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Children's Fiction Friendship


by (author) Esmé Shapiro

Initial publish date
Jul 2016
Friendship, Foxes, Dogs
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2016
    List Price
  • Board book

    Publish Date
    Mar 2020
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2


Ooko has everything a fox could want: a stick, a leaf and a rock. Well, almost everything . . . Ooko wants someone to play with too! The foxes in town always seem to be playing with their two-legged friends, the Debbies. Maybe if he tries to look like the other foxes, one of the Debbies will play with him too. But when Ooko finally finds his very own Debbie, things don't turn out quite as he had expected!
A quirky, funny, charmingly illustrated story about finding friendship and being true to yourself.

About the author


  • Winner, Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design – Children
  • Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Awards - Children's Literature - Illustration

Contributor Notes

ESMÉ SHAPIRO grew up in Laurel Canyon, California and Ontario, Canada. Currently she and her dog, Chebini Brown, split their time between Brooklyn and New York’s Hudson Valley. A graduate of The Rhode Island School of Design, Esmé is a past recipient of both the Nancy Lee Rhodes Roberts Scholarship and The SILA West 53 Gold Award-Phillip Hayes Scholarship. She has exhibited at The Society of Illustrators and her work has been featured in Taproot and Plansponsor magazines. Ooko is her very first picture book. Connect with her online at, on twitter and Instagram @esmeshapiro.

Editorial Reviews

An Amazon Editors' Best of the Month (3-5), December 2016

"Playful, joyous and hip." —Kirkus Reviews

"Shapiro is on to something here: a hard to define “Ooko-ness,” that is lovely, invigorating and pure." —Quill & Quire

"There are some books that are almost not even worth reviewing, simply because their merits are too obvious that they’re primed to become a hit without any outside help . . . this is one of those books. . . . Shapiro’s sugar-spun world that exists on these pages is an idyllic and compassionate place, where life lessons are learned at a softly rolling pace." —Globe and Mail
"The weird effervescence . . . gets me every time." Jewish Currents

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