The book opens with a mother and two young children in a forest listening to the signs of life around them. Then our focus switches to a fox, out hunting, we follow her back to her den where three hungry cubs are waiting. We bear witness as the cubs grow bigger and stronger and learn to hunt. One day fox is hit by a car and she dies but we are shown how nature responds to this event, as fox decomposes new plant and animal life emerges from the particles which made her. Although the fate of fox’s three cubs is not described in the text they can reassuringly be spotted in the back of several spreads as they develop independence. Reflecting the cyclical theme, the book ends where it begins with the small family in the forest listening for signs of life.
This is a beautiful picturebook, the illustrations are rich and colourful, the depiction of the playful young cubs is particularly appealing. The text is lyrically written and gentle, some pages invite whispering as we tiptoe into fox’s world and accompany her hunting. The back of the book contains information about the cycle of life illustrating that death, and decomposition are important parts of this.
This book could reassure children who have lost a pet or seen a dead animal and help children understand that death is central to the cycle of life. Although the text is simple the themes and information contained in the book suggest this is a book for older children. Another beautiful picturebook from the creators of the highly successful Moth – A Story of Evolution. SMc