The picture book Fox, by Margaret Wild, is a moving story of friendship and betrayal. It is notyour little sister of brother’s picture book. Magpie feels sorry for herself because she has a burnt wing, but Dog encourages her to ride on his back. He is blind in one eye, but with Magpie watching for him, Dog can run fast enough to simulate flying. Then Fox arrives. Jealous of their friendship, he steals Magpie away and abandons her in the desert.
Filled with incredible vocabulary that paints a vivid image of the forest where the characters live and the emotions that overcome them, Fox is a language treasure as well as a good story. New words name trees found in Australia, and fabulous phrases
Anyone who has ever suffered in a friendship will feel a pang in their heart when they read this book. It showcases the joy of friendship and how quickly that can be destroyed. When Magpie realizes what Fox has done, she is overcome with remorse and sets out to find Dog. The story ends before they are reunited, leaving the reader to wonder if Dog will understand. Will he welcome Magpie back? Will he be hurting too much himself? A fantastic writing exercise would be to write the sequel to this story, or to write this one from Dog’s point of view.
Have you read it? What was your favorite part? favorite phrase?