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|Publisher||The Viking Press|
|Media type||Hardcover, paperback|
|Followed by||The Tough Winter|
The story takes place in countryside by a crossroads in Westport, Connecticut. The animal inhabitants are suffering as the house nearby has been abandoned for several years and the untended garden, the animals' source of food, has withered to nothing. "New Folks" then move into the house: Are they hunters, or friendly gardeners who will provide for the animals?
Literary significance and criticism
The book was written at the end of World War II when racial integration and providing aid to the war torn countries of Europe were on everyone's minds. When reading the story with those in mind, the moral intent becomes clear. Printings of the book beginning in the 1970s and continuing today have edited the character Sulphronia, the new occupants' cook. This was done because she was originally depicted as an African American stereotype.
Film and television
|Newbery Medal recipient
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