Up next in our series on series of Easy Readers, we have Fox & Chick, by Sergio Ruzzier. As of my writing of this, there are four books in the series. Each contains three short stories, told in comic-panel format.
Fox & Chick: The Party and Other Stories
In this first collection, told in easy reader graphic novel format, but with light, watercolor-esque illustrations, we meet our main characters, Fox and Chick. It’s remniscient, for me, of Frog and Toad–two friends who populate their own world and do anthropomoprhic things, have lives, emotions, etc, and while they may be different, it works for them. In The Party, Chick throws a party in Fox’s bathroom. In Good Soup, Chick criticizes how unlike a real fox Fox is due to his dietary preferences. In Sit Still, Chick does everything but sit still so Fox can paint his portrait. Fox’s patience is immense. I can definitely feel the European influence in this series, and while. I like it well enough, I think it’s more appealing to slightly older or er…wiser kids, rather than young rambunctious ones. If I was a Chick, I don’t know if I’d like the stories as much as I do as a Fox.
Fox & Chick: The Quiet Boat Ride and Other Stories
Another cute trio of stories—about a quiet boat ride where Chick worries about pirates and sea monsters, a gift box of chocolate cake, and a morning sunrise. Again, I liked the style, I liked the sentiments, but they feel very quiet in.a lot of ways, and while I can see some kids liking these, I can see others finding them incredibly boring.
Fox & Chick: The Sleepover and Other Stories
In this trio, we have a sleepover that goes awry when Chick begins panicking about kangaroos, a lost hammer and a mini-construction story, and a surprise birthday party that Chick asks Fox to throw for him even if it’s not his birthday. The humor felt strongest here, so far, to me.
Fox & Chick: Up and Down and Other Stories
This installment gets seasonal. We have a story about climbing a tree–I think kids will like the humor in that one. We have a snow story–you need at least seventeen snowflakes to be able to sled. And then Fox gives Chick his first book and Chick builds a bookcase. I felt a little pandered to in that one, LOL.
Overall, these were cute easy readers. I think the art is lovely, but nothing ground-breaking. I still struggle with them feeling too “quiet” for most kids, but I think the story structure makes it easy to break up and do a little bit at a time, ease them into the rhythm. They feel very European to me, but that could just be me knowing the author was born in Italy, and ruminating on the lack of body humor in the book, which is not necessarily something I was wanting it to have.
Overall, a solid 3.5 star series read for me. Nothing to write home about, but a good recommendation for maybe kindergarten and first grade readers looking for quiet time stories.
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