★ STARRED REVIEW – SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

Kate/ January 20, 2017/ blog, news

Source: SLJ.com

redstarPRINGLE, Laurence. The Secret Life of the Red Fox. illus. by Kate Garchinsky. 32p. further reading. glossary. Boyds Mills. Mar. 2017. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781629792606.

Gr 1-4 –Beginning on a snowy afternoon in February and ending in early autumn, this book centers on a fox named Vixen as she explores her habitat, hunts, runs from danger, and starts a family. This intimate and personal view into Vixen’s life is chronicled through a beautifully cohesive relationship between text and illustration. Facts and definitions are seamlessly woven into the narrative. When Vixen sniffs the air, readers learn that “a fox is a canine, related to dogs and wolves. Canines have super sensitive noses and ears. Vixen can smell faint odors and hear tiny sounds that a human would never hear.” Readers later witness a combination of Vixen’s senses put to use when she leaps and dives to capture a mouse hidden underneath a foot of snow. Conveying the intensity and precision of this specific hunt, the art, rendered with pastels and aqua crayons on sanded paper, also fuels the foxlike moments with emotion, from Vixen and her mate’s tender nuzzle to the curiosity and playfulness of her four kits. Additional facts are located in the back matter. VERDICT A rich reading experience awaits those who pick up this title about an animal that is not only currently trending in popular and kid lit culture (Disney’s Zootopia, Sara Pennypacker’s Pax) but is also a perennial favorite.–Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library

This review was published in the School Library Journal January 2017 issue.

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About Kate

Kate Garchinsky illustrates and writes children’s books and educational media in her studio in the woodlands near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her debut picture book, The Secret Life of the Red Fox, written by acclaimed wildlife author, Laurence Pringle, received a starred review from School Library Journal. Kate Garchinsky received a grant from the Eckelberry Fellowship at the Academy of Natural Sciences, where she has been researching and illustrating extinction stories about North American birds such as the Passenger Pigeon and the Carolina Parakeet. Prior to creating children’s books, Kate designed lots of fun things like toys, birdbaths and trail maps. She lives with her husband Brian, Julia and Spencer the cats, and her one-eyed beagle, Maggie May. Kate recently signed on to illustrate two more “Secret Life” narrative non-fiction picture books with Boyds Mills Press—The Secret Life the Little Brown Bat (2018) and The Secret Life of the Skunk (2019). While drawing foxes and bats, Kate also began work on Belle’s Journey, a middle-grade non-fiction chapter book by ornithologist and osprey expert, Rob Bierregaard (Charlesbridge 2018). Get to know more about Kate Garchinsky at http://KateGarchinsky.com (aka PenguinArt.com).