A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that a clever story and evocative writing will keep animal lovers and adventure fans turning the pages.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Is it any good?
Kids love survival novels because they identify with the characters and feel powerful and independent right along with the protagonists; the treat here is that the characters are animals. And they act like real animals. These are not the usual talking animals in fetching outfits -- nothing in this book seem impossible for real-life cats and dogs.
The author, who knows animals intimately, conveys their wordless communication -- encouraging each other through eye contact and body language, mourning a companion who is assumed lost, or sharing the spoils of a hunt. There's plenty of action here, but like the animal's personalities, it's not over-the-top. Kids can easily imagine that they're crossing vast swaths of unpopulated land, and long stretches of quiet, forlorn beauty are punctuated by occasional terror, mishap, or joy. But readers who favor constant action over a story based on setting and mood may find the book slow going.