Fox Walked Alone is one of my favourite books. The Plasticine pictures look like they come off the page. I like how more and more animals keep coming into the story. I also like how Fox finds a partner at the end. I hope Barbara Reid writes another story about Fox and his family.
Reviewed by Eagan
I clearly remember my first encounter with Barbara Reid’s Fox Walked Alone. I was at an author/illustrator’s breakfast hosted by the Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable. Barbara was a featured guest speaker. Standing at the book table, I was drawn to its title and captivated by the cover image of a stunning red fox etched out of Plasticine, of all things. Without any further context for the story I began to read:
Night after night, Fox walked alone,
Came home to a bed made of feather and bone.
He hunted at night and slept through the day,
Fox walked alone, he liked it that way.
However, when Fox wakes up he senses something strange. Then animal after animal begins to journey past him. At first, Fox follows at a distance and safely out-of-sight, wondering what’s going on. But as the story progresses so does Fox’s sense of urgency.
Fox walked until his paws were sore–
He’d never walked so far before…
The sky was odd, the wind was wrong.
Fox thought he’d better tag along.
From the first page through to the last, I am caught up in the mystery. What’s going on? I feel compelled, like Fox, to follow. And by the end of the book, a narrative I know so well (Noah’s Ark) is fused with new life and energy, wonder and expectation.
After countless readings with my kids, Fox Walked Alone never fails to stir this skin-tingling anticipation within me. I’m tempted to keep talking (and raving!) about the book, but I will leave off discussion of some of my other favourite components of the story, such as the ravens and the doves, in order to allow you to discover and experience this wonderfully rich, multi-layered narrative on your own terms. It is one of those rare gems, a must-buy book.
Needless to say, I love this story! (And after reading Eagan’s review I realize, for him, it’s also very much a love story).
(review copy personally purchased).