Incredible Journey.  Burnford, Sheila. 

Little, Brown and Co., 1961; Award 1964

Synopsis:  When their temporary caretaker leaves for a fishing trip, the three pets, a young Labrador retriever, an elderly English bull terrier and a Siamese cat set off to the west, through the Canadian wilderness to find their owners.  Along the way, the pets meet up with bears, hunters, humans kindly and less so, bad weather, raging rivers and other challenges.  Through it all, the animals continue forward with the knowledge they will reach their goal.

Themes:  Animal Stories; Determination;  Adventure Stories; Survival;  Canadian Wilderness

Author Information:  Something About the Author:  V 3, pp 32-33; V 38, p 42, Obituary
Children's Literature Review:  V 2, pp 19-20

Discussion Questions:
1. Name the three breeds of pets and their characteristics.  Standard 1, Benchmark 5
2. According to the ancient Indian woman, who was the old white dog?  What other Native American folktales do you know?  What are some of the animals in these folktales?  What was the legend the little girl brought home to read to her parents about Siamese cats?  Standard 2, Benchmark 4
3. Discuss the difference in attitudes between Peter and Elizabeth, about the success of their pets returning home.  Which way would you feel?  Would you be able to maintain Elizabeth's belief that everything would be all right?  Standard 3, Benchmark 3

Activities:
1. Find your town on a map.  Using the town as the center, draw a circle around it, which shows a 250-mile distance in all directions.  Using the map, travel books, and state information, plot out what these animals would have to travel through to reach your town.  Standard 1, Benchmark 5
2. AFTER reading the book, watch the Disney movie, HOMEWARD BOUND: The Incredible Journey, released in 1993.  Using a Venn diagram, examine the differences and similarities between the book and the movie.  Standard 3, Benchmark 1
3. Invite someone from the local Humane Society or the Animal Shelter to talk about care, licensing and tracking of pets in the community.  Standard 7, Benchmark 1