As you have probably guessed from my blog design, I really like foxes.
They’re adorable, and I grew up on an island where it wasn’t strange for them to be in the yard. Ever since I’ve just been drawn to them.
Fun story: on my third date with my boyfriend, we had a midnight picnic on a soccer field, and a very curious fox kept trying to steal our food. We had to run it off, but it’s a very pleasant memory.
Simply because I love both foxes and books, I thought it would be fun to gather together some of the most beautiful books that feature foxes on the cover. Keep in mind, though, that some of these books have absolutely nothing to do with foxes, they’re just featured in the cover art. These are in no particular order. Synopses are courtesy of the publishers and Goodreads.
Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
Fantasy | Young Adult
One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.
Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.
Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.
There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.
With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.
As one of the largest predators left in Britain, the fox is captivating: a comfortably familiar figure in our country landscapes; an intriguing flash of bright-eyed wildness in our towns.
Yet no other animal attracts such controversy, has provoked more column inches or been so ambiguously woven into our culture over centuries, perceived variously as a beautiful animal, a cunning rogue, a vicious pest and a worthy foe. As well as being the most ubiquitous of wild animals, it is also the least understood.
In Foxes Unearthed Lucy Jones investigates the truth about foxes in a media landscape that often carries complex agendas. Delving into fact, fiction, folklore and her own family history, Lucy travels the length of Britain to find out first-hand why these animals incite such passionate emotions, revealing our rich and complex relationship with one of our most loved – and most vilified – wild animals. This compelling narrative adds much-needed depth to the debate on foxes, asking what our attitudes towards the red fox say about us – and, ultimately, about our relationship with the natural world.
The Fox and the Hound by Daniel P. Mannix
Tod, a red fox, is sharp-witted, cunning, dauntless, and valiant. His ability to defy death becomes legendary. Copper, a half-bloodhound tracker, is the dog who lives to hunt the fox and, along with his beloved master, embarks on a lifelong quest to end the life of the elusive Tod.
Described from the animal’s perspectives, the paths of these rivals intersect and overlap in a world teeming with scent, sound, sight and instinct. Their story is vivid, gripping, absorbing, arresting and unflinching. The reader’s awareness of wildlife and the essence of their domain may be reshaped and refined and, in the end, irrevocably changed.
Winner of the Dutton Animal Book Award in 1967, the Athenaeum Literary Award, and was a Reader’s Digest Book Club selection. The Fox and the Hound also became an animated Walt Disney movie.
The Too-Clever Fox by Leigh Bardugo
Novella | Fantasy
In Ravka, just because you avoid one trap, it doesn’t mean you’ll escape the next. This story is a companion folk tale to Leigh Bardugo’s upcoming novel, Siege and Storm, the second book in the Grisha Trilogy.
Vulpes, The Red Fox by Jean Craighead George
Vulpes the red fox is quick, curious, and clever—but is he any match for humans? Vulpes the red fox is the cleverest and boldest kit in his litter. From an early age, his curiosity has driven him to explore the woods and waterways around the Potomac River, where he was born. He watches his parents, especially his father, a fearless hunter, and quickly learns how to survive. One day, he smells a new and unfamiliar animal. As two boys come up through the woods, Vulpes is snatched away by his mother while his father crouches in the tall grass, hidden. What creature could have frightened his brave parents so much? Vulpes decides he has to find out more. But will his curiosity cost him his life? This ebook features an illustrated biography of Jean Craighead George, including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.
Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi
From a prizewinning young writer, a brilliant and inventive story of love, lies, and inspiration.Fairy-tale romances end with a wedding, and the fairy tales don’t get complicated. In this book, the celebrated writer Mr. Fox can’t stop himself from killing off the heroines of his novels, and neither can his wife, Daphne. It’s not until Mary, his muse, comes to life and transforms him from author into subject that his story begins to unfold differently.
Mary challenges Mr. Fox to join her in stories of their own devising; and in different times and places, the two of them seek each other, find each other, thwart each other, and try to stay together, even when the roles they inhabit seem to forbid it. Their adventures twist the fairy tale into nine variations, exploding and teasing conventions of genre and romance, and each iteration explores the fears that come with accepting a lifelong bond. Meanwhile, Daphne becomes convinced that her husband is having an affair, and finds her way into Mary and Mr. Fox’s game. And so Mr. Fox is offered a choice: Will it be a life with the girl of his dreams, or a life with an all-too-real woman who delights him more than he cares to admit?
The extraordinarily gifted Helen Oyeyemi has written a love story like no other. Mr. Fox is a magical book, endlessly inventive, as witty and charming as it is profound in its truths about how we learn to be with one another.
Lady Into Fox by David Garnett
A husband and wife venture outdoors for a walk in the Oxfordshire woodlands when the woman is suddenly, unaccountably, and irrevocably transformed into a fox. This simply told modern folktale offers a moving portrait of a man’s devotion and a woman’s struggle to maintain her humanity. Written in 1922 by a member of the Bloomsbury group, the tale features a strange but memorable combination of humor, fantasy, allegory, and realism in addition to enchanting woodcut illustrations.
Juniper: The Happiest Fox by Jessika Coker
With millions of followers on Instagram, Juniper the fox is the internet’s cutest pet!
Juniper’s adorable snaggletooth smile and fun-loving personality are vibrantly captured in this heartwarming book. With gorgeous photos, a charming narrative about Juniper’s life, and a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to live with a fox, this book will capture the heart of any animal lover. Juniper’s story chronicles her adoption and real-life Fox and the Hound relationship with a dog named Moose as well as the hilarious shenanigans she regularly gets herself into—including adapting to her new companion Fig, a younger fox who was rescued from a fur farm. Readers will also get a look at the thing Juniper is best known for: she paints with her paws! Juniper’s paw paintings sell out instantly on her website, and readers will delight in learning more about her artistic adventures. With her signature grin, Juniper reminds us that there is always something to be happy about; you just have to know where to look.
The Taken (Foxcraft #1) by Inbali Iserles
Fantasy | Children’s
Isla and her brother are two young foxes living just outside the lands of the furless — humans. The life of a fox is filled with dangers, but Isla has begun to learn mysterious skills meant to help her survive.
Then the unthinkable happens. Returning to her den, Isla finds it set ablaze and surrounded by strange foxes, and her family is nowhere in sight. Forced to flee, she escapes into the cold, gray world of the furless.
Now Isla must navigate this bewildering and deadly terrain, all while being hunted by a ruthless enemy. In order to survive, she will need to master the ancient arts of her kind — magical gifts of cunning known only to foxes. She must unravel the secrets of foxcraft.
Vixen by Rosie Garland
Rosie Garland’s extraordinary tale is a story of superstition and devotion in the time of the Black Death and will bewitch both new readers and fans of her much-loved debut, The Palace of Curiosities.
Devon, 1349. In Brauntone, where seagulls screech across the fields and the wind has a mind to change, Father Thomas arrives as the new priest. Determined to impress his congregation, he quells fears of the coming pestilence with promises of protection.
For Anne, the priest’s arrival is an opportunity that at sixteen, she feels all too ready for. Convinced a grand fate awaits, she moves in as Thomas’s housekeeper, though hopeful of something more. But his home is a place without love or kindness. So when a strange, mute Maid is discovered, washed up in the marshes, and taken in, Anne is grateful for the company. Their friendship is to give Anne the chance of a happiness she thought she’d never know.
But soon the plague strikes Brauntone, spreading panic. And as the villagers’ fear turns to anger, Thomas must sacrifice anything to restore their faith in him.
Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt
Sylvie and Jules.
Jules and Sylvie.
Jules adores her older-by-one-year sister, Sylvie.
Sylvie: beautiful like their mother.
Sylvie: supreme maker of tiny snow families.
Sylvie: faster than fast.
Into thin air, Sylvie goes missing, and as Jules stumbles in grief, a fox cub is born. A shadow fox, spirit and animal in one. From the minute the cub opens her eyes, she senses something very wrong. Someone—Jules.
Jules: steadfast like their father.
Jules: supreme maker of tiny snow foxes.
Jules: collector of rocks.
Who is this Jules? Who is this Sylvie she cries out for? And why does the air still prickle with something unsettled? As that dark unknown grows, the fates of the girl Jules and the fox cub, laced together with wishes and shadowy ties, are about to collide.
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Pax was only a kit when his family was killed, and “his boy” Peter rescued him from abandonment and certain death. Now the war front approaches, and when Peter’s father enlists, Peter has to move in with his grandpa. Far worse than being forced to leave home is the fact that Pax can’t go. Peter listens to his stern father—as he usually does—and throws Pax’s favorite toy soldier into the woods. When the fox runs to retrieve it, Peter and his dad get back in the car and leave him there—alone. But before Peter makes it through even one night under his grandfather’s roof, regret and duty spur him to action; he packs for a trek to get his best friend back and sneaks into the night. This is the story of Peter, Pax, and their independent struggles to return to one another against all odds. Told from the alternating viewpoints of Peter and Pax.
When your family home has been demolished by a ruling power terrified of mutiny and the love of your life gives their heart to another, wouldn’t you search the open city for a better future?
This is a story of one Londoner who found himself in this situation. He just happens to have fur and four legs.
Run for the Hills by Tom McCaughren
All the foxes who lived in Glensinna knew about Sionnach, the Great White Fox. But they had never seen him. Some thought that on one occasion they might have, but it was only a fleeting thought and one that had passed like the melting snow. When they were cubs their mother had told them the story as she whiled away the time in the darkness of their earth…
After almost a decade and a half, award-winning author Tom McCaughren returns with a new installment in his bestselling series!
Reynard the Fox
What do a weak lion king, a grief-stricken rooster, a dim-witted bear, and one really angry wolf have in common? The answer is they’ve all been had by one sly fox named Reynard. Originally bursting forth from Europe in the twelfth century, Reynard the Fox—a classic trickster narrative centered on a wily and gleefully amoral fox and his numerous victims in the animal kingdom—anticipated both Tex Avery and The Prince by showing that it’s better to be clever than virtuous. However, where The Prince taught kings how to manipulate their subjects, Reynard the Fox demonstrated how, in a world of ruthless competition, clever subjects could outwit both their rulers and enemies alike.
In these riotous pages, Reynard lies, cheats, or eats anyone and anything that he crosses paths with, conning the likes of Tybert the Cat, Bruin the Bear, and Bellin the Ram, among others. Reynard’s rapacious nature and constant “stealing and roving” eventually bring him into conflict with the court of the less-than-perceptive Noble the Lion and the brutal Isengrim the Wolf, pitting cunning trickery against brute force. Unlike the animal fables of Aesop, which use small narratives to teach schoolboy morality, Reynard the Fox employs a dark and outrageous sense of humor to puncture the hypocritical authority figures of the “civilized” order, as the rhetorically brilliant fox outwits all comers by manipulating their bottomless greed.
As James Simpson, one of the world’s leading scholars of medieval literature, notes in his introduction, with translations in every major European language and twenty-three separate editions between 1481 and 1700 in England alone, the Reynard tales were ubiquitous. However, despite its immense popularity at the time, this brains-over-brawn parable largely disappeared. Now, for the first time in over a century, the fifteenth-century version of Reynard the Fox reemerges in this rollicking translation.
Readers both young and old will be delighted by Reynard’s exploits, as he excels at stitching up the vain, pompous, and crooked and escapes punishment no matter how tight the noose. Highlighted by new illustrations by Edith E. Newman, Simpson’s translation of the late Middle English Caxton edition restores this classic as a part of a vital tradition that extends all the way to Br’er Rabbit, Bugs Bunny, and even Itchy & Scratchy. As Stephen Greenblatt writes in his foreword, Reynard is the “animal fable’s version of Homer’s Odysseus, the man of many wiles,” proving that in a dog-eat-dog world the fox reigns supreme.
I would say it’s a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness.
Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn’t exactly the forgiving type.
The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks.
Little does Prosper know, the malefactor’s control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there’s a lot Alastor isn’t telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host.
Fox 8 by George Saunders
\An enchanting and darkly comic fable of human greed and nature, from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo, exquisitely illustrated by Chelsea Cardinal
Fox 8 has always been curious, and a bit of a daydreamer. And, by hiding outside houses at dusk and listening to children’s bedtime stories, he has learned to speak ‘Yuman’.
The power of words and the stories built from them is intoxicating for a fox with a poetic soul, but there is ‘danjur’ on the horizon: a new shopping mall is being built, cutting off his pack’s food supply. To save himself and his fellow foxes, Fox 8 will have to set out on a harrowing quest from the wilds of nature deep into the dark heart of suburbia.