A mother fox cares for her kit, Little Fox, during its first year.
The mother, who narrates, knows that Little Fox is old enough now to learn to explore their woodland habitat, though she promises to stay close by during Little Fox’s first year. On a day in spring, she watches as Little Fox explores a stream where tadpoles swim and frogs peek out from under lily pads. In summer, mother and kit romp through meadows of flowers, and as the weather turns brisk in autumn, she waits as Little Fox discovers the fun of playing in the fallen leaves. However, once the winter snows arrive, the narrator realizes her kit has grown and has learned enough that her care is no longer needed. Little Fox is ready to be alone—but there’s the reassurance that, if needed, mother can always be found at her den. Chrustowski’s simple, rhyming text lends a soft tone to a parent’s bittersweet understanding that, if parenting is done right, the young one will leave to succeed on his or her own. Readers will enjoy the bright colors of the detailed illustrations, done in watercolor with pastel pencil detail, which often incorporate key words. Mushrooms on the forest floor spell out “year,” while lily pads’ dangling roots spell out “day.”
A useful resource on becoming independent, the change of seasons, and the forest habitat. (Picture book. 3-6)