BooksForTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: Gaspard the Fox
Author & Illustrator: Zeb Soanes & James Mayhew
Publication Date: May 2018
Most Suitable For: Years 1-3
Gaspard the Fox is a collaboration between BBC radio presenter Zeb Soanes and illustrator James Mayhew. The story is inspired by a real urban fox who turned up at Zeb’s London home one evening. Thinking the creature was quite a handsome fellow, Zeb fed the fox and began to see it return night after night, sharing photographs on social media (check out Gaspard's dedicated Twitter and Instagram accounts) where people from around the world began to follow and comment on the fox’s adventures.
In the story, Gaspard the Fox takes a stroll along the canal looking for food and taking in the sights, sounds and smells along the way. In a busy city, foxes like Gaspard are not usually welcomed and Gaspard finds that danger is all around. Along his way, Gaspard befriends a dog called Finty and a cat called Peter and the animals share experiences of urban life. To his relief, Gaspard discovers that some humans are more welcoming than others and eventually he finds what he needs to fill his hungry tummy.
James Mayhew’s illustrations perfectly capture the beauty of the fox as well as the vibrancy of city life. As the book is quite long for a picture book and the vocabulary is ambitious, this would be a suitable book to introduce Years 1, 2 or 3 to the experiences of urban foxes and their relationship to human inhabitants. There is also a section at the back of the book with activities and ‘Foxy Facts’ that could be used as a springboard into a fox project in the classroom.
Thank you to the publisher for kindly sending me a review copy of this text.
Top 10 Other Fox Stories
Looking for more fox stories to read alongside Gaspard the Fox? Try these:
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl
The Animals of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann
Fox by Margaret Wild & Ron Brooks
The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith
The White Fox by Jackie Morris
Foxly's Feast by Owen Davey
Pandora by Victoria Turnbull
The Fox in the Dark by Alison Green and Deborah Allwright