CHILDREN’S book of the week
WHITE FOX by Chen Jiatong
Chicken House, £6.99, Available September 5
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