#321 – Wild Fox: A True Story by Cherie Mason .GIVEAWAY!

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CHILDREN’S BOOK WEEK, DAY 2

Giveaway: The Wild Fox: A True Story by Cherie Mason

Today’s giveaway is from Down East Books and Kid Lit Reviews. The winner will receive the new hardback publication of this award-winning story.  Enter using the Rafflecopter link at end of the review.  Entries close Saturday at midnight.  Winner announced on Sunday.  Now for the review of Wild Fox: A True Story.

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Wild Fox: A True Story

by Cherie Mason

Jo Ellen McAllister Stammen, illustrator

Down East Books

4 Stars

Book Jacket:  When an injured fox (crippled by a steel leghold trap) hobbled into Cherie Mason’s yard one morning, it was the start of a special and unusual relationship.  The young fox had every reason to fears humans, yet was won over by Cherie’s persistent gentleness—and the tidbits from her kitchen.  For half a year he was a regular visitor and became something of a celebrity in the small Maine community.  Yet he always remained a wild fox.  He hunted his own food and interacted with other foxes.  This is Cherie Mason’s poignant story of how she befriended a wild creature, knowing that his instincts would soon lead him away forever.  Suffused with gentle wonder, Wild Fox speaks to the deep human longing to span the gulf between species.

First Sentence:  Have you ever touched the nose of a wild red fox?

Synopsis

One summer morning, Cherie found a red fox calmly sitting in her strawberry patch, eating berries as if he owned the plants.  Six months later the fox returned, trying to get at some suet put out for woodpeckers.  His right front foot cut to the bone, hanging limply, was useless and prone to infection.  Compassionately, Cherie threw the fox a chicken leg she had defrosted for her family’s dinner.  Soon, the fox would wait under the woodpecker’s suet for Cherie’s treats, never allowing her to get too close.  Cherie named him Vicky, short for Vixen.

The red fox became accustomed to Cherie’s yard, often lying in the driveway or under a spruce tree napping.  The small town came out to see the red fox, a celebrity in the small Maine town.  Vicky eventually chewed off his injured foot allowing it to heal without an infection.  The fox became so accustomed to Cherie that he would follow her—at a distance.  Cherie and Vicky had a special relationship, on the fox’s terms.  He never abandoned his hunting skills while dining on chicken and other fancy foods.  Now grown, Vicky was on his own, ready to have his own family in his own territory.  He moved on.

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Opinion

Wild Fox: A True Story is an unusual tale of the animal-human bond we humans treasure.  This wondrous, yet injured, animal moved Cherie, who looked forward to his visits.  I liked that Cherie was smart and contacted a biologist friend who gave her advice about the red fox.  Number one was leaving the fox alone, do not approach him, and do not touch him.  Cherie understood, but cautiously disobeyed her friend’s advice.  The red fox made sure there was a safe distance between the two, though it seems he became as fond of Cherie as she was of him.

Ms. Mason is a journalist and a wildlife advocate who lives on Deer Island in Maine.  Deer Island is also the home to many red foxes, mostly unseen.  This one unusual wild red fox choose the perfect yard to enter.  Was this by luck or providence?  Cherie’s actions toward the fox were cautious yet excited.  I like that in addition to her story of the injured wild fox, the author added in information about this beautiful creature.

The illustrations, in soft pastels, add a sense of wonder and awe to the story.  For children not yet reading, the illustrations will draw them in.  When first published in 1993, Wild Fox was a Caldecott Medal nominee and won the Lupine Award.  This new edition, by the small publisher Down East Books, is smaller for tiny hands with strong, thick, glossy paper that is resistant to accidental tears.  Parents will not be resistant to multiple bedtime readings.  The book is the size of a short story, making it an easy and fast read.  The story is written in a conversational style that I think will appeal to children.

Ms. Mason leaves the reader with a warning not to do as she has done: “Even more important, you harm wild animals when you teach them to trust humans.  Enjoy them from a distance.  And if you ever encounter an injured wild creature, don’t approach it and certainly don’t try to TOUCH it.”  This is sage advice from a compassionate wildlife advocate should be stressed to young children.  Kids and adults will enjoy this true story of the small red fox.  The publisher lists the book for age five and up, but I believe even younger children will enjoy the story and the illustrations, which bring the narrative to life.

Want to own this copy of Wild Fox:  A True story?  You can by entering the giveaway.  The entry link is here: a Rafflecopter giveaway.  Entries accepted until midnight Saturday, with the winner announced on Sunday.  Multiple entries are allowed.

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Wild Fox: A True Story

by  Cherie Mason
Jo Ellen McAllister Stammen, illustrator    website
Down East Books    website
Released May 16, 2013  (Reprint Edition)
ISBN:  978-1-60893-212-243 Pages
Ages 5 and up
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© 2013 Down East Books
Text:  Copyright © 1993 by Cherie Mason
Illustrations:  Copyright © 1993 by Jo Ellen McAllister Stammen

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22 thoughts on “#321 – Wild Fox: A True Story by Cherie Mason .GIVEAWAY!

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    • Then you will appreciate this being a true story. Some of it is so unbelievable that it can only be true. No one would think of a couple of things this wild fox did for fiction. Too bad he is wild. Has the qualities of a good pet.

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  3. I need to get this one, my granddaughters would love it about 3 years ago we had a male fox take up on our acreage and then he brought a female who waas definitely with babies and he took her to the dog food, it got to where we put extra dog food out for the foxes and then one dfay weeks later after mama and dad eating edaly momma came out with 4 fox kits and brought them to the bowl and they played and carried on in the yard for weeks, then one day they moved on. Miss the antics of the foxes..

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    • Wow! How nice was that?? I would give most anything to see what you did. The experience will stay with everyone forever. Make sure to enter every day. there are several ways to enter for each book that will give you 10 or more entries. Good luck! 😀

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    • Leave them alone is right, but how difficult that must be when the animal is in need of help, or sticks around each day. I admit, I would have loved to experience what Cherie Mason experienced. To touch the wolf’s nose, softly petting him while looking eye-to-eye had to have been the highlight of her decade. 🙂

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    • You are a Maine author? Wow, do you know this author? I mean it is , never mind. How could you know every author in your state. Can you? Seriously, do you see a lot of wildlife around where you live in Maine? It must be a cold state with all the snow. If you see Wild Fox at the library, get it. It is a fantastic read.

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    • Hi Dianne. Welcome to KLR. The illustrations are really great. They are very realistic, almost like a soft photograph. They match the story’s atmosphere. If you get a chance read the story. It is amazing. 🙂 Thanks again for stopping by, please return.

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