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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/CELIA STOREY

TITLE: Fox + Chick The Quiet Boat Ride and Other Stories

by Sergio Ruzzier (Chronicle Books, 2019) 46 pages, $14.99

STORIES: This easy reader with comic panels is Ruzzier's second about an Odd Couple of animal pals. In three amusing scenarios, Fox wryly enjoys perky Chick, whose boisterous incomprehension wrecks all plans:

Fox wants a quiet boat ride: Chick begs to come along and then freaks out.

Fox sends Chick a surprise cake in a box so they can share the cake: Chick becomes very sad because the box might contain cake, and he might want to eat it — all.

Fox gets up very early to watch the sunrise: Chick invites himself along but drags his feet so the sun is up before they reach the best place to watch a sunrise.

Not that it's unusual for kid lit, but Fox, who ought to be a predator, is vegetarian. I always wonder whether children notice such unreality and are bothered, but it's not the sort of thing one can ask without ensuring that, yes, they will notice and it will bother them from then on. Ruzzier's first Fox + Chick book, The Party and Other Stories, confronts the question head-on, in very funny style, as Chick lectures Fox that he needs to be eating little birds.

As a series, so far, "Fox + Chick" is A-OK.

Read To Me is a weekly review of short books.

Style on 06/17/2019

Print Headline: READ TO ME

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