Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Summary: Look: you might see a bushy tail or a flash of orange. Listen: a soft pad of paws. A fox travels through the snow, hunting for food to take back to its den, where three cubs wait. As the cubs get bigger, they go out on hunting expeditions, too. On one trip, the fox is hit by a car and dies by the side of the road. The cubs return home and are seen walking by the fox’s body as it slowly starts to decompose. Birds and insects feed on the body, and insects lay their eggs there. “Life is everywhere. Death is not just an end but a beginning.” Includes additional information on death, decomposition, and the cycle of life. 48 pages; grades 1-5.
Pros: This beautiful book looks at death and decomposition from a scientific viewpoint, part of the cycle that allows new life to grow and flourish. It doesn’t deal with grief (the young foxes seem unfazed by the death of their parent) but shows readers the natural process of death.
Cons: Readers who may not have picked up on the foreshadowing of the “circle of life” subtitle may be shocked and dismayed by the death of the fox. This is definitely a book to share and discuss one-on-one.