Published by Thames & Hudson, 2018.
The Fox on the Swing is a beautiful book. The vibrant orange fox on the midnight blue of the cover is really eye-catching, and I love the sparkling silver foiled stars too. The illustrations are like collages; Aušra Kiudulaitė has combined different textures, materials and mediums in her pictures. I really like the depth and detail that this provides.
The story is about a young boy called Paul who lives with his parents in a tree. Every afternoon, his mother sends him to the bakery to buy three bread rolls which they later eat together as a family. Paul takes the shortest route to the bakery but walks the long way home. It’s on these long walks home through the park that he sometimes sees the fox on the swing. Paul and the fox become friends. He gives her his bread roll each time they meet. They tell each other stories. The fox shares her wisdom. One day, Paul’s father comes home and announces that he’s got a new job and that they will be moving to another city. Paul is upset and troubled by the prospect of this move. He is happy where he is and doesn’t want to leave the fox. In the rest of the story, with help from the fox, Paul learns to adapt to change and find happiness again.
The book is a lovely introduction to the important concepts of gratitude and mindfulness. As Paul walks the long way home from the bakery, he takes time to notice the small things: strangely shaped stones, fascinating twisted roots, fancy birds, and puddles that glisten on the ground. He is living in the moment and taking pleasure from the little things in life. The fox teaches Paul how to find happiness in small things: carrot cake, marmalade and trees in autumn. These are valuable lessons for life.
Suitable for children aged 5+ (There is quite a lot of text for a picture book which is why I’ve recommended it be shared with slightly older readers.)
Thank you to Thames & Hudson for sending me this book to review.