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Flossie and the Fox Hardcover – October 30, 1986

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Flossie carefully stores her straw doll in a hollow tree stump when Big Mama calls her away from play. She wants Flossie to deliver eggs to "Miz Viola over at the McCutchin Place. Seem like they been troubled by a fox. Miz Viola's chickens be so scared, they can't even now lay a stone." Flossie has never seen a fox, but sets off through the shady, cool woods. When she meets the fox, she doesn't recognize him, and so introduces herself. He identifies himself, but Flossie doesn't believe him. He points out his thick fur. "Feels like rabbit fur to me," Flossie replies. "You a rabbit." The fox notes his long pointed nose, and Flossie decides that rats have similar noses. "You a rat trying to pass yo'self off as a fox." The fox desperately tries to persuade Flossie of his identity. She just keeps walking, until they are in the road, where the McCutchin hounds are ready to pounce on the fox. "The hounds know who I am!" the fox cries. "I know," says Flossie. Her eggs are safe, and the little girl has outfoxed the "ol' confidencer." This is a sly tale, richly evoked by both Isadora's lavish paintings and the storyteller's dialect.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3 McKissack recounts this story which was told to her as a child by her grandfather. Flossie is a young black girl who lives with her grandmother in the rural south. When Big Mama sends Flossie to deliver a basket of eggs to a neighbor, she cautions her to be careful of the fox who had been frightening the chickens and stealing their eggs. To Flossie's "How do a fox look?," Big Mama responds that "A fox be just a fox." Having no idea what this means, Flossie sets out on her mission through a wooded area, where she is greeted by the fox. As he tries to convince her that he is to be feared, she refutes him by insisting that he prove who he is. To readers' delight, the frustrated fox fails every attempt. Fox' final confrontation with a fierce dog saves the day for Flossie, who proves herself to be more cunning than the fox. The watercolor and ink illustrations, with realistic figures set on impressionistic backgrounds, enliven this humorous and well-structured story which is told in the black language of the rural south. The language is true, and the illustrations are marvelously complementary in their interpretation of the events. This spirited little girl will capture readers from the beginning, and they'll adore her by the end of this delightful story. Helen E. Williams, University of Maryland, College Park
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 610L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Books (October 30, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803702507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803702509
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Flossie Finley, the smart and feisty heroine of this book is one of my favorite characters in all of childrenÕs literature. The story is an African American variation on Little Red Riding Hood, but Flossie is no wide-eyed innocent who has to be saved in the end by the big, brave woodcutter. She can save herself, thank you very much. The way she tricks the fox who wants to devour her basket of eggs is delightful. Every little girl (and probably every boy as well) ought to be introduced to this brave and resourceful child.
And Flossie is not the only great thing about this book. Patricia McKissack based it on a story her grandfather told her and she tried to reproduce the way he told it, in "the rich and colorful dialect of the rural south." The language is lovely, musical and poetic Ð a joy to read aloud. And the illustrations are equally gorgeous. The pictures of sun-dappled wood remind me of Impressionist paintings.
Great story, great writing, great pictures, great character Ð this is one of the best childrenÕs books IÕve ever read.
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Format: Hardcover
This has become my favorite children's book! I bought it for my "almost" three yr old son and he was captivated by the story and the beautiful pictures. Flossie is so innocently sly! She will not be out-witted by some ol' fox! The idea that this regal creature is being insulted by a mere child is absurd to him, yet he can't get past his own ego to see he is being out-foxed! I adored everything about this book.
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Format: Hardcover
As an elementary special education teacher, I loved reading "Flossie and the Fox" to my students. It was every bit as delightful an experience for me as it was for them. Flossie is a very clever little girl, and the manuscript is practically a vocal symphony! The illustrations are as refreshing and fun as the book. Give you and your child a real treat by sitting down together to read the book, and then discuss it!
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Format: Hardcover
Flossie And The Fox is a story that is absolutly loved by my children, one you will be asked to read again and agian. When flosie is asked to run an errand for her grandmother, the curios girl runs into a fox on her way, yet not the typical fox. In order to keep her eggs from being eaten she must keep the fox's mind of those eggs. Through her journey in the woods she is able to use her qaint childlike cleverness to entertain the foxes ego. Great story! Brilliant plot! Should be made into a movie! Exellent anti bias story as well, flossie speaks as a young african american girl would growing up in the country in Tennese, The fox uses proper Engish, and the narrator uses the language of the day. Highly recomended!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Read the book to my grandson, and we loved how clever
Flossie outsmarted the Fox.
I made stick puppets of each of the "characters,"
and we had fun pretending to be Flossie and Fox as we went thru. the pages.
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Format: Hardcover
As a primary school librarian, I read this book to dozens of second-graders. The absolute best thing about it is the 'voice;' it is a delight to read aloud. For teachers looking for a good example of this trait, search no more. Sometimes you're searching for a secular story to read at Easter-time, too, and this being about eggs fits the bill nicely. Other pluses: the illustrations are amazing, capturing the humor and subtleties of expression and letting the reader in on little secrets. It's hard not to be charmed by Flossie. Not only is she fearless, but she outwits the fox in splendid fashion. How could anyone resist such a strong, Black female heroine? There are history lessons here, too, and students could discuss whether this takes place during slavery times or not.

Kids could act out this story easily. I'm buying it for my grandson (white) before it goes out of print, and I can't wait till he's old enough to get a kick out of it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm an elementary school teacher who loves reading this story to my students. The book was lost during my move to a different school. It was important that I find it and complete my personal library of school books.
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Format: Hardcover
Little Red Riding Hood is essentially a British folk tale. Flossie is a quintessentially American product. She's smart as a whip, cute as a button, and clever without being obnoxiously sassy or brash. She minds her manners while protecting her basket of eggs. She lives in the rural south of sometime past. Big Mama sends her to take some eggs to a neighbor because a fox has taken all the neighor's eggs. Big Mama warns Flossie to watch out for the fox because they surely do love eggs, and off Flossie goes in her pigtails and pinafore. She does meet up with the fox, and she cleverly outsmarts him, but you aren't sure she's going to do it until the last page, when she reveals what she's known all along. Patricia McKissack says this is one of the stories told her as a child. I can't find the source, but I read something else this gifted author wrote once about this 'black Little Red Riding' story. As best I recall, what she said is that this isn't a 'black Little Red Riding Hood story," it's a Flossie and the Fox story, and there's no need to have 'African American' substitutes for the traditional tales which we all should know, because we all should know them. She didn't write this story as a substitute- it's just another really good, ripping yarn that we *also* all should know. I hope I'm not misrepresenting what she said, but that's how I remember it. At any rate, I agree that this is a really good story for all children and their parents, and it stands boldly on its own merits, and Flossie is a little girl I'd be proud to know.
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