Little Fox, Lost is a beautifully written and illustrated book published in 2016 by Pajama Press, Inc. The author (Nicole Snitselaar), illustrator (Alicia Padron), and translator (Erin Woods) all do a wonderful job at producing a book that children ages 3-4 and their parents would love to have as a part of their collection. This quaint story is somewhat of a cautionary tale, dealing with themes of mischievous behavior and strangers. In the case of this story, the titular character, a small fox kit, gets lost and cannot find his mother. Throughout the story, the kit copes with his predicament and, eventually, remembers the words his mother told him to heed if he ever finds himself apart from her. In the story’s conclusion, the fox kit is rewarded by the reappearance of his mother and his return to home and to safety.
This heart-warming book is also a wonderful way to cater to a toddler’s personal level of cognitive development. According to Piaget, a child from this age group is still egocentric in nature and cannot completely grasp stories that they cannot themselves emphathise with. In the case of Little Fox, Lost, the little fox experiences a situation that a young child can easily relate to: being separated from his or her mother. Furthermore, this book also reinforces social rules. When the young fox is lost, he tells the strange owl that he cannot talk or follow her because his mother warned him about entrusting himself to strangers. These small but clear behaviors in the book can in turn be passed on to the avid young listeners.
A proper frame, or preemptive activity for the children before the story, would be attempting to relate the feeling of being lost to the children’s own lives. This call for empathy can be prompted by asking the children questions such as: have you ever been separated from your mother/father? and how did you feel when that happened? These questions will cater to the child’s own egocentric nature and prompt them to reflect upon how situations and emotions are interconnected. Furthermore, throughout the story, the fox kit asks himself questions such as “where will I end up?” These questions can be directed to the children and they themselves can come up with imaginative answers to anticipate what might come next. The children can also be encouraged to recite the small rhyme that is repeated throughout the story. This rhyme will then become a part of their extension activity.
“If ever you are lost, my child,
Don’t let a stranger guide you.
Be still, and I will search the wild
Until I am beside you”
This extension activity promotes the children’s literary and artistic skills, as well as strengthens their memory. Depending on the child’s literary level, this rhyme can either be written out by the child his/herself or can be printed out by the storyteller. After the child has the recorded rhyme, they can illustrate the paper with decorations or drawings of them and their parents. Not only does this help the children with their literary skills, it also teaches them a valuable lesson that safety and obedience are interconnected.
Little Fox, Lost boasts a wonderfully constructed story with emotional and reactive illustrations. The book also welcomes a fun variety of frame and extension activities that can help your child get the most out of this enriched experience.
This book and it’s furry little empathetic hero gets an easy five flashlights!