Granted the initial subterfuge, the plot [of Alan and the Animal Kingdom] hangs together firmly, cemented by Alan's passionate concern for his animals. He commands our sympathy, however much we may disapprove of his actions; the clash of values for an orphan who has been badly let down by adults and scorns their trust is sharpened as practical demands overwhelm idealistic devotion. The final resolution is neither sentimental nor engineered…. (pp. 143-44)
"The New Books: 'Alan and the Animal Kingdom'," in The Junior Bookshelf, Vol. 44, No. 3, June, 1980, pp. 143-44.