Children's Book Review: The Fox And The Star

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Thank you, Penguin Books for sending a lovely copy of the new children’s picture book The Fox And The Star.  One glance at this gorgeous cloth-bound hardcover and you just know that you and your child are in for a treat.  I predict that this picture book will soon adorn many a bookshelf in children’s rooms everywhere.

Author Coralie Bickford-Smith is actually a designer at Penguin Books.  The Fox And The Star is Bickford-Smith’s first book, and yes, she also illustrated it.  What struck me as soon as I opened the cover was her attention to detail and her extraordinary artistic talent.  Every single page could be framed and hung on a wall.  The colors are muted and the fox is rendered with skilled grace.  Truly, the story could have been wordless.  A child’s imagination could have easily inserted a narrative over these lovely etchings.  The images encourage creativity.

At one point, I found myself so wrapped up in the art that I had to start over and focus on the tale.

This is a story of friendship between a lonely fox and a faraway star.  The star serves as the fox’s guide through the dark forest, as he forages for food and runs with rabbits.  All is well until the star vanishes from the fox’s sight, leaving him to negotiate the wilderness on his own.  The leads fox on an unfamiliar journey to find his bright companion.  After leaving his comfort zone and discovering a few things about himself and the world around him, fox finds what he is looking for. This triumph is both internal and external, and the message will hit home with parents who are teaching their children that self reliance is a gift.

The book’s message is sweet, simple and profound.  Without getting wordy or preachy, The Fox And The Star provides gentle encouragement to face one’s fears, and revel in discovery.  This is a lovely addition to any children’s library, and it’s a tale that should be treasured repeatedly, until the message is taken to heart.

Thank you for sharing this magic, Penguin Books.  4 stars for The Fox And The Star.

Literary Hoarders Elizabeth