Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Fox Went Out on a Summer Night: Fox Explores the Night by Martin Jenkins

It's dark and cozy in her den when Fox first wakes, but a quick look outside tells her that it's still sunny midday, not a good time for a red fox to be out and about.

But when she wakes again, the sun is setting, and her hunger hurries her out for some foxy foraging.

It is not so easy to see in the dark, but when the moon peeks out from behind a cloud, she sees something that might be a meal--a mouse.

But the mouse is too fast for Fox.

She noses a cast-off pizza box by a trash can, but there's only a scent of food there. She trots on, only to be spooked by her reflection in a mirror in a shop window. She dodges the headlights of a speeding car which beeps at her.
That was close!

Fox follows the dark shadows into a alley, where her nose notices something tantalizingly tasty.

It's someone's barbecue pit, with the fire hot and glowing, and a plate of warm and juicy grilled chicken legs, left all alone on a table. And there, dropped on the ground, is a whole one--just right for a red fox's supper--as she follows the path in the moonlight back for a delicious dinner in her den.

Conservationist author Martin Jenkins' Fox Explores the Night: A First Science Storybook (Science Storybooks) (Candlewick Press, 2018) offers a bit of nocturnal urban wildlife adventure and a little treatise on light, from several sources, in this new American edition in the Science Storybook series. Now that foxes have taken up habitation close to humans in towns and suburbs, sharp-eyed young readers will be on the lookout for these shy mammals after reading this book.

Illustrations by Richard Smythe extend the text beautifully in frames and full-bleed night illustrations that show off the effects of different forms of light experienced in the nocturnal adventures of this charming little red fox vixen. Author Jenkins add a short appendix, "Thinking about Light and Dark," and a brief index/glossary that leads back to his text. Other books in this series offering basic animal science and easy reading experience are The Squirrels' Busy Year: A First Science Storybook (Science Storybooks) and Bird Builds a Nest: A First Science Storybook (Science Storybooks).

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