An anthropomorphic fox searches for a rare flower in this Canadian import translated from the French.
When plant-lover Fox, perusing a botany book, comes across an entry for a “golden glow…plant from the Wellhidden family,” he knows he must find it. He packs his backpack, and a double-page spread shows and labels the items packed: map, snack, sleeping bag, etc. Author/illustrator Flouw continues to use this device as he showcases the plants, trees, and regions that Fox identifies as he travels; the technique adds an original layer to the somewhat formulaic journey story. Fox meets and asks other anthropomorphic animals (Bear, Wolf, Marmot, Mountain Goat) if they have seen the flower, and their suggestions eventually lead Fox to a mountaintop. The distinctive illustrations are done in a nature-hued palette and have a collagelike style consisting of superimposed angular flat shapes that strikingly render depth and perspective by using darker or lighter tones (as well as white space) and larger or smaller shapes. One fascinating double-page spread, laid out like a camera panning from left to right, moves readers’ eyes to the page turn while giving a sense of movement and time.
The story is solid enough, but it’s the illustrations that steal the show. (Picture book. 3-7)