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Review: The Fox Diaries by Valarie Budayr

Thursday, July 7, 2011
4 Stars: A Great Read
Hardcover: 80 Pages
Publication: May 1, 2011 by Audrey Press

Experience the magical story of a family of foxes that took up residence right in the front yard of the author and publisher, Valarie Budayr. The Fox Diaries offers an enthusiastically educational opportunity to observe this fox family grow and learn together. From digging and hunting to playing and resting, this diary shares a rare glimpse into the private lives of Momma Rennie and her babies. Come watch as they navigate this wildly dangerous but still wonderful world. Great to share with your children or students, The Fox Diaries speaks to the importance of growing and learning both individually and as a family unit. It is a perfect book for story time or family sharing. Not only can you read about the daily rituals of this marvelous fox family, there is an information-packed resource section at the end of the book that includes lots of facts and even a few "fox movies" that you can enjoy with your family.

The Fox Diaries is a juvenile nonfiction book on the family of foxes that would come to play in author Valarie Budayr’s garden. While the book is essentially a diary for the foxes, Budayr incorporates facts on foxes and why they act the way they do into the book after each look into the foxes’ lives.

Photos of the foxes fill the diary, so much that it feels that the diary is mostly a narrative addition to a diary of photos cataloguing the foxes’ activity in Budayr’s garden. In fact, the book really is like the movie edition of a book with photos illustrating each successive movement of the foxes and the text explaining what’s happening. Budayr even gives the foxes names and personalities!

The book contains information on fox games, fox hunting, and overall how Mama Rennie takes care of her kits and helps prepare them for entering the world on their own. At the end, Budayr provides context on red foxes, a glossary, and a list of resources.

This book provides an education read for young children while entertaining them at the same time. As a longtime animal lover, I know that I would have loved this book as a young girl!

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