CHIL­DREN’S book of the week

Gloucestershire Echo - - FAMILY MATTERS -

WHITE FOX by Chen Ji­a­tong

Chicken House, £6.99, Avail­able Sep­tem­ber 5

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THE worlds of peo­ple and an­i­mals col­lide in this tale of Di­lah, a brave Arc­tic fox on a quest to find a se­cret trea­sure that could turn him into a hu­man – who ends up fac­ing peril from ev­ery di­rec­tion.

Hun­ters, other foxes, snow leop­ards, even horses pose a threat in this com­ing-of-age tale, although Harry Pot­ter fans aged 11 to 13 will prob­a­bly en­joy Di­lah’s strong friend­ships and de­light in the dan­ger­ous sce­nar­ios.

Chen Ji­a­tong’s de­scrip­tive and re­flec­tive prose style is sup­ported by Viola Wang’s beau­ti­ful il­lus­tra­tions, yet the plot never slows. In fact, for a chil­dren’s novel White Fox is sur­pris­ingly vi­o­lent, with four deaths in the first three chap­ters, but it is al­ready a best­seller in China.

This is an en­joy­able trans­la­tion, with only the odd word – “Cripes!” – to jar the sto­ry­telling.

There’s a cliffhange­r end­ing but don’t worry – the sequel is also be­ing trans­lated.

Review by Natalie Bowen

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