cover image Fox & Chick: The Party and Other Stories

Fox & Chick: The Party and Other Stories

Sergio Ruzzier. Chronicle, $14.99 (56p) ISBN 978-1-4521-5288-2

Ruzzier (This Is Not a Picture Book!) kicks off a new comics-style early-chapter series, drawn with panels and dialogue balloons and starring an animal odd couple. Fox is an even-tempered reader, cook, and artist; Chick is a pain in the neck. In the first and funniest chapter, Chick asks Fox if he may use his bathroom, and then proceeds to throw a party in it (the “CRASH! THUD! SPLASH!” tips off Fox). Chapter two gets a little dark as Chick, who initially criticizes the vegetarian Fox for not being “a real fox,” suddenly realizes that his soup-making friend is actually doing him a favor by not eating him. Chapter three centers on Chick’s inability to sit still for a portrait. The root of their friendship remains an enigma—why does Fox tolerate such an annoying friend? But there’s an easygoing, reassuring rhythm to the storytelling, and the simple text and sunny colors should engage nascent readers. Ages 5–8. [em]Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Apr.) [/em]