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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fox and Squirrel, written and illustrated by Ruth Ohi. North Winds Press, Scholastic. 2013. $14.99 ages 3 and up

"I like to climb,"
said Squirrel.

"You can't."

"You climb well,"
said Fox.

"I live in a nest,"
said Squirrel.

And so goes the conversation between two friends, as they play together in their woodland home. Squirrel seems only to notice that he and his friend are very different from each other. On the other hand, Fox is not limited by the same outlook. Fox sees their world from a happy and encouraging perspective.

Their interaction is joyful, despite the differences that Squirrel continuously points out. Fox is ever hopeful that those differences are what makes them special and that what they have in common is also important. It takes Rat's disdain to encourage both to look even more closely at their very unique and similar traits:

"We both have pointy ears,"
said Squirrel. "And bushy tails!"
"Well, bushy sometimes,"
said Fox.
"We both like to run and play..."

I have great admiration for Ruth Ohi's ability to portray simple concepts so eloquently and team them with colorful, inviting illustrations that are sure to capture attention and warrant discussion. She fills her pages with action and gentle humor, and makes books that are just right for beginning readers.

Sweet, simple and an absolute delight to share. 


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