'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Review: Foxly's Feast

Foxly is hungry. Like, really hungry. And he’s cruising for a bite. When he begins stalking the countryside for a scrap of supper, he comes across all manner of fox-like tummy tempters… chickens, birds, frogs, chickens, ducks, rabbits, sheep, even an unsuspecting little owl who follows him on his gastronomic quest.
When he finally comes across an abandoned picnic site, Foxly gathers together his plates and cups and bowls for the feast, he gathers his knife and fork, he licks his chops, he hunches over unsuspecting little owl… and…

Well, do you really want me to spoil the ending? Don’t worry Mum and Dad – this book may cleverly build to a suspenseful and logical conclusion, but it’s totally toddler friendly. Your little one won’t be scarred for life over a small mountain of feathers piled high on the ensuing page. All is well. And super cute.

Although the storyline of Foxly’s Feast is super-simple (the book, which now has a single narrative line per page, began life as a wordless story) its illustrations are far from pedestrian. Davey has created a luscious visual feast that hardly even needs a storyline. With that certain retro/modern take, he pens Foxley and his potential supper finds with such finesse, visual pleasure is assured.

Inked with that soft vintage colour that also has the curious capability to pop from the page, the illustrations are riddled with emotion, humour, texture and a balance that belies this author/illustrator’s age. At only 22 years old, this British born talent may have a strong catalogue of freelance illustrative work (he even dabbles in short film) but it looks like children’s books are heavily etched in his future.

Look out, Emily Gravett.

Author website

Title: Foxly’s Feast
Author: Owen Davey
Illustrator: Owen Davey
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont, $26.95 RRP
Publication Date: September 2010
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9781848771253
For ages: 2+
Type: Picture book