Exquisitely illustrated by Danielle Callaghan, The Homesick Fox is a melancholy tale with an uplifting ending, exploring feelings of isolation and loneliness in an urban fox which has lost its way and yearns for its spiritual home: the countryside. At last the fox can bear his solitude no more, and without knowing where his paws will take him, sets off on a journey into the night.
David Greaves’ poetic, multi-layered children’s story evokes ‘the call of the wild’, a mysterious and wondrous thing: but The Homesick Fox will also appeal to adults working in the ‘Big Smoke’ and pining for the quietude and slower rhythms of country life.
I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.
The Homesick Fox is told in rhymes, and its rhythm makes it fun to read even though the story is sad to read at first. The poor fox lost his way and wandered into the city and there he stayed. The longer he lived in the city, the more despair he felt. Finally, he’d had enough and found his way back to the wild, and he felt at home at last.
The author does a good job at relaying how sad the fox is and wanting to go home, and then his hope as he hears another fox calling to him and encouraging him to come. The illustrations are beautiful, and I like the way that the fox stands out in each one.
The Homesick Fox is a children’s story, and it’s one that adults would enjoy reading to children. I look forward to reading it to my grandchildren.
About the Author
Born in Yorkshire in 1985, David Greaves’ kindness and generosity of spirit, and his love of travel and adventure led David to make friends around the world with people from all walks of life.
The stamina and strength of character demonstrated by David’s achievements as an ultra-marathon runner and Iron Man triathlete were also shown by his determination to complete a wonderful collection of children’s stories in verse, while living with the cruel limitations imposed by Motor Neurone Disease (ALS), diagnosed shortly after David’s thirtieth birthday in June 2015.
In September 2015 David married the love of his life, Philippa. They climbed Mt Kilimanjaro together, raising over £12,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, then travelled widely in East Africa before settling in Newcastle upon Tyne. As MND progressively deprived David of the use of his hands, and then the power of speech, he finished his collection of stories for children’s using revolutionary computer software that allowed him to communicate by tracking and translating into readable text the movement of his eyes. David passed away peacefully at home in September 2016. David’s wife Philippa and his family intend to honour David Greaves’ outstanding gifts as a children’s author by eventually publishing all David’s completed works.