I adored this book!! It’s a children’s novel written by poet Randall Jarrell, about a hunter who brings home a mermaid to live with him, followed by a bear, a lynx and finally a boy and they all create a family together in the woods. It’s written in this beautiful poetic language at a nice pace and you can actually hear the silence between the words. I want to live in this book. It also has lovely decorations by Maurice Sendak.
Speaking of Sendak, he recently did an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air that was so.. beautiful. I teared up listening to it. I highly recommend it if you haven’t heard it already.
P.S. It’s also fun to imagine Tom Waits reading this book in his storytelling voice. It actually fits! I had this irrational desire to want to find out if he’s read the book, cause I think he would love it. “Hi! Tom Waits! Yeah, big fan.. Anyway, have you read this book, “The Animal Family?”.. It’s this kid’s book and.. yeah.”
P.P.S. If you are at all interested, Jarrell also wrote a beautiful little book called “The Bat Poet,” about a bat who prefers to stay awake in the daytime and writes poems about the the day, as well as his everyday experience. It contains some lessons about poetry and loneliness.