White Fox by Chen Jiatong

Translated from Chinese and Published by Chicken House, 5th September 2019

A heart warming adventure full of courage, kindness and growing up. Dilah is a young Arctic Fox living happily with his parents. His older brother has left the den to explore the world and so Dilah is showered with love.

Even though warned against humans, Dilah is naturally curious and strays very close to several families throughout the story. This both hinders and helps his journey.

Dilah is forced to grow up and move out of the family den quickly and suddenly, only taking with him a wrapped parcel his mother spoke about. This parcel is part of a legend that can turn animals into humans- something Dilah has often wished.

Travelling solo, Dilah is forced to age quickly, make some tough choices and battle for his life. Fortunately, he makes good friends along his way who help and protect him. Dilah is so courageous and kind, that the other animals instinctively want to repay this back to him.

This mysterious parcel is wanted by another group of foxes and they track and hunt Dilah and his friends on their journey. As a reader, we learn so much about the legend of the moonstone, what Dilah learns the parcel is called. We also learn about his parents and later, about his brother.

The humans in the book are not always kind or environmental, and Dilah questions his wish to become human. It is a thought provoking element of the story. If you were an animal watching what humans are doing to the earth, would you join them or try to fight against them? Become good or evil?

The book is the first in a series and I was wishing book 2 was to hand to carry on the adventure with Dilah, Ankel and Little Bean. I lost myself completely in this journey of discovery, this legend of the moonstone and the courage of Dilah.

A stunning cover and illustrations in the book are courtesy of Chinese artist Viola Wang.

This is one to watch!

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