As winter arrives, a red fox finds himself alone and longing for a friend.
Nico, a red fox, lives deep in the “foggy forest” with his friends Ava the otter, Olive the raccoon, and Linus the badger. In spring they fish at the edge of a stream, in summer they watch the floating clouds, and in autumn they wander through fallen leaves. One frosty morning, however, Nico discovers his pals asleep. No matter what he does, Nico cannot budge his hibernating friends. Alone now in the snow-covered forest, Nico searches high and low, but the “woods were silent and still, with no friend in sight.” Taking a positive approach, Nico creates a companion by building a fox out of the snow, but he feels “there’s still something missing.” The illustrations, rendered in soft, pale washes of tan, gray, green, and white, evoke an ethereal, indistinct woodland background, enhancing the still atmosphere of the spare text. Early double-page scenes of Nico and his friends playing together and his friends hibernating together contrast sharply with later scenes of a lonely, solitary Nico, his rusty red fur distinct against the empty, snowy woods as he searches for a friend. Discerning readers will note the unobtrusive, watchful, camouflaged presence of a white snow fox long before Nico encounters an unexpected new friend.
A quiet tale of friendship with a delightful surprise twist.
(Picture book. 3-7)
Pub Date: today
Page Count: 40
Publisher: Starfish Bay
Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020