Red Fox at Mccloskey's Farm

Overview

A classic conflict is given a classic treatment in Red Fox at McCloskey's Farm, a picture book sure to become a classic. A moonlit night, a hungry fox, a sleepy farmer and his watchdog, and a coop full of nervous chickens all add up to a ruckus of ruffled feathers and delightful rhyme. Red Fox is a hungry forest-dweller who has picked the wrong night to swipe a plump chicken from McCloskey's farm. After making his way down wooded trails and rows of corn, the hungry fox comes face to face with a grumpy hound dog ...
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Overview

A classic conflict is given a classic treatment in Red Fox at McCloskey's Farm, a picture book sure to become a classic. A moonlit night, a hungry fox, a sleepy farmer and his watchdog, and a coop full of nervous chickens all add up to a ruckus of ruffled feathers and delightful rhyme. Red Fox is a hungry forest-dweller who has picked the wrong night to swipe a plump chicken from McCloskey's farm. After making his way down wooded trails and rows of corn, the hungry fox comes face to face with a grumpy hound dog and his agitated master. Will Red Fox make his escape and live for a chicken dinner another night?

The humor, colorful imagery, and lively rhythm of Brian Heinz's poetry make this a book that begs to be read aloud. Fold-out pages give the words life in large illustrations, and the dreamlike quality of Chris Sheban's artwork-which superbly captures the sly playfulness of Red Fox, the frenzied clumsiness of McCloskey, and the understandable unease of the chickens-makes turning each page an experience that will not soon be forgotten.

Brian Heinz taught science and language arts to elementary students for years before writing his first children's book. He has since written thirteen books, many focusing on the majesty of animals and the natural world. This is his second Creative Editions title, after Cheyenne Medicine Hat. He lives in Wading River, New York.

Chris Sheban has illustrated five children's books, including Creative Editions' acclaimed I Met a Dinosaur and Shoe Tree of Chagrin, which were honored with gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators. He has also created cover art for the Lands' End catalog. Helives near Chicago, Illinois.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Red Fox wakens in his forest glen with visions of chickens swimming in his head. He strikes out on a familiar route toward McCloskey's farm and the hen house he knows is there. He approaches quietly, but the chickens scatter and spread the alarm. Hound Dog rouses from his sleep and jumps into action. McClosky pokes his head out the bedroom window, hears the commotion, and immediately runs outside in his underwear (children will love the picture of him tripping across the rocking chair on the porch). The ill-fated McCloskey starts throwing stones, stumbles, and falls into the pigsty. Fortunately, Hound Dog knows how to chase a fox from the hen house and saves all of the chickens. Red Fox escapes to his woodland lair. Exhausted, he falls asleep and dreams of catching chickens. Large, full-color illustrations fill most pages like expressive paintings. The fox is downright adorable as he is introduced in a big double-page spread with no text. The chickens have large expressive eyes and Hound Dog looks appropriately menacing. Pictures of the inept McCoskey add most of the humor to the story. He is tall, thin, and ungainly as he blunders though his efforts to chase the fox away. The story is told in verse, which works some of the time, but more often the stretch to use rhyming words causes the phasing to be awkward. This detracts from the book's value as a read aloud. It might work better to just show the pictures and have the children tell the story.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-With wonderful storytelling ease, Heinz spins the yarn of an overconfident fox in search of a chicken dinner. Between Fox and his prey are a watchful hound dog and Farmer McCloskey himself, so it's not surprising that the "henhouse shakes and feathers fly" before the tale ends. Words fly, too, when the farmer hears the panicked fowls. "`Gadzooks, the Fox!' McCloskey swears,/`I'll tear that rascal hide from hair!'/He runs out in his underwear/And trips across the rocking chair." By story's end, Hound Dog has things in control, and Fox decides, "No hens tonight." This humorous verse is best read aloud. Its cadence moves smoothly, but also allows for dramatic pauses (and laughter). While the text will no doubt tickle the funny bone, the illustrations will bring on belly laughs. The dramatic compositions also draw viewers into the story. Dusky velvet light sets the scene for Fox's foray into night, and glowing moonlight and dappling shadows give additional stealth to the nocturnal landscape. From the rhythmic text to the humorous fold-out illustrations, this book is a winner.-Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Comical visual characterizations carry the day-or more accurately, the night-in this rhyming tale of a wistful fox intent on invading a hen house. A lazily sly hound dog and a skinny farmer in his underwear combine forces to vanquish the predator, keeping the bug-eyed chickens safe for another morning of laying eggs. The hazy, textured paintings in rich, nocturnal hues feature interestingly elongated forms and an accomplished handling of light and shadow. These lighthearted and soothing pictures are sometimes out of step with the verse, steering clear of such realistically dark elements as the canine's "frothing mouth," "snarling shouts" and "crushing teeth and jaws." Sheban's attempt to make four lines rhyme in each stanza can feel forced, although this phonetic element may appeal to teachers. The book design is inventive, with the opening stanza appearing before the title page and the child-pleasing foldout spreads propelling the storyline with their surprises. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568461953
  • Publisher: Creative Company, The
  • Publication date: 8/31/2006
  • Series: Creative Editions Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Product dimensions: 10.24 (w) x 10.26 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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