An urbane, adventuresome fox provides an evening’s entertainment for an eclectic company in this nighttime escapade aloft.
When his hot air balloon is delivered, Mr. Fox wastes no time. He opens the crate in the park and climbs into the basket under a starry sky, lighted skyscrapers all around. He plans to fly to the moon. His gradual ascent allows for an elephant, a giraffe and a rhino, some show-business squirrels and high-construction–worker rabbits to join him. They acquire provisions (pizza, some milkshakes)—and of course, as some children may anticipate, one passenger too many. The sparkling skyline and lighted streets are a sweet homage to New York and serve as a lively background to this cumulative journey. Marquees and lighted signs indicate the “Fox City” music hall along with several vintage record stores and other oddly enticing places. Some of the animals look a bit worried as the balloon’s basket gets precariously more crowded, yet all seem to welcome each newcomer. Migy’s cheerful, retro line with his bright-eyed animal characters and vivid colors against deep navy offer a feeling of familiarity. While the journey’s end, not on the moon, is possibly unexpected, there’s a sense of successful adventuring nevertheless.
The mood is the same as a pajama storytime or a trip in the car just at bedtime—exciting yet contained and comforting. (Picture book. 2-5)