Little Fox in the Forest
by Graegin, Stephanie

"A wordless picture book in which two friends follow a young fox deep into the woods and discover a wondrous and magical world"-

Stephanie Graegin received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Arts and her MFA in printmaking from the Pratt Institute. She is the illustrator of several books for children, including The Lost Gift by Kallie George; Water in the Park by Emily Jenkins, which received three starred reviews; Peace Is an Offering by Annette LeBox; and How to Share with a Bear by Eric Pinder. Little Fox in the Forest is her authorial debut. Stephanie lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her at

*Starred Review* Illustrator Graegin makes her authorial debut in this wordless picture-book adventure. Through cyan-blue paneled scenes, delicately rendered in pencil, watercolor, and ink, readers watch as a young girl gets ready for school and receives instructions to bring something old and treasured for show-and-tell. The girl immediately knows what she will bring: her beloved stuffed-animal fox. After school the next day, the girl plays on the swing as a real red-faced fox eyes her backpack from the bushes. Quick as, well, a fox, it snatches the toy from her bag and dashes into the woods. The girl follows the furry thief through the aqua-hued trees, pops of color interrupting the landscape, until she arrives at a vibrantly colored village, populated by nattily dressed woodland creatures. She makes her way through the town, asking animals for help, and eventually arrives at the fox's house, where their toy conflict is sweetly resolved. Children will love the whimsy of this story and how a simple trip to school could end in an enchanted village. The panel artwork moves the narrative swiftly along, while full- and double-page spreads give readers a chance to pause over delightfully detailed scenes. A charming, fantastical twist on the backyard adventure. Copyright 2016 Booklist Reviews.

A small child, a fox, and the deep forest: not a grim tale at all but rather a magical journey culminating in an act of mutual kindness. Front endpapers show a shelf with dolls, stuffed animals (including a stuffed fox), and books, including Adventures of a Small Fox and The Magical Unicorn, which foreshadow the story to come. The protagonist, a brown-skinned child with a black pageboy, brings the much-beloved fox to show and tell and then takes it out to the playground at recess. But when the child plays on the swings, a real fox takes the stuffed fox and runs off with it through the woods. Up to now the wordless panels have been tinged with blue; the live fox is a vivid orange. The child and a light-skinned friend with close-cropped hair and glasses follow, the pages becoming more varied in hue and highly saturated before bursting, Oz-like, with color when they reach the fairy-tale town where the fox lives. The little fox and the child exchange hugs and stuffed animals, the child returns home, and the endpapers now show a polka-dot unicorn in place of the stuffed fox. (Unfortunately, this unicorn, crucial to the arc of the wordless narrative, is mostly covered by the flyleaf.) The illustrations are rendered in pencil, watercolor, and ink, assembled and colored digitally. Young children will pore over this wordless picture book again and again, finding something new to enjoy each time. A wordless picture book that makes a great read. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus 2016 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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