Let's pull off the wrappings of our book today...
This exquisite book is written and illustrated by Princesse Camcam.
Let's open it up and take a closer look at her work. Perfect for ages 6-8.
This tender, moving story will certainly tug at your heartstrings. On a cold and wintry night a pregnant fox is looking for shelter to birth her kits. She is drawn to a house, in a small village, that is filled with warmth and could provide safety for her. She is firmly turned away and forced back into the frigid, windy night with no where to go.
A little boy is standing very still and watching through his window as all this transpires. He witnesses the treatment of the poor fox and watches as she finds an opening and enters into their greenhouse to find shelter from the brutal elements. His heart is touched by her loneliness and needs, so he bundles up and takes her out a basket of food to sustain her for the night. What he finds there is not only the vixon but tiny, baby kits suckling her. He respectfully sets the basket down a safe distance away from the little family and returns to his bed.
In the dawn the mother fox and her newborn babes know they have to move on before they are discovered. Before they go they leap through the boy's window, leaving beautiful flowers on his floor that fill up his room. It is their magical way of expressing gratitude for his gracious act of kindness.
The illustrations are not digitally designed. Princesse Camcam created brilliant paper cut scenes/settings that are carefully lit and photographed. This can be seen in the paper edges that can be found in the illustrations in moments like the folded white edge of paper under the boy's feet as he walks through the snow. All of the trees in the story are cutouts, meticulously drawn and then silhouetted with scissors. The book moves from dusk to dawn, through moonlight and shadow and sleep.
The vixon is portrayed as a wise, resourceful creature showing dignity and prowess. The little boy recognizes her worth and enables her by offering her food and in return she can feed her kits.
Another beautiful feature of the book is that it is wordless, allowing the reader to be the storyteller. The publisher, Enchanted Lion Books, prides itself on its "Stories Without Words" series. They import wordless books from around the globe, format them into long, slender books, thus proving to the world that storytelling is universal. I just love the whole concept and their books have such heart.
This stunning book is certainly one to be borrowed from your local library or purchased for your own collection. I highly, highly recommend it.
Princesse Camcam was born in Paris in 1982 as Camille Garoche. Having spent her childhood in southwest France, she left to study the graphic arts at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Cergy. She created her first illustrated book in 2006. Currently, she lives in Paris with her partner and daughter.
Read on and read always!
It's a wrap.