Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
The Animal Family (Michael Di Capua Books) Paperback – October 25, 1996
From timeless classics to new favorites, find children's books for every age and stage. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"Once upon a time, long, long ago, where the forest runs down to the ocean, a hunter lived all alone in a house made of logs he had chopped for himself and shingles he had split for himself." These words ease the reader into the elegant, dreamlike world of Randall Jarrell's Newbery Honor book The Animal Family. One night, the lonely hunter hears the singing of a mermaid, and because "he himself was as patient as an animal," the mermaid learns to trust him, speaking to him in a voice like the water. In time they teach each other their languages, with many amusing exchanges occurring as the hunter tries to teach his new friend terrestrial words and concepts. The hunter explains, "The house is a big wooden thing ... that you stay inside at night or when it rains." "Why?" she asks. "To keep from getting wet." "To keep from getting wet?" the mermaid says despairingly.
The mermaid and the hunter become a family when the hunter takes a bear cub from its mother to live with them as a son. "The bear's table manners were bad. But so were the mermaid's--especially as she couldn't resist throwing the bear pieces of fish." Having a bear around seems perfectly normal, but not quite a complete family, so eventually the hunter captures a spotted baby lynx. When the lynx brings home not another dead partridge, but a little boy, the delicate, playful family dynamics change again. This book of low-key epiphanies is packed with delightful, illuminating, often unexpected comparisons of the ocean world and the land world most non-mermaids wouldn't have considered. Enhanced by a beautiful design and gorgeous illustrations by Maurice Sendak, this book is perfect for any reader--young or old--ready for a bit of gentle philosophy with a decided twinkle. (All ages) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
A reprint of the classic 1965 Newbery Honor Book. Ages 6-up.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
Jarrell was a poet. A large portion of his work addressed WWII and is remarkable. It should be read along with narratives of the Vietnam War.
There were several children's librarians there during the years I lived next door, and they all took an interest in me as I was such a voracious reader. One gave me a copy of The Animal Family as a birthday present one year, and it immediately became my favorite book.
This story is so simply told, yet so beautiful that it has stayed with me all my life (30 years and counting since I first read it). Before the internet came along, I made it a point to locate used copies through the booksellers' network, and kept several copies on hand so that I could give them away whenever I met a special child who I thought would appreciate it.
You can read the other reviews if you want to know the story line... nothing can do it justice, however, except just reading the book. When you start, you won't want the story to end, and when it does, you will be sad that things the world - families and relationships - aren't really as beautiful, simple and loving as they are in the book.
This is an absolute MUST READ for any child. Or adult.
"Once upon a time, there was a hunter who lived alone in the woods, dreaming of those who have left him behind."
In just a few pages, the author shows us the hunter's loneliness and makes us want things for him that perhaps he doesn't even let himself dream of.
"But when the logs had burnt to embers and the embers had burnt away to coals, the man would lie in his bed, warm under the bearskin, and listen to the great soft sound the waves made over and over. It seemed to him it was like his mother singing...
Then one evening, as he stands out by the seal rocks on the shore, he hears a song being sung without words.
...as the hunter stared into the moonlight round the rocks, a sleek wet head came up out of the water, stared at him with shining eyes, and then sank back under and was gone. It was nothing he had ever seen before. Its long shining hair and shining skin were the same silvery blue-green, the color of the moonlight on the water."
The hunter and mermaid of course make a life together, and they add to their family with some very unexpected and funny choices. The imagery is evocative and quite beautiful, and the ideas and language were at times so clever that I was chortling as I turned the pages.
This is a story written in the traditional lovely, lyrical prose of old-fashioned fairy tales, and one that readers of classics will very much appreciate. The book was published in 1965 and was declared "a timeless and universal story" as reviewed for the New York Times Book review by none other than P.L. Travers, who also said "Occasionally, very rarely--like the spirit of delight--comes a book that is not so much a book but a kind of visitation. I had not known that I was waiting for The Animal Family, but when it came it was as though I had long been expecting it."
I had no idea I was waiting for this book either, but I'm very glad it finally came.
This story is so simply told, yet so beautiful that it has stayed with me all my life (30 years and counting since I first read it). I keep several copies of it so that I can give them away whenever I meet a special child who I think would appreciate it.
You can read the other reviews if you want to know the story line... nothing can do it justice, however, except just reading it. When you start, you won't want the story to end, and when it does, you will be sad that the world - and relationships - aren't really as beautiful as they are in the book.
This is an absolute MUST READ for any child. Or adult.
While perfect for bedtime, cold or rainy days, this book is appealing to me even as i grow older. The subtle lessons about companionship, newness, differences, loneliness, loss, and joy are not forced to the fore. Rather, an old-fashioned sense of creating an environment as a way to tell a story is key here. Inviting wilderness, homely relationships, and just enough magic and mystery to compel the story forward.
One of my most treasured books since i was a young child, the is a timeless and infinitely re-readable story.