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A Charming Picture Book for Learning to Belong and Finding Friendship With This Little Fox That Thinks He Is a Dog

Updated on December 19, 2018
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Belonging Can Be an Adventure

Little Fox learns that being himself is a good thing.
Little Fox learns that being himself is a good thing. | Source

Learning to Belong

Young readers will appreciate the theme of this charming picture book about learning to belong and finding love and friendship. Animal lovers will also enjoy this story of the little fox that wishes that he could be a dog, but knows that he is a fox.

Luca visits the dog park and is promptly rejected by all of the dogs that are playing in the park. He wants to make new friends but the park rules say that if you are not a dog, you must keep out. Luca tries to explain to the other dogs that he can do everything that a dog does. He can chase cats and bark at the mailman. He also tells them that he has a tail that wags and whiskers on his face. The other dogs do not accept all of these facts and Luca is still a fox. Luca wanders the city looking for others that look like him. He finally leaves the city to go into the forest and live as a fox. He discovers a group of foxes, but these foxes are convinced that Luca is a dog. What is Luca to do? He doesn't belong anywhere! A surprise friend comes along and Luca finally has a home.

Katrina Wolf's I Am Not A Fox is written with love. Young readers will be engaged with the story as they read along and Luca searches for a place to belong. Chuck Groenink contributes his talent as an illustrator with large and colorful illustrations that fill each page. Young readers who have dogs will appreciate the illustrations of many kinds of dogs. I Am Not A Fox was published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. It has an ISBN of 9780399174506. It is recommended for ages 3-7. There is a lesson of learning to belong within the story.

Engaging Illustrations Accompany the Story

Luca, the little fox wishes that he could be a dog
Luca, the little fox wishes that he could be a dog | Source
Luca is rejected by the dogs in the park
Luca is rejected by the dogs in the park | Source
Luca finds a surprise friend and a home as a mystery dog
Luca finds a surprise friend and a home as a mystery dog | Source

Bring Luca's Lesson into Your Classroom

Young children often struggle with the feeling that they do not belong. Luca, the little fox in Karina Wolf's I Am Not A Fox has a compelling story for teaching that being different is ok and that everyone can belong. You just have to keep looking for your special place to belong.

*Read I Am Not A Fox in your group story time session. Call attention to Luca, the little fox and how he is like the dogs.

*Engage the children in a language activity with a discussion of how Luca is like a dog and the ways that he is not like a dog. This activity teaches the skill of comparison. Divide a large sheet of chart paper into two columns for Like and Unlike. Write children's ideas in the appropriate column. You might like to read the children's words back to them as you write. This language activity can also teach that writing is associated with reading.

*Make a class chart of how many children have a dog for a pet. Call attention to the illustrations of the many kinds of breeds of dogs. This can engage children in learning the skill of comparison.

*Call attention to the illustration of the little girl with her books of pictures of dogs. She is trying to discover what kind of dog Luca is. You might like to have additional books about dogs available for the children to use.

*Take a class poll of the number of children that would like to have a fox for a pet. What would they do with their fox?

*You might like to introduce a fox as an animal to learn more about. What kind of habitat does a real fox need? What do they eat? Would a real fox be able to live in a home as a pet?

*Have children role-play an activity that they could do with their pet fox.

Kinds of Pets

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© 2018 Cindy Hewitt


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