Gray Fox in the Moonlight

The Collective Book Studio. Jan. 2023. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781685550325.
Gr 1-3–A mother fox pads through the brisk autumn forest, the lone creature moving in the veil of night. As she strolls, she absorbs the sights and sounds of her surroundings—the descent of autumn leaves, the glimpses of the moon and stars through the canopy overhead, and her reflection in the winding river. After a moment of quiet solemnity, the mother fox swiftly follows the trail back to her den of kits just as the sun rises. This work’s spare text is chosen with expert precision so that the few words have maximum impact. The text’s placement echoes the movement it depicts, making this book rife with early literacy opportunities. The monochromatism of the austere, gray tones doesn’t want for detail and depth. Peterson’s shifts in perspectives throughout create a sense of movement and heighten the immersive aspects of his illustrative style. Somber, contemplative works are often dense with text, whereas this book needs not one breath more for its perfect autumn and winter message.
VERDICT Even the youngest of toddlers will be quickly absorbed in this brief but engaging work.

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