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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Francis, the Little Fox, Written by Veronique Boisjoly and illustrated by Katty Maurey. Kids Can Press, 2013. $18.95 ages 3 and up

"Minutes later, Francis sees
Lily leave the laundromat
looking impish. He's sure she's
been up to some mischief, but
now's the time to look for missing
cats, not to follow rascally girls.
They look around, shout
"Mouse!" at the top of their
lungs and search high and low,
but it's no use.
There is no sign of the cat."

There is fun to be had in the little things that families do together. Take Francis the Little Fox and his father, for instance. Every week they head off to wash and dry their clothes at the neighborhood laundromat. It creates a perfect reason to leave their apartment (and Francis' younger, noisy sister) to do something helpful. They love the time spent doing this special family errand.

There are some interesting rules at the laundromat that require good behavior, and peace and quiet. The two make sure that they take something to keep them occupied while they wait. Nothing much disturbs the quiet, unless the owner's small granddaughter is there:

"Lily Rain Boots is trouble. When she's bored, she likes to play tricks. And the days are long at her grandfather's laundromat."

Francis would always prefer to be there when Lily is not. However, he does not always get his wish. If she is around, a trick is sure to be played! The laundromat's cat, aptly named Mouse, greets them and has the exact same feelings about Lily as Francis does. One day while sorting their clothes, Francis and his father make a list of the things that they love about doing laundry together:

  #4 EATING frozen yogurt!"

Once the laundry is in the machines, they leave their washing to finish while they nip to the yogurt shop for a special treat. You know that Lily is not to be trusted, and she proves that to be true while they are not watching closely. Her trick results in a fun time for Lily. Mouse is not so pleased. He runs away. It takes a long time for Mouse to return. When he does he is frightened, and trapped  on the roof. It's Francis to the rescue!

Now, they have another chapter to add to their shared weekly adventures.

This book is sure to be a hit at story time. Children will love the little fox, the routines, the escapades that result when Lily comes on the scene. The illustrations will garner attention as we walk with Francis and his father to the laundromat, meeting the people of the neighborhood, and watching as they share this very special time with each other.

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