Reviews for Scary Stories for Young Foxes

by Christian McKay Heidicker,

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Two young foxes struggle to survive predators, the elements, and their families.In a frame, seven fox kits are eager to hear some scary stories. For "a story so frightening it will put the white in your tail," their mother sends them to "the old storyteller," an elderly fox in a cavern, who proceeds to spin a tale of vulpine horror. At first the stories seem unrelated; Mia is separated from her loving family, while Uly is exiled. Soon the kits' stories intertwine as the horrors they survive increase and multiply. After a rocky start prosewise (repetitive adjectives, slightly ornate descriptions), the story picks up, and the "scary stories" border on downright disturbing. There's domestic horrorMia survives an encounter with her beloved teacher, who's gone rabid, and Uly is terrorized by his sisters and father because he's disabled. Later Mia is trapped by Beatrix Potter, who murders animals after using them as inspiration for her stories, and Uly is attacked by a Golgathursh, "a whirlwind of scaly limbs." Ethereal sketches in what looks like charcoal add to the atmosphere, with appealing fox kits set against menacing backgrounds. The stomach-clenching fear and suspense are resolved by a happy ending, but some readerssensitive animal lovers especiallymay have a hard time reaching it. Similarly, the abuse that Uly faces from his family due to his disability may be painful to read.Dark and skillfully distressing, this is a story for the bold. (Horror. 9-14) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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