The Fox on the Swing

by | Oct 9, 2023 | Book Review, Picture Book, Translation

The Fox on the Swing (cover)

Book Details

The Fox on the Swing
Evelina Daciūtė, illus. Aušra Kiudulaitė. London: Thames and Hudson, hb. 978 0 5006 5156 8, 2018, £10.95, 48pp.
Picture book, 5-8 years

Paul lives in a tree with his parents. His father goes to work in a helicopter, his mother is a potter.

Every day Paul walks to the bakery to buy rolls for their breakfast. He enjoys walking back through the park. He likes noticing little things – especially the old swing with a fox sleeping on it. Then one day –something extraordinary– the fox is sitting up, swinging! This is the beginning of a friendship. But what will happen when Paul has to move away to a new home in a different city?

This is an exciting picture book visually. Kiudulaitė’s illustrations fill the pages with action, detail and colour. Her palette picks up the emotions and moods expressed by the text; the enjoyment and calm of the woods, the bustle of the city, the moments of sadness, the orange of happiness. Without realising it, the reader is drawn into the book, the world between the covers right to the final page where we see Paul and the fox taking flight drawn by birds across a white space – happiness is a fox. The illustrations complement and expand the text which tells a story that will resonate with many; moving home, losing friends, learning to readjust. Will things really be better as promised by the adults? It is also about imagination, stepping out of the normal, climbing on a swing and flying.  The text itself is visual, the accessible font making use of capitalisation, colour and bolding to attract attention, emphasising points.

This is an exciting introduction to a Finnish author and illustrator. I hope we see more from them.


Review by FHM