Tuesday, March 1, 2016


I should know better than to read stories about animals.

They reach in and tear out my heart, even if the story is fiction.

One that comes to mind is 'Pax', the story of a little fox and his boy, written by the wonderful children's author, Sara Pennypacker.

You see, the problem I have with animal stories is that the animal usually dies, and I cannot handle the grief.  I end up on the couch, crying my stupid eyes out, while my cats circle me and wonder when I'm going to feed them.  Every time I'm in a bookstore, or the library, and find an animal book, I always ask if the animal dies.  Most know better than to tell me.

'Pax' is a wonderful story about, as I said before, a little fox and his human boy.  The boy saved the fox when it was just a kit, and it lived with Peter and his father.  It had no taste for the wild, aside from various animals milling about the yard while Pax was in his cage.

But when Peter's father enlists in the military, he makes Peter return Pax to the wild.  Although Peter ends up living with his grandfather, who lives 300 miles away, he strikes out on his own to find his beloved companion.

While Peter continues on his journey back home, Pax keeps a look-out for his boy, and finds adventures of his own.
Author Sara Pennypacker

This is such a gently-written story, so full of love and compassion.  Peter and Pax make a remarkable pair, although they are separated for most of the story.  But the 'not knowing' hit me hard; I wanted to read ahead, but the story deserved my fullest attention.  It is very compelling and full of suspense.  

Writing a children's story is hard work, and much care goes into it.  There are lessons to be taught, and lessons that are learned.

And, in this case, tears that are shed for a story that will be cherished for generations to come.

'Pax', written by Sara Pennypacker, is available at your local library and favorite bookstore.  ISBN 9780062377012.  Ms. Pennypacker is the award-winning author of the 'Flat Stanley'  and 'Clementine' series, along with many other stories for children.

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