Timeless Thursdays: The Incredible Journey by Shelia Burnford
October 29, 2009 in Burnford Shelia, Elementary Educators, Making Personal Connections, Middle Grade Novel, Reading Skills, Timeless Thursdays, Writing Skills Tags: animal books, Homeward Bound movie, Middle Grade Novel, pet books, Shelia Burnford, The Incredible Journey
I am sharing my pets with you today (Chester the boxer and Hush Puppy the basset hound) because I am an animal lover. And because I am an animal lover, I also want us to take a trip back and remember the book The Incredible Journey by Shelia Burnford. Many of you have probably seen the Disney movie Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, starring the voices of Michael J. Fox, Sally Field, and Don Ameche as the animals that make their way back home after an incredible journey. There’s not a dry eye in the room when those three lovable pets make their way back at the end. The movie is based on Shelia Burnford’s book.
The book was published in 1961 by Little, Brown the first time. Then it was re-released by Bantam and Delacorte Press in the 1990s. The movie came out in 1993; and of course, it differs from the book as all movies do. But still both are great and wonderful and a good animal story, bringing tears to the eyes of readers and watchers, like some other old classics: Old Yeller and Where the Red Fern Grows. In this story, we are not dealing with any dead dogs though. (You know, there’s so many dead dogs in children’s literature that Gordon Korman wrote the book, No More Dead Dogs!)
If you have animal lovers at home or in your classroom, suggest to them that they read The Incredible Journey. When they are finished, they can watch the movie, and they can compare and contrast the two. Which one did they like better? Why? You can also ask kids to discuss why they think so many recent kids’ movies are based on books like Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs or Where the Wild Things Are. And why do movies differ from the book? These are all interesting discussions or writing topics for children.
So, do you have a pet? What kind? What name? Have a pet story? Have a favorite pet book? Let us all know!