Instinct told them that the way home lay to the west. And so the doughty young Labrador retriever, the roguish bull terrier and the indomitable Siamese set out through the Canadian wilderness. Separately, they would soon have died. But, together, the three house pets faced starvation, exposure, and wild forest animals to make their way home to the family they love. The Incredible Journey is one of the great children's stories of all time--and has been popular ever since its debut in 1961.
Although THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY focuses almost completely on the adventures of three pets (a young Labrador retriever, an elderly bull terrier, and a middle-aged Siamese cat), this story is different from many children's books about animals because the creatures are never overly anthropomorphized or given the ability to speak--either to humans or each other. True and devoted friends, the pets clearly care for each other (and their human companions), but the author takes great pains to present them as animals--animals that remain true to their natural instincts and behaviors. The story begins with the pets living with John Longridge, a friend of their human family, the Hunters, because the Hunters have temporarily relocated to England. The animals are treated well by Longridge, but they are unable to ignore their natural instincts, and eventually set out for their original home. As the trio travels the 250 miles of Canadian wilderness that separates Longridge's home from that of the Hunters, they face starvation, illness, and attacks from other animals. Illustrated with occasional B&W drawings.