Fox’s adventure—going out to sea in a box equipped with a sail—is exciting and easy to read.
Ivinson tells her story in 46 simple words. Five or fewer words appear on each double-page spread in a generous font set against the bright seaside scenes of Fox’s exploits. While other animals seem to have real boats, small dinghies in which they are messing about on the ocean, Fox has only a box. Fox has an expressive face, bright reddish-orange fur, and a big bushy tail, and they sport a blue-striped sailor shirt without pants. Determined to set sail, Fox pushes out to sea, bushy tail for a rudder, just as dark clouds brew into a storm. A small mouse goes along for the voyage. Ivinson’s full-color acrylic-paint artwork calls attention to itself in an interesting way, reproduced so that brush strokes and the grain and texture of canvas are clearly shown. One effect is to encourage viewers to slow down, though another is to create a slightly static feel in what is clearly a lively adventure. Still, the paintings of storm, waves, and the small boat and occupants alone on a vast expanse of sea are pretty thrilling, as is the rescue by a big blue whale, and varying perspectives keep the action going.
Dramatic and accessible for new readers. (Picture book. 2-5)