cover image Red Fox Running

Red Fox Running

Eve Bunting. Clarion Books, $17 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-58919-9

Bunting's rhymes freeze-frame moments of a red fox's winter day. The urgent tempo of the narrative echoes the animal's growing hunger: ``Red fox running, / Running through the snow, / White sky above / And white earth below. / . . . / Hunger runs beside you / On this cold and frozen day.'' Elegant metaphors (the silence of an eagle's shadow, the loneliness of being left behind by migrating cranes) convey the emptiness within the starving fox. But ``red fox, weary'' turns to ``red fox, joyous'' when he sniffs out prey and returns to feed his family. The book hints at the cost of the hunt--``Your paws are raw and bleeding, / Your body's sore and spent''--but identifies the unlucky victim only in the illustrations, as a vague furriness. Facing each page of verse is a full-page painting; alternating with these are textless full-spread depictions of the fox's outdoor world. Minor's grainy paintings combine down-to-earth representations with an ethereal use of lighting. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)