Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

Frost by Holly Webb & illustrated by Britta Teckentrup

I have been completely taken in by Holly Webb’s gorgeous animal stories full of love, hope and time-travelling adventures! Frost is a wonderful story about a young girl who begins to care for a small fox living in some waste land near her home. Despite warnings from the adults in her life to stay away from the animals, Cassie is determined to make sure her new friend doesn’t go hungry. Frost is a gorgeous little fox with rich, orangey red-brown fur, maple-syrup eyes, a white-tipped tail and a love of sausage rolls. As the months pass, Frost and Cassie develop friendship and trust.

One evening, Cassie’s elderly neighbour tells her about the Frost Fairs that used to be held on the frozen Thames in the 1600s. Cassies is amazed by this and wonders what it would have been like to be out on the ice surrounded by all the sights, sounds and people. When she sneaks out into the night to feed Frost, she finds herself mysteriously transported to a Frost Fair in 1683. Can this be real? Is she really living hundreds of years in the past? Or has Frost called her out into the night for another reason?

 This is a story with so much to think about. Foxes in cities is a real issue and individuals must decide how to make sure they are cared for properly without the animals making a mess of bins. Safety around wildlife, the impact of city growth on habitats, and wildlife conservation are all key discussion points raised in this book. There is also the historical aspect of the story with so many fantastic details about life in 1683. The impact of the Great Fire of London, developments in printing and the treatment of animals for entertainment are just a few of the concepts raised.

I hope many adults and children will pick up this book. It would be a lovely read aloud at bedtime as well as a great class read for Years 2 to 4.

This book would have been perfect for my Year 6 class a few years ago when we had a family of foxes living under the portacabin right outside my classroom window. Lessons would come to a complete standstill whenever a young fox came out to play in the sunshine. The children loved watching the little ones chase butterflies and each other’s tails only metres from their classroom. As a result, we abandoned the topic we were going to study and spent the next month learning about foxes. The class became the school fox experts and went from classroom to classroom sharing their writing about these beautiful animals.

Thank you to Little Tiger Press for this wonderful story!

Click on the cover below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

You may also enjoy Luna, another brilliant animal story by Holly Webb!

Other fantastic fox stories:

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