Sunday 18 July 2021

Florence & Fox

Florence & Fox by Zanni Louise, illustrated by Anna Pignataro (Walker Books) ISBN 97817606510 RRP

Reviewed by Claire Stuckey

Florence and Fox is set in a busy urban environment, Anna Pignataro’s illustrations provide a happy green setting as the characters appear to be playing together.  Florence has a tool kit but when Fox grabs a hammer Florence decides that it is not “Sharing day”. As Fox does not have any tools or toys with him, he is rather sad at this announcement. Fox is then informed that he will have to wait as it is “hundreds of days” until “Sharing day” again.

Later, the pair is found in a sandpit, Florence wants to use Fox’s bucket. Although confused, he is happy to share, keen to see what will be made. Florence does construct a great dragon figure but when Fox asks for a spade, he is refused, which results in sadness and confusion.  During dinner, Fox is surprised when Florence arrives, offering to share the building tools because she has now degreed it is “Thank You day”. The two then work to construct a wooden cart, a picture of which appears on the final endpapers.

The narrative basically addresses the concept of sharing. Florence the crocodile and Fox seem strange friends due to their quite different natures. I found the text over-heavy with speech. 

Overall, the story is didactic, with Florence controlling all aspects of their interaction right to the conclusion. Realistic in its portrayal of children’s characteristics, this is a new title suitable for preschools and care facilities.  

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