A magical fox from the mountains of Japan has the capacity to take on human form in this original tale inspired by Japanese...

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THE FOX MAIDEN

A magical fox from the mountains of Japan has the capacity to take on human form in this original tale inspired by Japanese folklore. Going against the advice of the elder foxes, a young fox disgruntled with forest life dons ragged clothing to become a beautiful young woman. As Yuri, she is rescued by the servant Haruo from dogs who recognize her fox scent. He leads her to Agawa's wealthy household where she goes to work. Before long she misses her fox family, and, stealing a chicken, returns to the mountains. The convolutions begin when the fox once again yearns for Haruo and her human form and then returns--again--to fox form. The third time she becomes human, her bushy fox tail gives away her origins; Haruo helps her flee and she helps him find a new home before running into the darkness of the forest, ""her heart filled with longing."" Marston (The Griffin in the Garden, 1993, not reviewed, etc.) flip-flops the narrative structure, leaving readers without a clear sense of where she is headed, and without a satisfying conclusion; instead, the parting of the ways for the fox maiden and Haruo is unsettling. Fuzzy, bucolic acrylic paintings lend much-needed mystery and magic to the tale.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1996

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1996