I Am Not a Fox has been coming up on several lists the last year or so. I was interested in this, frankly little cross-eyed creature (which I was assuming was a fox but knew by the cover things were not going to be what they seemed). But it was not until a browse in our children’s department sale items I found a copy.
While Karina Wolf created a cute book, sometimes it is almost awkward with the pacing and text. The “be yourself” theme is more modern with the fact the main character, Luca, looks like a fox but is not a fox. Or at least, not to themselves. As they go along, they see how they are similar to dogs, horses, and other creatures, but then again, not being any of them. In the end, the story is about self-acceptance and finding your place with the right person/people.
It is the illustrations of Chuck Groenink’s that help tie the text together. They are pleasant and compliment the text. The colors and details are cozy and comfortable to look at. This story has a hint of mystery (will Luca find where they belong?) and a little sad (Luca does not think they will find their special place of belonging) this is a happy story. This is because Luca does not give up and you see that determination in the illustrations. You see expressions of all the creatures, and you realize that while they are animals, Luca and the other cast of characters are/have been us, or we know people like that.
For ages 4 to 8 but anyone can enjoy this story.