Select one of the keywords
The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night    by Peter Spier order for
Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night
by Peter Spier
Order:  USA  Can
Dragonfly, 1994 (1994)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

My favorite animal is the fox - red, or Arctic white - but this book is my first encounter with the Old Song about the fox, illustrated here by Peter Spier with spectacular drawings. Some pages are pencil tracings in black and white, while others are painted in delicate warm colors. Each page gives minute details of rocks, strands of grass, haystacks, pumpkins, trees, right down to tobacco leaves hanging from the rafters of a barn. The song-story is placed in a community setting with farms, town square, covered bridges, churchyards, and crossroads.

The history of the song began in 1945, with singer Burl Ives' rendition of an old folk tune named The Fox. At the back of Spier's illustrative adaptation (since 1961) are the lyrics (seven verses) and music set on scale for piano, or perhaps guitar. The song-story begins 'The fox went out on a chilly night, and he prayed to the moon to give him light ... for he'd many miles to go that night before he reached the town-o.' His destination was the 'farmer's bin' in search of geese and ducks, for food to feed his family of ten. With farmer John on his trail, the fox says, 'I better go with my kill or they'll soon be on my tail-o, tail-o, tail-o.' Away Fox ran until he reached the 'nice warm den', and after the geese and duck were de-feathered, and cooked, the Fox family sat down to dinner.

Peter Spier is 'one of the country's most gifted children's book authors and illustrators'. He has won the Caldecott Medal, the Caldecott Honor Award, The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the American Book Award, and the Christopher Medal. Spier was born in Amsterdam, came to New York in 1952, and has to his credit more than 100 books. Young and old will enjoy looking at the detailed art in The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night over and over again. A book to hold close and to hug!

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Kids books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews