Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Friendly Fox

Jane, the Fox & Me by Fanny Britt, Isabelle Arsenault, Christine Morelli
Reviewed by Diane K. M.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

If you like the book "Jane Eyre," you will probably like this beautiful graphic novel. 

"Jane, the Fox and Me" is the story of Helene, a young girl who is shy and lonely and is being bullied by a group of mean girls at school. They make fun of her weight and taunt her about not having any friends. Helene's one source of comfort is reading the book "Jane Eyre," which she carries with her every day. She burrows into it on the bus as a way of blocking out the awful things the other kids say.

Things come to a crisis when Helene has to go on an outdoor field trip with her class, and even though she tries to avoid the bullies, they still make fun of her. Luckily, a kind girl befriends Helene and she suddenly has someone to talk to. 

The drawings are gorgeous. The stark scenes with the mean girls are in black, white and gray, but whenever Helene is reading her precious book or is being imaginative, beautiful colors emerge. I especially loved the reddish-orange color of a fox Helene sees in the woods, and the rich blues and greens of the watercolors after Helene has found her friend.

Technically this book is for young adults -- it was honored as as one of the 10 Best Illustrated Children's Books by The New York Times Book Review -- but I think adults would also appreciate this bittersweet story. Highly recommended.

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