Vulpine or canine? That is the question.
A very attractive red fox named Luca enters a well-maintained city park only to face rejection. Luca considers himself a dog, whereas the dogs of the park consider him a fox. In a bold two-page spread, Luca firmly states, “I am not a fox.” Nonetheless, he does not share the physical traits of the many varieties of park-walking dogs. He wanders the city streets only to be chased by hounds. In a museum, Luca sees himself in a painting—but the label says the animals are a “skulk of foxes.” He resigns himself to the life of a fox. At night, in the quiet of the woods, Luca encounters several foxes that, in turn, reject him. Clearly he is a dog, they declare, because he looks and acts like one. In what readers will welcome as the fitting conclusion to this story of identity crisis, a little girl discovers Luca, takes him home, and embraces him. Now, with his person, he can enter the park happily. Wolf’s lovely little tale does not actually answer the question except to say that an animal in the city with a girl to love him is a contented one. Groenink’s digital illustrations are softly textured and showcase a very appealing title character. The girl who finds Luca has light skin and wears her straight, black hair in a pageboy.
A warmhearted and warm-spirited story of love and acceptance. (Picture book. 3-6)