Fox + Chick: The Quiet Boat Ride and Other Stories by Sergio Ruzzier, 56pp, RL 1.5
Fox + Chick
The Quiet Boat Ride and Other Stories
Review Copy From Chronicle Books
I love Sergio Ruzzier's style. His subtle, thoughtful humor comes through in his words and watercolor illustrations, always in a cool palette of elegant Easter egg hues that feel like they exist on the less angsty edge of a Salvador Dalí painting. Like Frog and Toad, Fox and Chick are opposites, sometimes irritating, sometimes educating each other, which is what happens over the course of these three new stories.
Titular story, "The Quiet Boat Ride," is anything but with talkative, imaginative, occasionally anxious Chick on board. The second story, and my favorite of this collection, echoes my all-time favorite Frog and Toad story, "Cookies," where they duo find increasingly inventive ways to not eat all the cookies Toad has made. Chick wakes (in his curious bird house, which I wish I had a picture of to share here) to find a lovely box at the foot of his tree. Without even opening it, he is distressed, sure it is another chocolate cake. Chick tells Fox that he, likes "chocolate cake more than life itself," but every time he eats it, he gets sick. Fox teaches Chick that, with sharing, he doesn't have to eat the whole cake and make himself sick. As the two enjoy the cake together, Fox reveals that he is the one who sent it. Finally, in "The Sunrise," the friends plan to leave in the dark and watch the sunrise, but Chick's need to pack heavy slows them down and they miss it. Happily, the sit on atop their hill, waiting, and are rewarded with a sunset.