Little Fox in the Forest

by Stephanie Graegin (Author) Stephanie Graegin (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Fans of Aaron Becker's Caldecott Honor winner Journey will love this utterly enchanting wordless picture book in which two friends follow a young fox deep into the woods and discover a wondrous and magical world. When a young girl brings her beloved stuffed fox to the playground, much to her astonishment, a real fox takes off with it!

The girl chases the fox into the woods with her friend, the boy, following close behind, but soon the two children lose track of the fox. Wandering deeper and deeper into the forest, they come across a tall hedge with an archway. What do they find on the other side? A marvelous village of miniature stone cottages, tiny treehouses, and, most extraordinary of all, woodland creatures of every shape and size. But where is the little fox? And how will they find him?

Stephanie Graegin's oh-so-charming illustrations are simply irresistible, and readers young and old will want to pore over the pages of this delightful fantasy adventure again and again.

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Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
Young children will pore over this wordless picture book again and again, finding something new to enjoy each time.


Starred Review
A charming, fantastical twist on the backyard adventure.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

When a girl sets her treasured stuffed fox down in a playground and a real fox snatches it up, she witnesses the act but can't catch the thief. Accompanied by a school friend, the girl ventures into the woods, asking the animals they meet if they've seen the fox. Graegin's (The Lost Gift) story is wordless, but her panels are so clear that readers can easily supply dialogue of their own. When at last the children find the fox, they understand the crime (and the criminal) in a new light, and Graegin ends on a note of tenderness. The story's delights are many, but a special draw is the secret world the girl and boy discover. Their reality is painted in shades of dull blue-gray, but as they press on, small splashes of color hint at what's to come. A hedgerow doorway delivers them into a world of brilliantly colored stores and houses: it's the forest animals' own private realm, drawn in careful detail. This is a story not just to read but to inhabit. Ages 4-8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Feb.)

Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2--A series of monochromatic cells begin this wordless book. A young girl searches her house to bring her most treasured possession (her favorite toy, a stuffed fox) to share during show-and-tell at school. As readers turn pages, a young fox spots the toy unattended and swiftly runs off with it into the nearby forest, followed by the girl and a classmate. With each succeeding frame, the running fox is highlighted, brilliant orange against a neutral green-gray forest, each scene digitally colored with pencil, watercolor, and ink. Hidden residents gradually come to life with color until a turn of the page reveals a sudden double-page fantasy of small homes filled with personified animals. This tale of a missing toy builds to emphasize the girl's unselfishness--a gesture of a generous heart. Movement of the characters from cell to cell encourages children to infer emotions and plot action, and page details will send viewers looking for small clues that broaden the story. VERDICT An engaging exercise in reading pictures and creative narrative. A general addition for younger readers.--Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX

Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"...viewers can pick up skills in decoding visual narrative while also getting a chance to breathlessly root around in some serious cuteness. " — Bulletin, starred review

Stephanie Graegin
Stephanie Graegin received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Arts and her MFA in Printmaking from the Pratt Institute. Graegin's authorial debut, Little Fox in the Forest garnered five starred reviews and appeared on many Best of the Year lists. She is also the illustrator of several books for children, including The Lost Gift by Kallie George; Water in the Park by Emily Jenkins, which received three starred reviews; Peace Is an Offering by Annette LeBox; and How to Share with a Bear by Eric Pinder. Stephanie lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her at
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Schwartz & Wade Books
Publication date
February 28, 2017
BISAC categories
JUV008000 - Juvenile Fiction | Comics & Graphic Novels | General
JUV040000 - Juvenile Fiction | Toys, Dolls & Puppets
JUV037000 - Juvenile Fiction | Fantasy & Magic
JUV002110 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Foxes
Library of Congress categories
Stories without words
JUVENILE FICTION / Toys, Dolls, Puppets
JUVENILE FICTION / Fantasy & Magic
JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Foxes

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