This moving and emotional picturebook was first published in France under the title Une Rencontre. Wordlessly it celebrates a young child’s generosity of spirit towards a fellow creature in need,
The opening spread takes you immediately into a cold snowy scene where a tawny fox is searching for food and shelter. The snow-covered terrain, sinister trees and an icy lake cannot provide safe haven.
So the desperate animal heads off to a nearby village, where it briefly hovers outside some houses in hope of succour. But the adults who live there quickly give it short shrift.
So the fox slinks off again and eventually creeps into a garden greenhouse, where a small boy, watching from a window, notes its arrival and recognises its need.
Thoughtfully the child brings the animal a small basket of food. Then he returns to his bedroom and instantly falls asleep.
Later the fox – who had good reason for needing a resting place – shows its gratitude for the boy’s kind gift in an unusual and beautiful way.
Princesse Camcam is the pseudonym for the French illustrator Camille Garoche. In this book her delicate cut-paper illustrations are beautifully constructed to create complex interior and exterior scenes, many of which are lit with a magical golden glow that contrasts sharply with the chilly grey winter light.
Fox’s Garden is both a feast for the eyes and a tonic for the heart.