cover image Fox and the Jumping Contest

Fox and the Jumping Contest

Corey R. Tabor. Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-239874-1

Illustrator Tabor (A Dark, Dark Cave) makes his debut as an author with an energetic story about a jumping contest among a group of animals, a contest that Fox is determined to win. “While the other animals practiced, Fox schemed,” Tabor explains, and “When you’re a fox, every contest is a scheming contest.” Tabor’s mixed-media cartoons create friendly and funny animal characters whose personalities come through loud and clear. “Bear jumped loudest,” waving his arms in giddy delight and scattering the judges’ scorecards. And although Elephant can’t get off the ground, “she didn’t mind. She was good at other things.” When Fox’s turn arrives, he leaves the competition in the dust—quite literally—as the camouflaged jet pack he’s wearing sends him rocketing into orbit. The pages are full of small details, both visual and verbal, that flesh out the animals’ world and will keep readers chuckling (during the award ceremony, Fox can be spotted careening ever closer to the podium). And the witty resolution suggests that cheaters can still do pretty well for themselves now and again. Ages 4–8. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Oct.)