by Frederico Bertolucci
Another graphic novel by Brrémaud and Bertolucci, with fantastic artwork and dramatic scenery. This one is about a fox that lives on an island, apparently near arctic regions. It\’s way more dramatic than the Tiger book, because a volcano erupts on the island and the animals scramble through the ensuing chaos trying to survive. While the thread follows the fox as it bolts through the harrowing landscape of fire and ice, it also diverts to show what other animals are doing- in a way reminiscent of Sally Carrighar\’s One Day at Teton Marsh, depicting the intersecting lives of many different species. There is a scene involving a whale and her calf fending off a pack of orcas, who lurk just offshore waiting to prey on sea lions and other animals. There is an encounter between a polar bear and an alaskan brown bear. I\’m a little confused at the representation of species because the book shows musk ox in forested areas, and mouflon leaping around rocky peaks- but I don\’t think those two animals live in the same regions. And while the artist\’s sketches of foxes in the rear of the book are lovely, the one featured in the book is a bit too cute for my taste- with a very fat plume of a tail always carried high even when situations would probably make it hold the tail low in fear or caution. (There\’s a fox briefly shown in the Tiger book, and I much prefer how that one was drawn). I also have a kind of pet peeve with people who don\’t know that baby animals have slightly different proportions or markings than their parents- case in point, young foxes don\’t have a full bushy tail, but a narrow one. Even a yearling fox won\’t have a full brush yet. Oh well.
The illustrations showing underwater scenes and marine life are really captivating. The drawings of gannets are wonderful. It\’s the kind of book I want to hold onto for several days to look at again and again (my little criticisms aside).
Rating: 3/5 82 pages, 2015
Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tales