Development, ambition and the consequences of one’s actions come together in the engaging children’s picture book, The Fox’s Tower by Tuula Pere.
The story opens with Francis the Fox, ambitious as ever, searching for the right plot of land to build a landmark that will win over the minds and hearts of the city folk he once disappointed, and put him back in their good graces. After finding what seems to be a forgotten piece of land tucked in between two high-rise buildings, Francis gets to work by trying to persuade important city officials to let him build there. As luck would have it, the members of the city agree to his plan and construction starts on Francis’ new tower. He soon enlists the help of Bernie the Badger, an experienced builder whose job is to oversee the construction of the tower. While Francis’ goal is to build the tallest building in the city, no matter the cost, Bernie tries to ensure everything is constructed in accordance with city regulations so the building is safe for occupancy. Unfortunately, Francis has other plans and uses trickery and cunning to outwit the construction team. The result? Disaster. With a lack of the correct supports and materials, the building collapses, along with Francis’ dreams. Once again, he disappoints not only himself, but everyone who supported his vision as well.

Filled with important messages and ideas, The Fox’s Tower is a thoroughly original story that will encourage young readers to think big and stretch their imaginations. The book does a wonderful job at showing the repercussions of not thinking an idea all the way through, and the impact this can have on the people around you. In addition, the progression is easy for readers to follow, as we see Francis willing to take greater and greater risks to get what he wants, without concern for what may happen as a result. Parents, educators, librarians and caregivers will truly appreciate sharing this lesson with young ones, as it is important for them to develop a sense of right and wrong and consider others’ opinions and objectives when making decisions themselves.

The true standout feature of the book though is the diverse and relatable cast of characters. From Francis’ blind ambition to Bernie the Badger’s cautious nature, Pere presents a full spectrum of differing attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that readers will be able to understand and learn from.
Vibrant and colorful illustrations bring the book to life, perfectly complementing the story and helping readers visualize each scene as it happens. Creativity and wonder shine through in Pere’s intelligent, playful scenes.

The Fox’s Tower is an empowering manifesto about the importance of learning from one’s mistakes.