Flossie and the Fox

by Patricia McKissack

Other authorsRachel Isadora (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 1986


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Dial (1986), Edition: 1st, 32 pages


A wily fox, notorious for stealing eggs, meets his match when he encounters a bold little girl in the woods who insists upon proof that he is a fox before she will be frightened.

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User reviews

LibraryThing member lecowan
This story is about a little African-American girl who is to deliver a basket of eggs to a local farmer before a fox outsmarts her. She meets a fox who she convinces must prove himself to her that he is a fox and not some other kind of animal. Through many different comparisons, the girl finally
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admits to the fox he is who he claims to be when the fox hounds start chasing him as she delivers the eggs to the farmer.

I loved this book! As I was reading it, the little girl really “came alive” to me. I could hear her telling the fox she did not believe him. When it came to the end of the story, I could tell how smart she really was and how she had been smarter than the fox by tricking him instead of the other way around. I also think this story would be really cute and entertaining to read aloud to early elementary children.

A teacher could use this book for many different activities. One activity would be to do a closed word sort with the children. Then a teacher could have the children find all the words that belong to a same word family or a specific category.
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LibraryThing member kapeoples
First or Second grade reading level; lesson could be used up until Fourth grade. This book is about a little girl, Flossie, who is asked by her grandmother to take some eggs over to the neighbor. On the way to the neighbor's house Flossie is stopped by a fox. The fox tries to trick Flossie and
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Flossie is presented with a dillemma: do what grandmother asked her to do or listen to the fox. A great tool in helping students decide how to make decisions and listen carefully to others. A cute story a great ending.
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LibraryThing member cvyork
The fourth graders loved it, but I was personally disappointed with the ending. I think that the students had predicted a better ending than what really had happened. It was about a girl who outsmarts a fox when she has to transport eggs through the woods, without him eating them.
LibraryThing member ebrady333
This story is about a little girl who is delivering eggs to a near by family. On the way she meets a fox that is going to try and steal her eggs. She tells the fox that she has never seen a fox before and does not believe that he is one. The fox tries to show her all the things that make hima foz
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bu she thinks he looks like a cat and other animals. When she gets to the end of the trail and almost to the house where she is taking the eggs she is glad because she pretend not to be scared of the fox and she out smarted him so he didnt get the eggs.

This book was so cute. This little brave girl out smarts the fox and saves the eggs. This book also used southern lingo which I liked, it made it more believeable.

I would use this book in a multicultural lesson. I would have students pick out the slang words that they did not know and we would translate them. Also we could compare animals that look alike in an animal lesson when learning about animal families.
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LibraryThing member conuly
I love the story here. Flossie - who "disremembers" ever seeing a fox - has to walk through the woods where a fox is to deliver eggs down the road. So naturally, when she sees a fox, she tells him he's all sorts of other things right up until she's safe through the woods and the hounds chase him.
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Seeing the little girl out-trick the trickster is *very* satisfying.

I also like the language - Flossie's speech is full-on in her dialect. (Note: Some people may not like this. If you get het up about the word "ain't" (spelled here "aine", so it's doubly nonstandard!) or double negatives, you will wish to read this book before you buy it.) For a five or seven year old girl, though, she sure does use big words! Confidencer, accord, disremember. And the fox, fitting his role, uses different language altogether, very formal and fancy and, at times, stiff.

The one problem I have with the book is the illustration. These pictures are detailed, lush, beautiful - and yet, I don't like them. I keep getting the feeling that I'm looking at posed pictures instead of what is ostensibly going on on the page! This is clearly just a matter of personal preference, but I took a a little off for it.
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LibraryThing member mitchellmerritt
"Flossie and the Fox" is a spin off of "Little Red Rideing Hood." In this southern folktale a young black girl is sent to deliver a basket of eggs to a neighbors house. As warned, she crosses paths with a egg sealing fox. Flossie out smarts
the fox by talking and frustrating the fox until they were
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threw the woods and safely at the neighbors house.
Ienjoyed this story. It reminds me of "Uncle Remus" stories. The illistrations are cheerfully bright and you can see and hear the cleverness oozing out of the girl.
It is never a good idea to rush into or take at face value or fist glance.
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LibraryThing member dangerlibearian
A little girl goes to deliver eggs to the next farm, she is told to watch out for the fox, but she does not know what a fox is, so why be scared. When she finally sees a fox, he has to convince her of his identity. But all of his characteristics are shared by other animals, so of course he must be
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those animals. Finally she has lowered his confidence and out-smarted him to the point where he almost gets caught by the farmer's dog.
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LibraryThing member lmeza
Clever, but too many words for my 4 yrs. old.
LibraryThing member Sulick1
This was a unique book that subtly combined multiculturalism and fantasy. It is not often that African American stories are tied to fantasy, but this author did a fluid job of blending the two together. What I liked so much about this book was that it used non-standard English for the voice of the
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main character and narration, and then used Standard/Academic Language for the character of the fox. This book still holds significant values to readers being that it is written in African American Vernacular English, especially to those students whose native style is AAVE. This would be a great scaffold to help them learn about Standard English through a personified fox. The characters in this book are also engaging to readers because students can identify with the young girl who is a main character since she is plotting to fool the fox and get her way; younger students are selfish and often find themselves in situations where they want to get their way. Readers will also enjoy reading about how the fox tries to prove himself, because in reality a fox does not have humanlike abilities to talk and interact with humans. The main point of this story is to showcase different vernaculars of English and demonstrate to readers that there is a way for them to interact with one another.
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LibraryThing member AdamLarson
I had a lot of mixed feelings about this book. This book was about a little girl who was taking a basket of eggs from one house in the country to another. Along the way, she meets a fox who steals eggs. She tells him that she doesn't believe he is a fox, and demands he prove it to her before she is
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willing to be afraid of him. I like this book because of the courage Flossie shows by refusing to be afraid of the fox. However, I dislike this book because of Flossie as well. The fox makes a litany of legitimate arguments for why he is a fox, but Flossie finds a clever way to dismiss them all. Ultimately, she leads the fox into range of a local rancher's hound dogs, and the fox escapes, all the while yelling "I can outrun and outsmart the hounds, because I am a fox!" Flossie then admits that she knew he was a fox the whole time. The central message of this book to me is that is ok to lie to and manipulate others if you are doing "right" and they are doing "wrong". I don't fully agree with this message, because things like right and wrong are subjective. Those eggs were made for the sole purpose of being eaten; it's not like the fox was murdering children or anything, he was simply trying to get food. Furthermore, lieing in and of itself is wrong. I understand that Flossie may not have had many means of defending herself, but foxes are generally small and fearful. This one didn't seem particularly fearful, but it also didn't seem that malevolent. It was offended that Flossie wasn't scared of it, and went through great efforts to convince Flossie that he was a fox and that she should be afraid of him. In reality, a fox would be terrified of a human, even a child, and run away at the sight of them. Or, if it was as dangerous as the story kind of implied, it wouldn't need to convince Flossie to be scared of it to get what it wanted; The only legitimate reason she would have to be scared of a fox is that it could hurt her, and if the fox was truly after the eggs she was carrying, and aggressively not scared of humans, it wouldn't give two cents about whether or not she was scared, it would simply attack her and take the eggs if it was able. Not only is the message of this book that it's ok to lie to suit your goals, but a secondary message is that even as a child, you shouldn't be afraid of wild, carnivorous animals; both of which I disagree with.

Reading Level: 1-3
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LibraryThing member lhanso1
I had mixed feelings about this book after reading it. I liked the book because the character development of Flossie and the Fox and their relationship together. The Fox states several reasons to prove the Flossie that he is a Fox, yet she cleverly dismisses all of them. I admire the character
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Flossie's bravery approaching the Fox and successfully protects the eggs. Although I enjoyed the character development, I did not like the language of the characters. The character Flossie has very very poor grammar while the Fox character has perfect grammar, which I found insulting that the animal has better grammar than the African American girl. The big message I got from the story is to be courageous in troubling situations.
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
When Flossie Finley is dispatched to her neighbors the McCutchins' place with a basket of eggs, her grandmother Big Mama warns her to take care, and to be wary of cunning foxes. No sooner does she set out however, than she meets a handsome red creature claiming to be just such an animal. Rather
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than being (or appearing) frightened, Flossie, who has never seen a fox before, refuses to believe the creature's protestations that he is indeed what he claims. His chagrin, when all his efforts to convince her fail, keeps him occupied as Flossie makes her journey in safety...

Described by some as an African-American retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, Flossie & the Fox is a story that author Patricia C. McKissack first heard from her grandfather, and fits squarely into the 'clever girl who outwits her stronger/more frightening adversary' tale-type. I was reminded a bit of Margaret Willey's Clever Beatrice and its sequels, which are also based on folkloric tradition. Although I appreciated Flossie's bravery, and her cunning - it is revealed at the end that she knew all along that the fox was telling the truth, but deceived him in order to keep him otherwise occupied while she safeguarded her eggs - as a fox-lover I admit to a certain sneaking sympathy for the vulpine opponent here. More than that, really... as someone who has read countless fox tales, I had difficulty believing that the fox could be so easily hoodwinked. The role reversal was interesting of course - usually the fox is the trickster, not the tricked - but in the end it left me unconvinced and unsatisfied. Still, as a 'clever girl' tale, this has appeal, and the artwork by Rachel Isadora, done in pencil, ink and watercolor, was lovely. Recommended to anyone looking for stories featuring clever little girls, the southern African-American folk tradition (the dialogue is in dialect), or foxes.
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LibraryThing member Whisper1
Wonderful illustrations augment this clever book. Flossie's grandmother tells her that a fox in the area is stealing the eggs. Giving her a full basket of eggs to deliver to a nearby house, Flossie comes upon a Fox. Asking him a series of questions to prove he is indeed a fox, she succeeds in
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arriving at her destination safely and with the same amount of eggs she had when she started.

This is a lovely tale of a very wise girl who outfoxed the fox.
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LibraryThing member Kesterbird
a good story, and well told. The telling is obviously southern, but without being twee about it or overemphasizing the language. The character is a little girl, but there's no big deal made of it. This book delicately avoids that terrible trap of making it's diversity feel like a difference; it
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just is. It's lovely.
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Original language



0803702515 / 9780803702516


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