This is the second authored picture book from Northern Ireland based illustrator, Clive McFarland. His follow up to A Bed for Bear is an animal adventure with a strong environmental message, all wrapped up in Clive's distinctive collage-based graphic style.
Fred is a city fox, born and bred. He has never left the city but longs to go to a place that's not noisy, smoky and dangerous. On one of his bin raids he comes across a flock of birds flying over the city. He calls to them asking where they were going but they don't hear him. Determined to find out where they were flying to, Fred asks some of the animals he comes across whilst walking through the city, but none of them can help him. that is until on the birds crash lands in front of him. Fred asks the bird and the bird tells him about 'the wild'. Fred then goes on a quest to find this place, often finding places within the city that match the bird's description but not being quite right. It's only when Fred gets scared by a rather scary digger that he finds himself in a tunnel which leads straight to the wild!
Clive's collaged illustration is always a joy to look at. I love his work and have been a fan since his debut last year. His city scenes are stunning (the image below is my favourite from the book) and as always there are wonderful character designs for each animal depicted in the story. This is a really enjoyable picture book, with a story children will adore and a humorous ending that will certainly make you chuckle.
The Fox and the Wild is a joyous read with lovely colourful illustrations that are sure to make you a fox lover. It's out now to buy in all good bookshops and available to buy on the Templar website.