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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fox's Garden, by Princesse Camcam. Enchanted Lion Books, Publishers Group Canada. 2014. $18.50 ages 6 and up

"On the fresh snow
    as in my heart,
  footprints, traces."

This is another splendid addition to the Stories Without Words series from Enchanted Lion Books. It is also a debut for Princesse Camcam (aka Camille Garoche). I recently told a group of teachers and library personnel that I would have bought it just for the inventive and oh, so intriguing author's name.

It is a tender tale of kindness. A lustrous red fox is first seen trudging through a snowy forest. Noticing the warmth of lights in the distance, it approaches a house. Chased from one house and then another, it finds quiet shelter through the open door of a conservatory. A young boy watches from the window of a nearby home.

It takes no time until he is seen, basket on arm, making his way through the snow to the conservatory's door. He carefully places that basket on the floor near where the mother fox is now feeding four brand new kits. Upon his return to the house, we see the young boy in the warm glow of his bedroom light, reading. Soon he is asleep. As he sleeps, the fox and her kits, in response to his kindness, leave their own gift of thanks. Awakening in the morning, he is smiling and overwhelmed by the unexpected gift. The foxes take their leave.

The gorgeous cut-paper images are infused with light and then photographed and help to show true compassion in this story of generosity and heart. A gentle touch of color comes from the warmth of the windows, and the identical color of both the fox's and the boy's coats.

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