cover image Fox Makes Friends

Fox Makes Friends

Adam Relf, . . Sterling, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-4027-2756-6

In this tale from newcomer Reif, a bored fox cub takes his mother's suggestion to "make friends" at face value, and constructs a companion out of an apple, sticks and other things he finds in the forest. After a little squirrel and rabbit—both as cute and clueless as Fox—pitch in to help "make a bigger [friend]," it dawns on Fox (with a little nudging from his mother) that "making friends" isn't about manufacturing them at all. "Fox looked over at Squirrel and Rabbit and suddenly realized that he had been making friends all along!" Reif's artwork is as genial and direct as his writing style, and his generously scaled characters take full advantage of the book's oversize format. The large pages also give Reif ample room for swathes of warm, velvety colors, which envelop readers on every spread. But the animal trio's cuddliness can't save the silly premise. Most youngsters know what it means to "make friends" and may well wonder how Fox could be so naïve. Age 3-5. (Oct.)