Published by Owlkids
Summary: The stuffed fox narrator lives an idyllic life with his girl, Emi. On the day that Emi finds the first golden leaf on the gingko tree, a storm comes and washes the fox away. Torn and battered, he eventually lands on a beach, where a man finds him and brings him home to his daughter, Kiko. In the same way they repair broken china with gold, Kiko stitches up the fox with gold thread. A golden gingko leaf that was with the fox provides the clue needed to get him home again. After spending winter, spring, and summer with Kiko, the fox is taken on a boat trip with the girl and her father. They follow the trail of gold gingko leaves in the water until they get to Emi’s house, where there is a happy reunion, a new friendship between the two girls, and maybe even a romance? (Pure speculation on my part, but Emi’s mom and Kiko’s dad both appear to be single). Includes an author’s note with additional information on two Japanese ideas: kintsugi, in which broken china is mended with gold, encouraging reuse instead of throwing away; and wabi-sabi, finding beauty in things that are imperfect and incomplete. 32 pages; ages 4-8.
Pros: Edward Tulane fans, rejoice! This beautiful picture book is also about the miraculous journey of a stuffed animal, an adorable fox in this case. The themes of kintsugi and wabi-sabi are also beautifully incorporated into the story, not only with the fox, but with a broken branch on the gingko tree and Kiko’s broken leg. Lots to think about and discuss here.
Cons: Keep the Kleenexes handy.