The Fox Forest Band by Lisa E. Lindman and illustrated by Chandra Wheeler, picture e-book, published by Hugo House Publishers Inc. in 2015.
An evil wizard comes to the forest, spreading a thick fog to frighten and cower the forest animals. At first they all want to run away and hide, but then the smart fox outlines his plan to fight the wizard. The animals work together, and stand bravely to face the bullying wizard and regain their safety.
This is a nice picture book with rhyming text, and cute forest animals. It has a simple and uplifting message about overcoming bullying, and is a good place to start a conversation with kids about this often difficult topic. My kids wanted to know why the wizard was so mean, but they were happy that the animals stood their ground even though they were frightened. I loved the way the animals made their instruments from things they found in the forest, quite ingenious really. Seeing the spider joining in with a tiny little instrument made me happy too.
The Fox Forest Band is beautifully illustrated throughout with water colour images of the forest and its inhabitants. We had fun finding the fuzzy little spider in each scene, though my kids pointed out that it only has six legs in a couple of scenes! The animals are really cute, and the text is still clear and easy to read on each page. I liked the hedgehog, while my daughter liked the fox best.
This is a good book for pre-schoolers and primary school children. I read The Fox Forest Band with my toddlers, and they sat through it, pointing to the animals and enjoying it. My older kids got more out of the actual story, but it was still popular with everyone in our family.
*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.