The underlying message of Dann’s 1979 novel – the importance of protecting our wildlife, and of working together – is timeless and of particular prevalence today. When their woodland home is threatened, due to planning for new human homes, a group of animals must work together to find another place to live. Taking an Oath of Mutual Protection, the animals, some of whom are born enemies, must club together to protect each other on their journey to an idyllic nature reserve, White Deer Park. Dann handles the realities of this adventure beautifully, with dangers, both natural and manmade, dogging the animals at each stage of their journey. At an age when big questions about death and the circle of life are first coming into children’s awareness, Dann deals with the harsh realities of life with a delicacy that captures the often cruel truth, but triumphs in the hope and determination of the animals’ mutual protection.