"A mother fox cares for her kit, Little Fox, during its first year.The mother, who narrates, knows that Little Fox is old enough now to learn to explore their woodland habitat, though she promises to stay close by during Little Fox's first year. On a day in spring, she watches as Little Fox explores a stream where tadpoles swim and frogs peek out from under lily pads. In summer, mother and kit romp through meadows of flowers, and as the weather turns brisk in autumn, she waits as Little Fox discovers the fun of playing in the fallen leaves. However, once the winter snows arrive, the narrator realizes her kit has grown and has learned enough that her care is no longer needed. Little Fox is ready to be alone—but there's always the reassurance that, if needed, mother can always be found at her den. Chrustowski's simple, rhyming text lends a soft tone to a parent's bittersweet understanding that, if parenting is done right, the young one will leave to succeed on his or her own. Readers will enjoy the bright colors of the detailed illustrations, done in watercolor with pastel pencil detail, which often incorporate key words. Mushrooms on the forest floor spell out "year," while lily pads' dangling roots spell out "day." A useful resource on becoming independent, the change of seasons, and the forest habitat."
– Kirkus, 3/1/17
A spare, lushly illustrated tale about a fox kit’s first year, this title combines art and text in an inventive way. The final word in each gentle, rhyming line is part of the artwork portraying a different season. For example, the spread encouraging Little Fox to run “in the summer sun” contains a field of flowers and bold orange text in the shape of a sun. Ideal for introducing very young listeners to the concepts of rhyme and print awareness, Chrustowski’s warm full-bleed illustrations also provide a reassuring backdrop for Little Fox’s adventures. After a year has passed, Mama Fox urges her little one to venture out alone but promises to always be there watching and waiting from the comfort of home. The thick matte pages and cozy theme make this book ideal for sharing on the lap of a loved one. VERDICT A colorful look at the natural world and the seasons for one-on-one and small group sharing.
– School Library Journal, March 2017
The familiar trope of a young animal going out on its own finds new life in this book about a fox getting
ready to leave the den. The mother fox narrates, encouraging her kit to go outside “to climb, jump, and
dig.” The simple rhyming text can have a singsong feel, but the real attraction is the full-page artwork
executed in watercolor washes. The two foxes have distinct personalities as they frolic amidst the flora and
fauna. The seasons change as the pages turn, giving Chrustowski the opportunity to move from a sunny
summer palette and autumnal colors (highlighting the red fur of the foxes) to warm winter blues and grays,
sprinkled with snow. When the story begins, the fox is just a baby, reluctant to leave his den. But eagleeyed
lap sitters will note that, as the year progresses, he becomes bigger, stronger, and faster, though never
losing his sense of fun. Come spring, he’s ready “to explore alone.” Still, his mother will be watching. A
sweet jumping-off spot to discuss growing up.
— Ilene Cooper
– Booklist, April 15 2017