Isn’t it the best feeling when you pick up a book to read, demolish it in one sitting, and then want to read it over again? Such is the enjoyment had with today’s book choice! I picked this one up the other morning, while having a lie in, and it was so good that my coffee went cold. Yes, I couldn’t even tear myself away long enough to have a slurp! This is The Sorry Tale of Fox and Bear. Written by Margrete Lamond, illustrated by Heather Vallance and published by Old Barn Books.
Fox and Bear is a story told from the point of view of an adorable, and slightly gullible bear. It dots about from present to past tense as he regales Cockerel and Hare of his falling out with his frenemy Fox. We all know how sly and cunning foxes can be, and unfortunately this one is no exception. Throughout the story he cleverly cons poor Bear out of his meals, until eventually Bear seeks revenge.
This is a bittersweet middle fiction story which has a strong folk tale style to it, but it still feels very fresh and modern in its telling. Very nicely written, Bear’s voice in the story is sweet and innocent and you can really feel his utter confusion at the events that take place, its a combination of charming and incredibly sad. Supported perfectly by Heather’s truly beautiful artwork. These sketchy, dynamic illustrations which fly around the pages throwing every emotion at you, make this book really quite special.
Along with high publishing standards from Old Barn Books, this edition of Fox and Bear is presented in quality hardback, with a ribbon bookmark, and thick, lush paper, this would make for a fantastic gift, sure to become a well loved favourite.
Fox and Bear addresses head on the real complexities of friendships, showing children that people and their relationships are anything but straight forward. There is rarely a clear good and bad side, there is rarely a winner, this is an important lesson for children to learn. Through the subtle lines within the text you soon realise that not everything is as it seems; those you think are trustworthy may not be, and thus the flood gates of discussion are opened. Brilliantly clever, as you will be left questioning everything here. It’s perfect for classroom use, perfect for empathy education, perfect for a simply thoroughly entertaining read! Fox and Bear is a masterpiece.
One of my blogging friends, BookBairn, has a “favourites shelf” where she places her daughter’s most loved books. Well, Fox and Bear has just made my very own favourites shelf, and there really is no higher accolade than that!
The Sorry Tale of Fox and Bear will be available from all good bookshops and libraries in hardback on March 1st, 2018.
To find out more about the wonderful Old Barn Books, please check out their literary corner of the internet right here:
Thank you for reading this Book Monster review.