I find wordless picture books so interesting because they give me a new perspective on story!
When a young girl brings her beloved stuffed fox to the playground, much to her astonishment, a real fox takes off with it! The girl chases the fox into the woods with her friend, the boy, following close behind, but soon the two children lose track of the fox. Wandering deeper and deeper into the forest, they come across a tall hedge with an archway. What do they find on the other side? A marvelous village of miniature stone cottages, tiny treehouses, and, most extraordinary of all, woodland creatures of every shape and size. But where is the little fox? And how will they find him?
Little Fox in the Forest was conceptualized and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin. It was published in 2017 by Schwartz & Wade Books.
My Thoughts as a Writer:
The problem of a stolen toy is so relatable for young children. I admired the way the illustrator used colour to emphasize different elements and scenes. The story begins in blue tones, but this changes as the story unfolds. There are many details for child readers to talk about and most pages include several small illustrations.
My Thoughts as a Teacher:
This story would work best for a small group or pair of students to discuss and wonder about what is happening. It’s a good story for encouraging students to generate questions as they think about the story. There are many things to talk about, including making friends, finding lost things, different kinds of animals, and empathy for others. If I had the funds, I would love to create a center for wordless books in my classroom where children of varying experiences with books could explore wordless books like this one.
Ages: 4 - 7
Grades: K - 2
Themes: stealing, friendship, animals
Place this book at a center with toy animals, people and furniture to inspire story-related play.
Have students work with a partner to create their own “pictures only” story.
Encourage students to choose the girl or the fox and draw a picture to show what happens next. Put up the pictures in the classroom for a gallery walk.
NOTE: This title has been nominated for the Cybils Award, and I am a first round panelist. There are many nominations and six other judges. My opinions should not be construed as a sign of inclusion or exclusion on the final short list.