Review of The Fox Wish

The Fox Wish
by Kimiko Aman; illus. by Komako Sakai
Preschool    Chronicle    32 pp.
3/17    978-1-4521-5188-5    $16.99

A young girl and her little brother return to a park to retrieve her forgotten jump rope. When they discover a cheerful group of foxes trying to use the jump rope but failing (their tails keep tripping them up), the girl kindly offers to help. They have a lovely time playing together, but when the day is done, one of the fox kits claims the rope is hers. Apparently, she had wished for a game to play, then found the jump rope; it even had her name on it, “just a little wish come true!” Roxie the girl generously lets Roxie the fox keep the rope (and her belief in wishes), telling her brother on the way home, “I like watching wishes come true.” With art rendered in “paper, acrylic gouache, oil pencil, and ballpoint pen,” illustrator Sakai (Emily’s Balloon, rev. 7/06; Mad at Mommy, rev. 11/10) once again excels at capturing children’s body language; her preschoolers are cherubic and rosy-cheeked, but realistic-looking rather than sentimental. She uses few colors, mainly green and gray for the grass and trees, and then subtly conveys a connection between her human and animal characters, with the children’s hair the same tawny yellow as the foxes’ fur. Her smiling foxes hopping in the air are the embodiment of the gentle lightheartedness of this narrative.

From the July/August 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
Jennifer M. Brabander

Jennifer M. Brabander is former senior editor of The Horn Book Magazine. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature from Simmons University.

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