Bound To Stay Bound

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 Fox : a circle of life story
 Author: Thomas, Isabel

 Publisher:  Bloomsbury Children's Books (2021)

 Dewey: 591.56
 Classification: Nonfiction
 Physical Description: [45] p., col. ill., 26 cm

 BTSB No: 879311 ISBN: 9781547606924
 Ages: 5-7 Grades: K-2


Price: $23.28

Fox teaches her cubs to survive in the wild, until one day she dies. Her body goes back to earth and grass and air, nourishing the world around her, showing that death is also a beginning.

 Illustrator: Egneus, Daniel

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/15/21)
   School Library Journal (12/01/21)
   Booklist (+) (11/01/21)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 11/01/2021 *Starred Review* The creators of Moth (2019) take on the often-avoided part of the life cycle: death. As a child and mother holding an infant walk through snowy woods, an omniscient narrator beseeches the reader, in lightly rhyming text, to follow another creature. Set against the crisp, white background, a fox, in mixed-media reds and oranges that give it beautiful, textured fur, hunts prey for her cubs. On Fox’s return, a whiteout foreshadows her fate. But first, spring arrives, and energetic verbs describe the three cubs playing and learning to catch their own food. Soon, it’s time for them to follow Fox across the road to test their skills in the woods. While the vulpine family heads back to the den after a successful hunt, the evocative whiteout occurs again. This time readers know the source is car headlights; Fox is hit and tossed to the side of the road. The cubs continue their life patterns; however, but Fox’s importance isn’t over. As her body decomposes through autumn and winter, every particle is used by insects and the soil. Concluding notes explain death in animals and plants, decomposition, and how death is the beginning of a new life cycle. Final scenes of a new mother fox and cubs and the human children more grown reaffirm these concepts. A touching, gorgeously rendered story that demystifies death. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 12/01/2021 PreS-Gr 4—This sensitive subject of the circle of life starts sweetly, with the fox mother's life and the joys and responsibilities of raising her young, then turns its focus on her sudden violent death, decomposition, and her contribution to nature. A well-written text along with the attractive art will fill a needed subject area, and it is an admirable teaching tool. However, preschoolers, attracted by the appearance of material, may not be ready for this book without first sharing it with an adult. The mother fox is hit by a car, and subsequently picked apart by magpies, with her flesh in their beaks, while beetles lay their eggs in her corpse. Yet, once explained, the material is accessible to preschoolers, because the beginning has simple text and illustrations that match the action. Older children will find a fuller description at the end. VERDICT An admirable book, beautifully presented, and meant to be shared intentionally and carefully with its audience.—Nancy Call, formerly at Santa Cruz P. L., Aptos, CA - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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