In her fourth outing, when Miss Fox notices sleepy students, rumbly tummies and huffs and puffs at recess, she realizes that her class needs some help getting into better shape.
When the nurse offers some healthy recipes and the students brainstorm a few fun exercises for recess, everyone gets in on the action—the principal, the custodian and even the kids’ families. Soon the children are giving each other ideas. When Bear tells the class that he can’t sleep after watching Robo-Lobster, his friends list some things he can do instead of watching television. Squirrel shares his healthy snack with Mouse so she won’t eat candy. And it’s not long before Raccoon finds a solution to Frog’s sleep troubles. All the hard work pays off on Field Day, when Miss Fox’s class comes in first, but even better is the increased energy and good feelings they all have enjoyed because of their efforts. As in earlier installments, Miss Fox’s students embrace change almost too easily to be believable, and Spinelli glosses over the difficult work that goes into changing habits. Kennedy’s cast of anthropomorphized animals is comprised of an appealing range of emotions and attitudes, while the endpapers give readers a few more ways to get into better shape.The combination of can-do attitude and cute animals may make it hard not to jump on the wellness bandwagon; the challenge is just to keep from falling off. (Picture book. 6-8)