________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 8. . . .October 28, 2016


Fox and Squirrel, the Best Christmas Ever.

Ruth Ohi.
Toronto, ON: North Winds Press/Scholastic Canada, 2016.
32 pp., hardcover, $14.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-5703-2.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7.

Review by Lisa Case.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.


Christmas is an exciting time filled with celebrations and traditions. Sometimes it is easy to forget the most important thing about Christmas - the people in our lives that make it extra special.

“Come and play," said Fox.

"No," said Squirrel. "I'm making the best Christmas ever."

"I can help," said Fox.

"NO!" said Squirrel. "Don't touch! You'll ruin it."

internal art     Fox and Squirrel, the Best Christmas Ever is Ruth Ohi's latest book in a series that features the unlikely, yet thoroughly loveable, duo of Fox and Squirrel. Through their stories, they demonstrate that you don't have to be the same. Friends' differences can actually make things better. By allowing others to help, each experience is so much better. Squirrel learned that it isn't the decorations and presents that make Christmas special. Being with friends makes it much more fun - especially when they work together.

     These adorable characters are loved by many children. The cover is fun, carefree, and captivating with the vivid colours and red foil lettering for the title. The story is written using simple wording and short sentences. This makes it a great book for those beginning to read. Ohi's illustrations are vibrant and colourful and manage to tell a story on their own. The use of watercolour drawings outlined in black ink makes the illustrations crisp and eye-catching and really capture the attention of little ones. Young children could tell the story just by viewing the pictures.

internal art     Ruth Ohi is an award-winning Canadian writer and illustrator. She has illustrated many books for authors such as Hazel Hutchins as well as writing and illustrating other series of her own such as “Chicken, Pig, Cow” and many "stand-alone" books. Ruth lives in Toronto, ON. Many of her books have been translated into other languages and are enjoyed in other countries as well.

     Ohi's website (http://www.ruthohi.com/) also contains downloadable activities that can be shared and that make a great addition to lesson plans for teachers or parents. These could also be utilized in older grades as the message within the story is universal and relevant to any age group.

     Children will love this book which is filled with lots of coloured illustrations and relatable characters. Adults will love the lessons of compromise that are taught - not only in this book but in all of the “Fox and Squirrel” books. I love the website's supplemental material as it really adds to the value of this book. Fox and Squirrel, the Best Christmas Ever is a great picture book and will make a wonderful addition to any collection.

Highly Recommended.

Lisa Case is a librarian from Calgary, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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