cover image Hattie and the Fox

Hattie and the Fox

Mem Fox. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-02-735470-6

Hattie the Hen lives on a farm with the goose, pig, sheep, horse and cow. One day she spots something suspicious in the bushes. She warns the other animals but they are apathetic. More and more of the thing reveals itself until Hattie realizes it's a fox. Her pronouncement turns apathy to frenzy; the cow's loud moo scares the fox away. The animals are so surprised that they remain silent. Readers hope that in the future, Hattie's words will be given more importance by the barnyard animals. Author Fox builds the suspense in this cumulative tale with precise pacing. Mullins uses tissue-paper collage and crayon to create an unusual effect, both fuzzy and comic. The animals whether watchful predator, the lethargic barnyard variety or an alert Hattieare wonderfully expressive and characterized. Ages 4-7. (March)