Anthropomorphism is back: Burr, a raccoon, lives in a tree apartment with a closet and butter cookies, and is bored with life. Minkley arrives seeking sanctuary from Coati and Witt (a kite); he and Burr set off for Harbor Town, adding Sampson, a vain peacock, and three musical shrews to their party en route. They are pursued by the villains through swamps and a cave and are captured by pirates, but finally escape to Harbor Town. Children may enjoy this odyssey, but more careful readers will be jolted by details such as the inclusion of the South American coati, the animals' cavalier attitude toward their pursuers once they have escaped them, and the way some of the animals eat human dinners while others, like alligators, eat small animals. Dialogue and explication are often heavy-handed: ""He feared the animal for he was never sure how safe he was from the creature's wrath."" And one longs for a journey motivated by a grand quest, a moral imperative, or at least a decent conflict.