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In a reassuring tale about first-day-of-school jitters, a girl commiserates with a magical but accident-prone fox. Curly-haired Emily is sleepless beneath her flowered comforter when Foxy (accompanied by a bluebird) prances through her window. "What's the matter?" asks Foxy. "Whatever it is, I'm sure I can help." Emily admits she might need a pencil and eraser to start school properly. Foxy confidently waves his "magic tail," producing a penguin and an elephant. The startled bluebird puts a wing over its beak, and Foxy conjures the correct items. Before long, Emily giggles at Foxy's errors ("And here's a schoolbag!" "No, silly, that's a pirate flag!") and nearly forgets her anxiety. Foxy is tucking the penguin and other supplies back into his voluminous tail when Emily ventures, "What if nobody likes me?" "Now, you don't need my magic for that, Emily," Foxy replies. "I know you'll make plenty of friends." Dodd's digital art, traced in inky black and sprinkled with candy-colored stars, zooms in for closeups and out to picture Emily's ordinary room. Dodd (Meow Said the Cow) projects a cheerful attitude, combining make-believe with practical necessities. Ages 3-7. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* Emily is worried about tomorrow, the day she starts school. So when Foxy, a red fox, appears in her room and says he can help, Emily starts telling him what she needs. True, Foxy can make things appear by waving his magic tail, but they're not always the right ones. Ask for a pencil and a penguin appears. A notebook? Here's a chalkboard. And instead of an eraser, a flick of the tail produces an elephant. Oops. Foxy makes good on his mistakes, but that doesn't mean they go away, and by the time Emily makes her last request, the room is full. That final plea, however, will touch readers worrying about their own first day of school: What if nobody likes me? Foxy reassures her that she doesn't need magic for that. And, sure enough, a turn of the page shows potential new friends heading to school alongside her. The exuberant cartoon-style artwork, often as bold as it is whimsical, is just right, highlighting the genial if goofy Foxy and wringing the fun out of his propensity to provide mixed-up wishes. The shenanigans aren't just pure silliness, though. Like magic, they will turn those preschool jitters into laughs.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist
School Library Journal
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PreS-Gr 1-Emily cannot go to sleep because she is worried that she won't have all the things she needs for her first day of school. Her friend, Foxy, is sure that he can help her with his magic tail, and grandiosely waves it at Emily's every wish--only, the tail doesn't always work as he hopes. Emily needs a pencil and Foxy's very bushy big tail produces a penguin; for a pencil case it produces a bird cage; and for an eraser, an elephant. However, second tries work better, and so Emily goes to sleep with all her supplies in her book pack, and only one last concern: "What if nobody likes me?" But Foxy assures her: "Now, you don't need my magic for that, Emily. I know you'll make plenty of friends." The child is shown on the last spread happily entering the schoolyard followed by a host of amiable youngsters. The illustrations are bold and bright, filling each page, and dominated on most by Foxy's tail, all red and white with magical stars surrounding it. Children will love its goofy missteps and empathize with Emily's anxiety about school. A good read-aloud selection or a one-on-one bedtime treat before a child's first school day.-Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.