Bodn‡r (A Wagonload of Fish, 1996) demonstrates how false friends can still be helpful, despite their worst intentions. A...

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TALE OF A TAIL

Bodn‡r (A Wagonload of Fish, 1996) demonstrates how false friends can still be helpful, despite their worst intentions. A fish-glutted fox has just scored a basketful of trout at the local fishing hole and repaired to his den to tuck in when his friend the bear materializes outside the door. The bear pleads for a portion, the greedy fox refuses, but, to be rid of the nuisance, tells the bear to catch his own by sticking his tail in the lake overnight. Unfortunately, the lake freezes over, and in the morning the bear must drag along the whole body of water as he struggles toward the fox's den to give him a piece of his mind; his rage is a source of strength. In the meantime, the sun is rising and the ice is thawing. On the bear toils until he gets stuck between two trees, and notices that the lake is slowly melting, forming a stream, and in it are plenty of fish. With the fox off the hook and the bear sated, the story grinds to a halt without a real turning point; the story is resolved simplistically despite the hints that it will take on epic, or at least tall-tale, proportions. Sandford's attractive illustrations have Jan Brett-like folkloric details, and work well within the restrictions of the story--the two main characters never meet, and the third character (the lake) is not assigned personality or substance.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1998

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Lothrop

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1998