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In a series of leisurely and loving portraits, Jack Schaefer describes a whole ark-full of creatures great and small, who mostly live beyond the din of traffic and the glare of city lights, from the industrious pika, whose sophisticated stockpiling permits him to live in comfort on the desolate rockslides of the high Rockies, to the magnificent pronghorn, whose very appearance represents a perfection of successful adaptation. The book is packed with a thousand bits of information, much of it surely unfamiliar even to the well-read naturalist: the special conditions of a bat's pregnancy, the subterranean architecture of the gopher, the seasonal frustrations of the stolid porcupine. But more important is the overall warmth and geniality of the author's vision--one would like to call it his humanity, but, alas, at the present stage of our development "animality" seems a more appropriate word. In any case, the reader will end up a better mammal, and perhaps even a wiser and more understanding human being.
The story centers on the friendship of a wise old shepherd and a young boy. This relationship helps the young boy to learn various things -about animals, friendship, bravery and wisdom- in life.<P><P> Newbery Medal Honor book
JACK SCHAEFER'S MEMORABLE NOVEL--A MAGNIFICENT AND ENDURING STORY ABOUT AMERICA'S OLD WEST.
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