McKissack tells "a story from my youth, retold in the same rich and colorful language that was my grandfather's," a delicious reversal of Red Riding Hood that serves as parable of black outwitting white.
Flossie Finley is to carry eggs through the Tennessee forest to Miz Viola, watching out for the "ol' slickster" fox, who loves eggs. Flossie isn't scared, but "disremembers" ever seeing a fox, so when the fox introduces himself she remains unconvinced--through several delightful exchanges as the fox becomes more and more distraught at her lack of recognition ("I am a fox, and you will act accordingly." "…Unless you can show you a fox, I'll not accord you nothing!" and "I may never recover my confidence." "…You just an ol' confidencer"). The fox uses big, pretentious words, but Flossie's sly good humor gets him every time. Isadora's watercolor, ink and pencil illustrations fully realize the spirit of the text, with Flossie's sturdy, self-reliant stance and the fox growing progressively more tentative and defensive. Mellow green, lemon, rust and earth tones fill a safe, sun-dappled world.
A perfect picture book. (Picture book. 4-8)