In this cumulative Armenian folktale, a little fox drinks a peasant woman's jug of milk. Outraged, the woman cuts off the little fox's tail. In order to get his tail sewn back on the fox must bring her more milk. But to get the milk he must get the cow some grass, and to get the grass he must get the field some water, and so on. His task seems endless until the kindness of one man saves him.
Nonny Hogrogian's oil painting are bright and simple. The paintings and the fun folksy prose cheerfully accompany the tale of the cute little fox on a vexing journey. Children will be sad and frustrated along with the fox, and happy when the miller helps out.
This story of restorative justice has a strong anti-theft message (in a more tasteful fashion than other Caldecott winner This Is Not My Hat.) Some children may be upset by the violence of the fox's tail being cut off, but it's very cartoony with no blood. And, of course, the sad fox does get his tail restored in a classic folk tale happy ending.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here
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