Author: Tim Ostermeyer
Publisher: Synergy Books
ISBN: 0-9845040-0-1

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This charming picture book tells of two red fox cubs that set out to explore the forest and the animals that live in it. Along the way, they encounter a wide range of forest-dwelling animals: deer (a doe and her fawn); a wolf (with “sharp teeth, big ears, and a fluffy tail”); a cougar (with a “hungry look in her eye”); a black bear cub (with “black fur and long, sharp nails”); and a family of bobcats (with “pointy ears and whiskers”). For each of the animals there is a fact page giving information about their physical characteristics and behavior. The combination of the story of the two fox cubs,
which is told both in words and in pictures, as well as the details of what kinds of animal they are, makes for an interesting and informative read. The full-color photographs that Ostermeyer provides of all the animals clearly show the type of setting in which each can be found, as well as the way in which they move and position themselves. And, what’s more, the story does not end there…

Enclosed by the forest is a mysterious lake, in the middle of which is a small island, towards which the two fox cubs swim, together with their parents, who have just joined them. On the island, they encounter not only a treasure chest, but also two little girls, who are only too eager to open the chest to see what’s inside. I won’t spoil the ending by saying what happens, apart from that the story ends altruistically, if somewhat improbably. By the way, humans are also given a fact sheet of their own.
I actually found the ending rather contrived, and would have much preferred to have seen the girls finding proof of the animals’ presence in the forest (such as their paw prints) and tracking them down, so that they could take photos of them in turn. But then, unfortunately, I am not the author, and perhaps my ending would have been overly predictable. Also, alas, my photographic skills are not a jot on Ostermeyer’s, who has had a lifetime of experience of taking photos, and who has won over 250 first-place awards for his photography. That he has a genuine interest in wildlife is not to be doubted, making this picture book a wonderful read for anyone who wishes to inculcate a love of the outdoors in their children.
       Click Here To Purchase Adventures of Rusty & Ginger Fox