Wishes come true in this story of an unexpected, interspecies friendship imported from Japan.
A light-skinned blonde girl and her little brother go to the park to find the jump-rope they left there earlier. As they approach a clearing in the wood, they come upon a group of baby foxes happily engaged in jumping rope. The foxes are singing a jumping rhyme; “Doxy, foxy, / touch the ground. / Doxy, foxy, / turn around. / Turn to the east, / and turn to the west, / and choose the one that / you like best.” Soon children and foxes are playing happily together. The little girl notices that her name, “Roxie” is painted on the handle of the rope. One of the foxes, also named Roxie, believes the rope is hers, assuming that the rope has come to her because she wished for it. The girl decides not to reclaim the rope, allowing the fox to believe her wish has come true. It’s a charming, unlikely tale, made appealing by Sakai’s sensitive artwork in lustrous acrylics and grease pencil, embellished with striking fine magenta ballpoint touches. The subtle coloration perfectly complements the simple language; the sky turns “peachy” as the sun sets, and the “light was golden and the air was warm” as the happy children run home. Although most American readers will miss the folkloric resonance Japanese readers will no doubt feel, that does not lessen in any way its impact.
A sweet, compelling yarn that perfectly captures the archetypal childhood synthesis of fantasy and reality. (Picture book. 2-4)