When Emily tells Foxy that she’s worried she doesn’t have everything she needs for school, the helpful fox makes her school supplies appear with a wave of his magic tail. Well, actually, with several waves of his magic tail. That’s because Foxy isn’t all that accurate when it comes to producing magical results. He tries to make a pencil appear—but a penguin materializes. Instead of a pencil case, a birdcage; instead of a notebook, a chalkboard; instead of an eraser, an enormous elephant. But eventually, Foxy gets it right and Emily ends up with all the things she needs. In the meantime, our protagonist is so busy giggling over Foxy’s mistakes (“No, silly, that’s a pirate flag!”) and trying to make him feel better (“I guess magic is hard”) that she forgets her own anxiety about school. Still, at the end of the night, there is one worry that lingers. “What if nobody likes me?” Emily asks. Foxy has the perfect response: “Now, you don’t need my magic for that, Emily … I know you’ll make plenty of friends.” Kids will be reassured by those wise words and by the concluding spread, which depicts Emily happily running into school with a group of friendly looking children.
What do you like to read with your children to help prepare them for the start of school?
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Sandra Lee Rella, mother of two budding bookworms, is a freelance editor and writer, and a former children’s book review editor.