Skip to main content

The Fox Wish by Kimiko Aman, illustrated by Komako Sakai

The Fox Wish by Kimiko Aman and illustrated by Komako Sakai was originally published in Japan in 2003. While the text feels a bit clunky at times, the story itself and the illustrations are absolutely charming and unforgettable.

Roxie and her little brother Lukie return to the park where they were playing and where she left her personalized jump rope. When they don't find it hanging from the branch where she left it, Roxie and Lukie follow the sounds of playing only to discover a troop of fox kits jumping rope and singing.

The siblings emerge from the bushes and introduce themselves to the foxes. Roxie gives the kits some tips for jumping rope (keep your tail straight up your back) while also noticing her name painted on the handle of the jump rope.

Roxie is just about to claim her jump rope when the smallest fox bounds over, claiming it as her own. On the way to the park, the little fox, who is also named Roxie, wished for it and when the troop arrived at the park, "well, this rope was just hanging there, from a branch, with my name on it and everything, just a little wish come true! Have you ever heard of a luckier day? I should wish for a thousand wishes!" Roxie (the girl) in a moment of altruism shushes her brother an lets Roxie-fox keep the rope, promising to play together again some day. "I'll wish for it!" Roxie-fox says as she darts off, the jump rope in her teeth. 

The fox is an important part of Japanese folklore and the significance of this is probably lost on most Americans. However, that didn't make The Fox Wish any less magical for me, especially thanks to Komako Sakai's illustrations. Her use of a limited palette dominated by peach and green tones with a pop of vivid magenta for Roxie's hair bow gives The Fox Wish an antique feel. Her endearing illustrations of the fox kits capture their essential intelligence, sprightliness and playfulness. Reading The Fox Wish is a bit like a waking dream and surely a book you will not forget.

Source: Review Copy


Popular posts from this blog

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…