A fox longs to be the cat’s meow.
Ginger, a cheery orange fox who is part of a blended badger/fox family, hears rather exciting news: Sylvester the Wild Cat will be performing that evening. Sylvester is a round gray cat with a ringed tail, a bright yellow mask, and significant acrobatic ability. Ginger inquires as to what makes Sylvester “wild” when he looks like any other cat and is enthusiastically told that he is “stronger…bigger…and flashy!” At the show, Ginger is enchanted and yearns to climb trees as nimbly as the fleet-footed feline. Unfortunately, she is ridiculed for her species-defying aspiration. Dismayed, she receives encouragement from her largely absentee father and learns that Sylvester may not be as wild as he seems. Evinced through warm and whimsical watercolors, Luciani and Tharlet’s lovely graphic offering feels as snug and familiar as a Beatrix Potter tale but adds a modern spin with its emphasis on being true to oneself. Vulpine Ginger is taunted for being different in many ways, from how she lives to what she desires; young readers should find the treatment of this theme easily accessible but not preachy or saccharine. Even though this is the sixth installment in the series, this self-contained story is a fine jumping-in point.
A sweet and gentle tale of self-affirmation. (Graphic fantasy. 6-10)