Book Review: The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith

This charming story about the friendship between a fox and a star is equally beautiful to look at for its illustrations as it is to read.

When Fox’s greatest friend Star disappears, Fox’s search takes him on a journey of grief and isolation before finally finding that his way is lit with hope.

The words are poetic and hypnotic and even reading this as an adult you can’t help but hope that the story has a happy ending for the Fox, while the illustrations do bring the work of William Morris to mind.

Occasionally, the words are difficult to make out on a couple of the pages – particularly when the words are spread out and  that in turn slightly disturbs the flow of the story itself.

But this is a minor complaint in a book that is both a work of art and a message about getting through a dark and lonely place such as grief to discovering a way to live again and finding hope.

The story itself is simple but clear and you really feel for the fox as he wonders his way through the dark forest by himself. In a sense it is also a story about standing on your own two (or in this case four) feet and being brave.

As someone who works with children on a daily basis, I understand the importance of reading a story that can fully engage their attention and I believe that this is a book that can do so both through words and images.

This is the first book from Coralie Bickford-Smith, who is a designer at Penguin books and whose work on the clothbound series (which is how this book has been released) with Penguin Classics are harking back to the world of Victorian book bindings.

Suitable for children and adults, the story will definitely fascinate children but provide comfort for adults who have experienced grief or loneliness in some form. The illustrations are beautiful and will certainly capture children’s imagination and admired by adults as works of art.

The Fox and the Star is published by Particular books. It will be available to buy on the 27th August for £14.99. 


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