Age Range: 3 to 7
Clive McFarland’s beautiful illustrations immediately drew us into The Fox and the Wild and quickly inspired an arts and crafts session! City fox Fred is intrigued when he hears about a place called ‘the wild’. But does ‘the wild’ really exist and how can Fred find it?
The Story: Fred sets off to find a place called ‘the wild’. He watches birds fly and wonders where they go but none of the city animals know. A bird tries to help Fred but it is only when Fred has a narrow escape from a digger that he discovers what he’s looking for. And then he meets another fox who has a question for him…
The idea of a fox living in the city immediately drew us into the story, most of the fictional foxes we have read about live in the country and this story stimulated discussion about the fact that city foxes exist. Fred’s two cousins are happy in the city but Fred isn’t settled and is desparate to find out where the birds go. His search takes him to various locations and the dark, dreary colours in Clive McFarland’s illustrations effectively portray the smoke, dirt and grime in the city. In comparison the ‘wild’ illustrations are bright and colourful on a cream coloured background and we love the way that the text uses different senses to introduce the sights, sounds and smells of the country as well as the feel of the ground under Fred’s paws.
We talked a lot about about the style of the pictures in the story and my daughter immediately asked if she could make her own collage. She raided the arts and crafts box for different kinds of paper and started cutting and sticking. It’s fantastic when a book inspires a craft and collage is such an easy, fun art activity which needs no special equipment.
There are so many discussions that The Fox and the Wild could stimulate in the classroom – the fact that foxes live in the city as well as in the country, differences between the town and the country and how we can use all our senses to help us when we discover something new. A classroom collage wall display inspired by the book’s illustrations would look fantastic!
We love the way that this enjoyable original story with its easy to read text covers several topics as well as stimulating a child’s creativity.
Author / Illustrator: Clive McFarland
Thank you to Templar Publishing for sending us a copy of The Fox and the Wild. It is such a beautiful, beautiful picture book.