The Secret Life of the Red Fox by Laurence Pringle, illustrated by Kate Garchinsky

Published by Boyds Mills Press

Summary:  A year in the life of Vixen, a female fox.  The reader follows her as she hunts in the snow, pouncing on a mouse in an acrobatic move, and escapes a couple of barking dogs.  She meets up with her mate, and eventually moves into a den.  When spring comes, there are four fox kits in the den.  The grow all summer, and on the last page, they are ready to go off on their own, just as autumn arrives.  There are two pages of additional information about the red fox, plus a brief glossary and bibliography.  32 pages; grades 1-4.

Pros:  The story of Vixen is packed with information about foxes.  Woven into the story are facts about how foxes find food, what they eat, how they take over other animals’ burrows for their dens, and how the parents take care of their babies.  The illustrations are beautiful and add additional information.  There is plenty here for a research report, or simply to satisfy a curious child.

Cons:  I seriously hope I never stumble across a hole in the snow like the one Vixen used as a storage place for her dead mice.

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