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FOX AND FLUFF by Shutta Crum


by Shutta Crum & illustrated by John Bendall-Brunello

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-8075-2544-8
Publisher: Whitman

Nurture overcomes nature when a tough-talking fox and a newly hatched chick cross paths. Discovering that he can’t eat anything that calls him “Papa,” Fox looks for a meal elsewhere—only to find little Fluff stubbornly following along, leaving Fox’s usual prey rolling on the ground in laughter. At last, rationalizing that Fluff needs to be with his own kind, Fox drops the cuddly chick off at the henhouse, but Fluff has picked up some fox-like habits, and after terrorizing peeping age-mates and full-grown hens alike, he’s ejected—setting the stage for a happy reunion. Fox, in a sleeveless T-shirt and jeans, projects a suitably bachelor-ish air in Bendall-Brunello’s (Mouse, Mole, and the Falling Star, p. 800, etc.) sketchy rural scenes, but Fluff seems to suffer from arrested development, as he’s still clad in yellow down when seen at the conclusion, teaching a class of forest denizens in Fox’s all-vegetarian school. Still, though no replacement for Lynn Reiser’s Surprise Family (1994), this too will nudge readers toward the idea that outer form is not the most important element in familial relationships. (Picture book. 5-7)