Foxy Behavior

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Fox? by Benjamin Renner; First Second Books, $15.99, 188 pages, ages 5-8.

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copyright 2017 Benjamin Renner. Reproduced with permission from First Second Books.

 

Can’t a fox get a break? Apparently, no–not even the fluffy egg-laying hens are afraid in Benjamin Renner’s mapcap graphic novel making it’s English-language debut next month. Originally published last year in French as Le Grand Méchant Renard, the book chronicles the woes of a wannabe terror, a hungry fox whose antics only provoke the ire of his intended victims. Even under the tutelage of the old master of fairy-tale disaster, the wolf, this fox “as ferocious as a geriatric tortoise,” appears destined to nosh on berries and twigs for the rest of his days. At least, until the wolf hatches a plan to steal some eggs. The fox succeeds, but can he bring himself to eat these fluffballs? And what happens when he develops an attachment to his brood–who soon enough believe themselves to be baby foxes? Will the new family escape the clutches of the scheming wolf? Will the hens have pity on a poor fox seeking redemption? Renner’s slapstick, subversive, and sly saga will keep readers of all ages clucking with joy. While the artwork certainly has the feel of a cartoon strip, there’s a freshness and sophistication here that reveals a master at work.  Pre-order this finely executed graphic novel to ensure hours of summer reading enchantment.

(Children’s) BookNotes, April 27, 2016

Find out what’s happening in the world of children’s books this week!

May 2-8 is CHILDREN’S BOOK WEEK. Check out the bi-coastal events at the Children’s Book Council’s official website. Free posters and bookmarks available while supplies last.

Captain Underpants author Dav Pilkey gives out a new book to every student in one school in each state as part of a summer reading campaign contest co-sponsored by Scholastic. (Check out the winning schools here.)