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Children's Fiction Foxes

Fox Walked Alone

illustrated by Barbara Reid

Scholastic Canada Ltd
Initial publish date
Feb 2009
Foxes, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2009
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 8
  • Grade: p to 3



Have you ever wondered just how the animals got to Noah's Ark?

One morning Fox awakens sensing that something is different. He goes outside and sees a line of animals going by. Curious, he decides to tag along—not to join them, but just to watch from a distance. He is followed by a pair of ravens who comment on his strange behaviour. Along the way he meets bears, porcupines, tigers. . . and he sets free a couple of doves in a cage. The animals walk, sleep, and walk some more. Finally they come into sight of a big wooden ship—and there, outside, is a young lady fox. "You're the one I'm waiting for!" she exclaims, and they all tumble into the ark.

"The story of Noah's Ark always leaves me with lots of questions, especially about the animals. How could they fit in? Could they all get along? And most of all, why did they decide to board the Ark? I worked on the story to try to answer these questions," explains Barbara Reid. "I chose a fox to be the main character for its sly, intelligent and curious personality. It's a companion to Two by Two from the fox's viewpoint, which gave me a chance to revisit a very rich story and spend more time with some of my favourite animals."


About the author


Barbara Reid réalise des illustrations avec de la pâte à modeler pour ensuite laisser le soin à son conjoint, Ian Chrisler de les photographier. Barbara a signé plusieurs livres à titre d'auteure malgré qu'elle avoue ne pas éprouver autant de plaisir à écrire une histoire qu'à l'illustrer. Elle a gagné plusieurs prix dont le prix du Gouverneur général et en 2014, le prix Libris dans la catégorie album illustré. Elle est aussi membre de l'Ordre de l'Ontario et de l'Ordre du Canada. Barbara vit à Toronto.


BARBARA REID is one of Canada’s most renowned creators of picture books, including Picture the Sky (Imagine le ciel), Picture a Tree, Perfect Snow and The Party. Her vibrant dimensional illustrations make her work a favourite around the world, and she has received many honours and awards, including the Governor General’s Award, the UNICEF Ezra Jack Keats Award, the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award and CBC’s Fan Choice Award. In 2013, Barbara was made a member of the Order of Canada for her contributions to the Canadian children’s literature community. She lives in Toronto, Ontario with her husband, photographer Ian Crysler. Visit her at


Barbara Reid's profile page


  • Commended, Today's Parent 100 best Canadian kids' books of all time
  • Commended, Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Younger Readers
  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Our Choice
  • Short-listed, Shining Willow Award (Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice)
  • Long-listed, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award
  • Short-listed, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award
  • Commended, IBBY International Honour List, Illustration
  • Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award
  • Short-listed, OLA Blue Spruce Award

Librarian Reviews

Fox Walked Alone

One opens a new book by Barbara Reid with eager anticipation and Fox Walked Alone is a feast for the senses. Our eyes are drawn in wonderment to page after page of arresting Plasticene images, and her words are a joy to read aloud or to ponder quietly.

Told from the viewpoint of a solitary fox, Fox Walks Alone relates the tale of the memorable trek undertaken by the animals walking two by two to the safety of Noah’s Ark. Fox always walks alone, but one morning when he senses that something is amiss, he decides to follow the animal procession hurrying past him. The animals, driven with determination, traverse a desert and through wastelands and a ruined city until their final destination on a dusty plain is reached. Here Fox is joined by a partner who races him to the door of their waiting haven.

This story is told in rhyme, and the words are so descriptive and alluring that they could easily stand on their own. “The sky was odd, the wind was wrong.../ Fox thought he’d better tag along./ And every place they hurried through,/ More creatures joined them, two by two.” However, it is Reid’s Plasticene masterpieces which elevate her work to stellar heights. Note the use of an atmospheric desert palette, the marked contrast in textures, the rapidly changing skyscapes, the individuality portrayed in each creature’s expression, the scope of the scenery, and, in spite of the feeling of urgency, a sense of humour. One can read and examine this book many times, yet always discover a never-seen-before detail or nuance. Special mention must be made of the talent of photographer Ian Crysler, who skillfully captures the finest details of Reid’s artistry. The illustrations are so vivid that the fur and feathers of some of the creatures positively glimmer because of the lighting.

Readers of Fox Walked Alone will experience a most entrancing journey as they enter the world of Fox, his shipmates, and the inspiring imagination of Barbara Reid.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Winter 2007. Vol.30 No.1.

Fox Walked Alone

How did the animals get to Noah’s Ark? In this companion to Two by Two, the award-winning author and Plasticine artist tells the story from the fox’s viewpoint.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2007.

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