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Fox Walked Alone

illustrated by Barbara Reid

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list price: $19.99
also available: Paperback
published: 2006
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Fox Walked Alone

One opens a new book by Barbara Reid with eager anticipation and Fox Walked Alone is a feast for the senses. Our eyes are drawn in wonderment to page after page of arresting Plasticene images, and her words are a joy to read aloud or to ponder quietly.

Told from the viewpoint of a solitary fox, Fox Walks Alone relates the tale of the memorable trek undertaken by the animals walking two by two to the safety of Noah’s Ark. Fox always walks alone, but one morning when he senses that something is amiss, he decides to follow the animal procession hurrying past him. The animals, driven with determination, traverse a desert and through wastelands and a ruined city until their final destination on a dusty plain is reached. Here Fox is joined by a partner who races him to the door of their waiting haven.

This story is told in rhyme, and the words are so descriptive and alluring that they could easily stand on their own. “The sky was odd, the wind was wrong.../ Fox thought he’d better tag along./ And every place they hurried through,/ More creatures joined them, two by two.” However, it is Reid’s Plasticene masterpieces which elevate her work to stellar heights. Note the use of an atmospheric desert palette, the marked contrast in textures, the rapidly changing skyscapes, the individuality portrayed in each creature’s expression, the scope of the scenery, and, in spite of the feeling of urgency, a sense of humour. One can read and examine this book many times, yet always discover a never-seen-before detail or nuance. Special mention must be made of the talent of photographer Ian Crysler, who skillfully captures the finest details of Reid’s artistry. The illustrations are so vivid that the fur and feathers of some of the creatures positively glimmer because of the lighting.

Readers of Fox Walked Alone will experience a most entrancing journey as they enter the world of Fox, his shipmates, and the inspiring imagination of Barbara Reid.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Winter 2007. Vol.30 No.1.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Fox Walked Alone

How did the animals get to Noah’s Ark? In this companion to Two by Two, the award-winning author and Plasticine artist tells the story from the fox’s viewpoint.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2007.

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  • Commended, Today's Parent 100 best Canadian kids' books of all time
  • Commended, Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Younger Readers
  • Commended, IBBY International Honour List, Illustration
  • Short-listed, Shining Willow Award (Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice)
  • Short-listed, OLA Blue Spruce Award
  • Short-listed, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award
  • Short-listed, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award
  • Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award
  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Our Choice
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Have you ever wondered just how the animals got to Noah's Ark?

One morning Fox awakens sensing that something is different. He goes outside and sees a line of animals going by. Curious, he decides to tag along-not to join them, but just to watch from a distance. He is followed by a pair of ravens who comment on his strange behaviour. Along the way he meets bears, porcupines, tigers. . . and he sets free a couple of doves in a cage. The animals walk, sleep, and walk some more. Finally they come into sight of a big wooden ship-and there, outside, is a young lady fox. "You're the one I'm waiting for!" she exclaims, and they all tumble into the ark.

"The story of Noah's Ark always leaves me with lots of questions, especially about the animals. How could they fit in? Could they all get along? And most of all, why did they decide to board the Ark? I worked on the story to try to answer these questions," explains Barbara Reid. "I chose a fox to be the main character for its sly, intelligent and curious personality. It's a companion to Two by Two from the fox's viewpoint, which gave me a chance to revisit a very rich story and spend more time with some of my favourite animals."

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Contributor notes

BARBARA REID is an acclaimed Canadian author and illustrator, who won the CBA Libris Award's Children's Author and Illustrator of the year in 2007. Creator of such favourites as: Sing a Song of Mother Goose, Read Me a Book, and The Subway Mouse, Barbara Reid is adored by children, parents and teachers alike.

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About the Author

Barbara Reid

Barbara Reid is one of Canada’s leading illustrators and authors. Her bestselling books include The Subway Mouse, The Party, Effie and Two by Two. She has won numerous awards for her innovative Plasticine illustrations, including a Governor General’s Award for The Party. The Subway Mouse won the Ruth Schwartz Award and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Illustration. Barbara Reid was the first Canadian illustrator to win the international UNICEF/Jack Keats Award. She lives in Toronto with her husband, photographer Ian Crysler, and their two children. Visit her website at www.barbarareid.ca.

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