This is the story of how, one by one, a man found himself a family. Almost nowhere in fiction is there a stranger, dearer, or funnier family -- and the life that the members of The Animal Family live together, there in the wilderness beside the sea, is as extraordinary and as enchanting as the family itself.
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