Charming and candid, Australian children's book author Fox reminisces, in her mid-40s, about her eventful life. Despite the title, the book is more about Fox than her books, though fans should find it interesting. A child of Australian missionaries, the author grew up in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where she met an English teacher whose ``passion bulldozed any resistance we might have had'' to literature, and she developed her ear for language from the Bible. After studying drama in England, she and her ``brutally English'' husband moved to Australia in 1970. There Fox got to know her aged but vital grandfather; she concludes that her books, which often feature bonds between the young and old, give her the grandparents she lacked as a child. Fox wrote Possum Magic (which has since sold more than a half million copies worldwide) as a class assignment and details the myriad decisions such a short text required. She doesn't avoid using long words in her books, suggesting that children can understand more than adults think. A passionate educator, Fox has become an advocate of the ``whole language'' approach of teaching reading through meaningful contexts rather than as a rote act. Author tour. (Mar.)
- Jan Lieberman
Mem Fox has graced us with her special brand of Australian picture books these last 8 years. Now we are privy to her life, her philosophy, and her passions for teaching and writing. Unlike Hush in Possum Magic, she will never be invisible. Her autobiography has raised her to the level of superstar. She creates her own intense magic as she writes about her childhood in Africa, her years at drama school, her courtship and marriage, and her deep feelings for her daughter. She is outrageous, thoughtful, provocative, and candid. Buy a handful to give to your friends.
MEM FOX is the author of many acclaimed books, including Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Possum Magic, Koala Lou, Time for Bed, and, for adults, Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. She lives in Adelaide, Australia.