Fox and Crow Are Not Friends
Release Date: August 7, 2012
By Melissa Wiley
Illustration by Sebastien Braun
Fox and Crow can agree on two things: their love of cheese and loathing of each other. These cagey animals will do whatever they can to outwit their sworn enemy and claim sole possession of the prized cheese they keep finding. But they are too caught up in their plotting and planning to realize they’ve picked the wrong house to steal from—since the mother of the house is one fed up Mama Bear who knows exactly how to contend with freeloaders.
Gr 1-3-Children eager to move beyond easy readers and older students requiring simple text in a chapter-book format will find this title a good choice. As in many familiar folktale themes, Fox and Crow are trying to outwit each other. In the first episode, Fox tricks Crow into dropping a chunk of cheese right into his mouth. Crow then uses cheese to lure Fox into a cleverly designed trap. But where does the cheese come from? The third chapter shows both tricksters recognizing their mistakes. "That will teach you not to steal my cheese," says Mama Bear, whose presence in the earlier chapters will be noted by astute observers of Braun's lively, colorful cartoon-style illustrations. With its crisp writing and short sentences, this is a solid addition. —School Library Journal
“The familiar fable about Fox and Crow, retold for new readers. Youngsters will quickly understand the word “outfoxed” after reading these tales of flattery, greed and cheese, told as three connected short stories. Fox and Crow are enemies, fighting over one hunk of cheese as if it were the last morsel of food on the planet. It won’t take long for readers to giggle at just how far these two will go for the cheese. Fox gets the best of Crow in the first story, in which Fox flatters Crow into dropping the cheese directly into Fox’s mouth. Next, Crow dreams of ways to get the cheese back and spends every waking moment constructing a cunning trap, with stew-covered Crow as the lure. Success! Fox retaliates in the final chapter, but both critters are outsmarted by the watchful Mama Bear. Humorous watercolor illustrations are punctuated by thought bubbles showing the animal’s plans; other playful details include the owl’s eyes watching the shenanigans from a safe distance and the eventual sheepish looks when the enemies are trapped in the same net, with Mama Bear chastising them from the side. Funny chapter titles will amuse adults, and subtle visual details make this a fable book that new readers will return to.” —Kirkus Reviews