Fox Eyes

Fox Eyes

by Mordicai Gerstein
     
 

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Martin is spending the end of summer with Great-Aunt Zavella. She knows the woods inside and out, every fern and every flower. She even seems to know the red fox that watches Martin when he plays the violin. Aunt Zavella has warned Martin never to stare into a fox’s eyes. But what could possibly happen if he did?


Overview

Martin is spending the end of summer with Great-Aunt Zavella. She knows the woods inside and out, every fern and every flower. She even seems to know the red fox that watches Martin when he plays the violin. Aunt Zavella has warned Martin never to stare into a fox’s eyes. But what could possibly happen if he did?


Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
An entry in the "Road to Reading" series, this eleven-chapter fantasy imagines that if a boy looks too long into the eyes of a golden fox, he and the fox change places. It happens to Martin on his last day with his Great Aunt Zavella, and both Martin and the fox enjoy their species switch. Martin loves chasing animals in the forest, avoiding his violin practice and being tuned in to nature. But he can't face the killed rabbits and chipmunks, and cinnamon smells call him home. While he doesn't want to change places with the fox, the fox is dying to learn to play the violin, so just for a minute the two switch back. But once back in their natural skins, both are glad. As Martin goes home, the fox and Great Aunt Zavella find each other because she can speak fox, having learned it in the old country. A cut above the usual easy reader, this book reads smoothly, the fantasy is just enough to propel the story along, and loose ends are tied up. Martin is a likeable character, and Gerstein's pen-and-ink illustrations are nicely spaced and artistically interesting. A good read for capable second and third grade readers. 2001, Golden Books, $3.99. Ages 7 to 9. Reviewer: Susan Hepler
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-In the first book, Martin is spending the summer with his Great Aunt Zavella, who has warned him never to stare into a fox's eyes. However, he is tempted and finds himself in the fox's body for a day. Using a magical-realism style, Gerstein is successful in leading readers to suspend belief that the child and animal could change places. Yet this is a complicated concept for new readers. Rich and Famous is a sequel to Welcome to Starvation Lake (Golden, 2000). Here, the fourth graders are having a contest to see who can raise the most money to pay for a class trip to ecology camp. The plot is filled with action, exaggerated humor, and clever twists. Both books consist of text with simple sentence construction peppered with a few complex sentences. Even though these transitional chapter books look appropriate for third-grade children, some inexperienced readers will find the stories a bit too complex to follow. Both books have some chapters that are 13 pages long, broken by only one or two full-page, pen-and-ink illustrations. Margins provide only a limited amount of white space. In addition, Rich and Famous has nine characters plus assorted family members, friends, and teachers to keep track of as they travel from home to school in the story. These are not first purchases.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
On the last day of a summer vacation, Martin looks into a fox's eyes, and discovers just what his Great Aunt Zavella meant when she warned him of the "little trick" that foxes can play. Suddenly, he has four legs and a bushy tail-and clever Sharpnose, who had engineered the whole encounter, is lodged in a boy's body, with its oh-so-useful hands. Both are exhilarated by the switch, at least initially. Adding occasional freely sketched ink drawings that reflect the sunny tone, Gerstein crafts a tale rich in magic, music, and the profound pleasure of suddenly seeing the world through new eyes. Great Aunt Zavella, who grew up in the Old Country where "nothing is only one thing and everything can be anything"-and where every child learns fox language in the second grade-isn't fooled for long; working subtle magic of her own with songs and good-humored persuasion, she soon has the pair happily back in their original bodies. New chapter-book readers will be won over by the episode's engaging cast and well-tuned sense of wonder. (Fiction. 8-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307265098
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
04/26/2005
Series:
Road to Reading Series
Pages:
80
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 7.63(h) x 0.19(d)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

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