Today instead of Middle-Grade, I am looking at a new release picture book, Argyle Fox by Marie Letourneau. This cute book came to me from Tanglewood Press.
First, let's look at the story. This is a wonderful tale involving the age-old principle of perseverance. Argyle attempts to play cards, build a spider web and many more fun activities, but the wind keeps destroying his work. Like many children, he gets frustrated, angry and then gives up.
His wise mom tells him to, "Figure out something to play in the wind." At first, Argyle grumbles, but then he takes a moment to think and wonder if maybe he can try something new, something he hasn't played yet. He becomes determined to overcome his problem. Not only that, but he uses all of his previous failed attempts at play to build something that will work with the wind. Voila, by cutting, knitting, painting and gluing he constructs a kite. His previous failures lead to his new success! Great moral.
Of course, besides the story, we have the illustrations. I enjoyed the color choices, in particular, the bold orange of the string and the fox pelts. I also liked that the story and the pictures combine to bring the reader into the action. Every time the wind blows it goes "Woosh", but instead of reading what happens, the illustrations are used to show us the disastrous results.
One side point, Argyle fox always wears an argyle scarf (thus his name I assume), and I wonder if children will actually know what an argyle pattern means without an explanation.
This is a really cute story with playtime activities, emotions, and problems that kids will relate too. I think it will be a fun read for kids so I'm giving it 4 stars!