Fox’s Garden

Princesse Camcam. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59270-167-4
An act of tender compassion is given (and repaid) in secret during an icy winter night in this memorable addition to the Stories Without Words series, the U.S. debut for this French artist, born Camille Garoche. The story concerns a sleek, rust-colored fox seen darting through a gnarled forest of pale lavender trees beneath swirling snowy skies. Drawn to the orange glow of a building in the distance, the fox is shooed away by the man and woman who live there, before taking shelter in their greenhouse. A small boy, whose red sweater perhaps serves as an early signal that he’s an ally to the ruddy fox, sneaks outside to deliver a basket of food. As he sets it down, the full scope of his kindhearted action is revealed: the fox has four tiny kits snuggled under its bushy tail. Camcam creates her images by assembling cut-paper dioramas, which are then lit and photographed. The resulting images possess a subtle dimensionality while the story exudes a haunting winter magic and a strong sense of the way a small kindness can make an enormous difference. Ages 3–8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/04/2014
Release date: 09/01/2014
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