have been boarded with a friend of the family for nine months while the family is overseas], his sudden urge to go back to his home, and his sense of responsibility that requires he take the others with him; the old dog's wicked sense of humor, love of comfort, but unquestioning submission to the young dog's leadership [no doubt who's the alpha-critter in this pack]; and the cat's cool and exquisitely Siamese-cat-like behavior, in which he follows the others without hesitation but manages to convey that it's all his own idea at every step.

An interesting touch: while the animals have names, only the human characters use them; the narrator, when describing the animals on their lonely trek, refers to them by description only, as they might perceive each other: "the old dog/the terrier", "the young dog/the retriever", "the cat". Their interactions with a curious bear cub, a benign but mad old hermit, a tribe of Ojibway, a porcupine, a henhouse... all play out in a manner both charming and believable. I really love this book!

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Searles Road in Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, October 22, 2007

Released 13 yrs ago (10/22/2007 UTC) at Searles Road in Nashua, New Hampshire USA



I left this book propped up on a guard rail post at the corner of Searles and Salmon Brook at a little before 3 - mainly so that I could get a picture of the handsome autumn foliage on the trees in the background. [Not to gloat or anything, but it's wonderful to have all that lovely fall color - within a few blocks of my house; I can see it on every errand around town, without having to head for the hills at all! (OK, so maybe I'm gloating just a little {grin}.)]

Anyway, I hope the finder enjoys the book!

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