Wednesday 8 March 2017

Who is Fitzy Fox?

Who is Fitzy Fox? by Amelia Trompf, illustrated by Jennifer Bruce (Little Steps Publishing) PB RRP $16.95 HB RRP $24.95

ISBN: 9781925117813 (PB)  ISBN: 9781925117929 (HB)

Reviewed by Anne Hamilton

Fitzy Fox lives in Melbourne. Down on Brunswick Street, Pete the cafĂ© owner, asks, ‘Hey Foxy, how about a veggie burger?’

At Lygon Street’s gelataria, Arabella asks, ‘How about a little Limone today, Foxy?’

It isn’t lemon gelato or vegetarian burgers befuddling Fitzy; it’s the nickname ‘Foxy’. See, Fitzy always thought he was a dog.

At the State Library, he examines pictures of foxes but they don’t clear up the matter of his identity. Foxes look both like and unlike him. So he decides to go to London to see the Queen. His Lonesome Globe guidebook says the Royal Family likes fox hunting. So, surely, they could tell what he is.

A kindly Guard at the palace sends him off to Hyde Park and the swans there send him to Notting Hill where he finally meets a natty fox. But no luck in the identity stakes. The fox is unsure: Fitzy’s odd look and bark might simply indicate he’s an Australian fox, not an English one.

Fitzy returns to Melbourne where answers have awaited him all along.

This is a book of great charm that straddles the chasm between old-fashioned ‘Paddington Bear’ style journeying and modern concerns about identity. The illustrations, while smooth and contemporary, still have that gentle ‘woodland’ feel to them. This is for 3–6 year olds and fox terrier lovers.

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