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Fox
     

Fox

4.0 1
by Margaret Wild
 

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Wild departs from her playful characters of recent books for this haunting look at friendship and cruelty geared to older readers...After Dog saves Magpie from a fire and nurses her burnt wing the two forge a powerful bond...The mood changes quickly however when Fox enters - his sleek orange body curled around one side of a spread - and sets Magpie on edge...The stark

Overview

Wild departs from her playful characters of recent books for this haunting look at friendship and cruelty geared to older readers...After Dog saves Magpie from a fire and nurses her burnt wing the two forge a powerful bond...The mood changes quickly however when Fox enters - his sleek orange body curled around one side of a spread - and sets Magpie on edge...The stark illustrations in mixed media and collage expose the characters raw emotions with brusque hash marks in thick applications of mostly dark paint...The tale ends on a tenuously hopeful note and the images from this unsettling provocative story will resonate long after the book has been closed. -Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Wild (Nighty Night) departs from her playful characters of recent books for this haunting look at friendship and cruelty, geared to older readers. After Dog saves Magpie from a fire and nurses her burnt wing, the two forge a powerful bond. The one-eyed dog and the flightless bird travel together across a charred, leafless landscape, with Magpie feeling the wind in her feathers as she rides on Dog's back. "Fly, Dog, fly! I will be your missing eye, and you will be my wings." The mood changes quickly, however, when Fox enters his sleek, orange body curled around one side of a spread and sets Magpie on edge ("His smell seems to fill the cave a smell of rage and envy and loneliness"). The tension Wild invokes in juxtaposing their disparate emotions creates a disquieting feeling that Brooks (Rosie and Tortoise) mirrors in his artwork, especially in close-ups of the characters' eyes. His hand-lettered text (resembling a child's shaky penmanship) appears in oddly positioned blocks, with some flipped vertically against the page edges and gutter. The stark illustrations, in mixed media and collage, expose the characters' raw emotions with brusque hash marks in thick applications of mostly dark paint. Only when Fox cons Magpie into switching her allegiance and traveling with him do readers discover the depth of Fox's alienation. The tale ends on a tenuously hopeful note, and the images from this unsettling, provocative story will resonate long after the book has been closed. Ages 6-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
This picture book, originally published in Australia, is notable for its interesting font presentation and unique mixed media and collage illustrations. Dog and Magpie are friends who look out for one another. Magpie helps Dog get around, since he is blind in one eye. Dog lets Magpie ride on his back, since her injured wing prohibits her from flying on her own. When a Fox with a rich red coat joins the duo, Magpie senses a threat to the friendship. After some treachery and double crossing, an open-ended conclusion leaves readers wondering if the friendship will be saved. Black type, hand-lettered by the illustrator, meanders both horizontally and vertically along the page, making this book an interesting and challenging read. 2001 (orig. 2000), Kane/Miller, $14.95. Ages 4 to 7. Reviewer: Christopher Moning
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-The simplicity of presentation belies the sophistication of this allegorical tale that demonstrates the tremendous power of caring and friendship. Dog, blinded in one eye, finds Magpie, whose wing has been burned in a forest fire. He carries her to his cave, but she is distraught and bitter because she can no longer fly. Dog is a true and patient friend and an optimist, and his encouragement lifts the bird's spirits. ("I will be your missing eye, and you will be my wings," Magpie declares.) Enter dashing, flattering Fox, full of "rage and envy and loneliness," who attempts to destroy the friendship by luring Magpie away. In this short tale, Wild conveys some of the stages of human grief-anger, depression, and withdrawal and, finally, acceptance. Brooks's dramatic illustrations perfectly suit the text. Thick, textured paint in shades of brown, peachy beige, and bluish gray, detailed in black line and frequent scratchboardlike technique, sets off the rich, fiery tone of Fox's fur and allows readers to sense the excitement and danger that his presence engenders in Magpie. The text is hand lettered in large, childish print, sometimes on pasted paper scraps. Use the book with younger children to prompt discussions of both friendship and loss; use it with older students as a fine example of allegory and outstanding artistic presentation.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Ambiguities and rawly expressionistic art turn this tale of friendship and temptation from the creators of Rosie and the Tortoise (1999) into a strongly atmospheric psycho-fable. Though permanently grounded by a burnt wing, Magpie discovers that riding atop her friend, one-eyed Dog, as he runs through the bush feels-almost-the same: " �FLY, DOG, FLY! I will be your missing eye, and you will be my wings.' " When a fox comes into the picture, offering Magpie more speed, desire overcomes loyalty-but after an exhilarating ride the fox leaves her far out in the desert, saying, " �Now you and Dog will know what it is like to be truly alone.' " Brooks hand-lettered the text in large, irregular lines that sometimes change direction, and creates semi-abstract, strongly colored scenes of scored, combed, thickly applied paint. It's visually striking, but closing with Magpie just beginning to "jiggety-hop" her way back to Dog after hearing an ominous, distant scream, it's really more of an open-ended discussion starter than a conventionally constructed story. (Australian Children's Book Council's Picture Book of the Year) (Picture book. 9-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781742373195
Publisher:
Allen & Unwin Pty., Limited
Publication date:
09/28/2011
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

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Fox 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book will haunt your sleep and make you cry at night. It's about futility and betrayal and love and it is heartbreaking. It is not for small children. It is a beautiful, sad book.