Little Fox by Edward van de Vendel & Marije Tolman (9781646140077)
Little fox is chasing two butterflies because they are purple. He runs so quickly that he doesn’t notice the ground falling away and takes a horrible tumble. He lands hard and starts to dream. It’s a dream about his life from when he was a very small baby to growing up with his brothers and sisters. It’s a dream of smells, of mice and deer, of wind and water. Daddy Fox warns Little Fox not to be so curious but he can’t help but wonder about the little human with the camera. It turns out that that little human saves Little Fox from getting his head stuck in a jar. Then after his terrible fall, the little human arrives just in time to save Little Fox one more time.
While some might read the description above as a cautionary tale, this book doesn’t take that tone at all. Instead it celebrates the small things in life, a mother’s love, a father’s attention, siblings, food, and exploration. Throughout there is a feeling of joy and marvel, such as the memory of licking drops of water off of a deer’s nose. The book is also peppered with smaller moments, blackberries, birds, and orange balls.
The illustrations are unique and ethereal. Using photographs to create her landscapes, which are then depicted in vibrant orange or cool teal, Tolman places her characters in them with precision. Other pages are done on creamy paper where the landscapes and characters are drawn. Still others play on the white background of the pages.
This European import is quiet and profound. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from egalley provided by Chronicle Books.