Fox on the Ice
by Tomson Highway, illustrated by Brian Deines
Fifth House Publishers, 2010
$19.95, hardcover, 32 pp, ages 5 – 10
Set in northern Manitoba, this story is told in both English and Cree. It is the story of Joe and Cody who go ice fishing with their papa, mama and dog, Ootsie. It is a perfect day for the outing and the family has a picnic of bannock and whitefish out on the lake. Cody plays with Ootsie after lunch as Papa sets his net between two holes in the ice, and Mama and Joe cuddle on the dogsled. All is going according to plan when suddenly the sled dogs smell a fox on the other side of the lake and take off with the sled careening behind them. Papa has to decide between saving his net or his family. Of course, he chooses his family and abandons his net to chase after the sled. When the family returns to the fishing hole, they are delighted to find Ootsie with the net firmly clamped between her teeth, preventing it from drifting away under the ice. Lovely, soft illustrations capture both the northern setting and the love that exists in this family, and the combination of text and images records a way of life that is fast disappearing.
Review by Diana Mumford.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Mar/Apr 2011 issue.