A RACCOON'S FIRST YEAR by Dorcas MacClintock


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The photo album of an orphaned raccoon raised by a human. (The human, whose face we never see, is never referred to as ""he"" or ""she,"" or by name.) The pictures are accompanied by a droning voice-over-like commentary, which is especially awkward at first when MacClintock fails to zero in on the actual finding of the raccoon. Instead she refers to the event indirectly in sentences that blur background on baby raccoons with explanations of the photos. The pictures, which show the raccoon's progress through the year, capture the foundling drinking its milk (""A Baby's bottle with a soft preemie nipple has replaced the pet nurser""--but ""preemie"" is not explained), stranded out on a tree limb, foraging outdoors, getting into mischief in the house, pursuing prey in a stream, and then ensconced in her own tree den, first with a mate and then with cubs. Along the way we are given information on raccoons' hunting habits, night vision, winter denning, and other characteristics; but the dry prose that served MacClintock adequately in A Natural History of Raccoons is not well suited to this more personal observation.

Pub Date: May 3rd, 1982
Publisher: Scribners