cover image Flossie and the Fox

Flossie and the Fox

Patricia C. McKissack, Pat McKissack. Dial Books, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-0250-9

Flossie carefully stores her straw doll in a hollow tree stump when Big Mama calls her away from play. She wants Flossie to deliver eggs to ""Miz Viola over at the McCutchin Place. Seem like they been troubled by a fox. Miz Viola's chickens be so scared, they can't even now lay a stone.'' Flossie has never seen a fox, but sets off through the shady, cool woods. When she meets the fox, she doesn't recognize him, and so introduces herself. He identifies himself, but Flossie doesn't believe him. He points out his thick fur. ``Feels like rabbit fur to me,'' Flossie replies. ``You a rabbit.'' The fox notes his long pointed nose, and Flossie decides that rats have similar noses. ``You a rat trying to pass yo'self off as a fox.'' The fox desperately tries to persuade Flossie of his identity. She just keeps walking, until they are in the road, where the McCutchin hounds are ready to pounce on the fox. ``The hounds know who I am!'' the fox cries. ``I know,'' says Flossie. Her eggs are safe, and the little girl has outfoxed the ``ol' confidencer.'' This is a sly tale, richly evoked by both Isadora's lavish paintings and the storyteller's dialect. (4-8)