Monday, September 12, 2016

The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith


Reviewed by Ambrea

Fox found an unlikely friend in Star, who used his light to guide Fox through the frightening forest.  Content with his life with Star, Fox forages for food and spends his days—and nights—prowling the underbrush.  But when Star suddenly disappears, Fox is left alone in the cold and dark.  To find Star, Fox embarks on a journey beyond the forest he knows to find his beloved friend.

I don’t usually read children’s book, but I found myself instantly intrigued by the cover of The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith.  I stumbled across it purely by accident, spying the cover on a recommendation list or, maybe, one of the many bookish websites I inhabit.  Anyway, I read it simply because I fell in love with the cover.  I mean, I loved the deep blue background highlight by twisting, spiraling vines and the aforementioned fox.  Something about the artistry intrigued and enchanted me—and, besides which, I simply couldn’t pass up a book about a fox.

Admittedly, I thought it might be a young readers novel—like something in the realm of Louis Sachar, or Cressida Cowell—but I discovered it’s actually a children’s book, a carefully illustrated story that lasts, at most, 30 pages.  However, I must say I was pleased with The Fox and the Star.  It’s a wonderful little story that’s I’m sure will appeal to young readers and, possibly, their parents.

I loved the illustrations.  I loved Fox and his bright orange fur; I loved the dark, quiet forest with its vines and its rabbit dens; I loved the sky of stars.  And I absolutely loved the phrase, “Look up beyond your ears.”  It had a quality to it, a strangely scintillating illustration that appealed to me more than I expected.

It’s not a very complex book, but, as I pointed out, The Fox and the Star is a children’s book.  Altogether, The Fox and the Star is wonderfully drawn fable that feels different from the usual ones I’ve stumbled across in children’s literature.  More importantly, it combines a creative story with fantastic illustrations to create a magical book.

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