cover image I Am Not a Fox

I Am Not a Fox

Karina Wolf, illus. by Chuck Groenink. Putnam, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-17450-6

Luca, an animal who has just arrived in the city, is convinced he’s a dog: “I chase cats and yip at mailmen and sniff other dogs you-know-where.” The dogs in the park, however, insist that he’s a fox and will have nothing to do with him. He certainly looks like a fox; even Luca admits, “I have a pointy nose. And a brushy tail.” But the local foxes aren’t interested in him, either. Then, a girl decides to adopt Luca and calls him a “mystery dog,” a mantle he proudly assumes, and all his anxieties melt away. Besides, from the window of his new home, he sees funny and endearing creatures who don’t fit anyone’s standard definition and are confident in their skins: “a woman with a neck like an ostrich... a boy who wore a gorilla suit.” Wolf (The Insomniacs) and Groenink (William’s Winter Nap) take on the big issue of identity within the context of a gentle urban world, and readers will sense that the thoughtful, earnest protagonist’s question—“Who am I?”—will lead to a wonderful answer: someone who is loved. Ages 3–7. [em](Oct.) [/em]