Fox + Chick: The Party and Other Stories, by Sergio Ruzzier, 56 pp, RL 1
Sergio Ruzzier has a new series for new readers and it's time to celebrate! He must have known that when he titled it, The Party and Other Stories. Ruzzier is an author who has a gift for writing deceptively simple stories where friendship is the foundation for characters who are often opposites. Fox and Chick, stars of this new series, will call to mind classic odd couples like Frog and Toad and George and Martha. With pages that have four and two panel spreads as well as occasional two page spreads, the graphic novel format of this picture book (can it be both?) is ideal for emerging readers who will love the humor that arises as the ever-patient Fox and the antsy Chick go about their day. Ruzzier's illustrations, luminous watercolors filled with warm reds, yellows and oranges and cool blues and greens, are instantly engaging, inviting readers to linger over each page.
There are three stories in The Party and Other Stories; The Party, Good Soup and Sit Still. I love the title of the second story, but I think the first is my favorite. When Chick knocks on Fox's door and asks to use his bathroom, Fox learns that his friends has a very different idea about what the word, "use," implies. Worried that Chick has been in the bathroom for ages, Fox knocks on the door, busting in when he is greeted with a crash, thud and a splash. Chick has been using the bathroom to throw a party and invited all his friends over! As the gang is leaving, Chick mutters, "I guess he didn't mean it when he said I could use his bathroom." In Good Soup, Fox is picking vegetables and herbs from his garden while Chick is quizzing him on the animals and insects he thinks a fox should be eating. That is, until he gets to small birds... And, in Sit Still, Fox is painting a landscape. Insisting that landscapes are boring and Fox should paint a portrait of him instead, Chick does his best to sit still. I think you can guess how that works out...
The next book in the Fox + Chick series can't come soon enough. And I can't wait to get copies of this book for the shelves of my library. My first graders are going to eat it up like a bowl of good soup!
More marvelous books by Sergio Ruzzier!
Source: Review Copy