Magnetic. Nov. 2020. 192p. pap. $19.99. ISBN 9781942367956.
Gr 7 Up–Fans of Studio Ghibli will appreciate this quietly strange tale. Jeanne, a young white girl, and Pistouvi, a clever fox, live in a tree house and have free rein to explore the fields and forest. Their only concern is the grumpy “tractor-man” who tends the prairie and the occasional bout of hunger. Birds of all sizes settle in their fields and interrupt their idyllic wandering, though they never bother our heroes unless provoked. As Jeanne and Pistouvi interact with the birds and other characters, we see them gradually growing up. Jeanne looks up to the resident wind spirit, an ethereal woman who tends the fields with the tractor-man, but still finds herself lying to the wind and pushing boundaries where she can. Pistouvi gets nervous around the birds and wants Jeanne to pay more attention to him, but sometimes his temper gets the better of him. Gatignol’s ink illustrations are bold and full of movement. Both Jeanne and Pistouvi are adorable and expressive, and their world is fascinating. The story is somewhat fragmented, which can make the plot hard to follow, but it’s easy to be invested in the characters nonetheless. This translation of an earlier French release will find fans in its new home.
VERDICT A dreamscape of a graphic novel about the changing friendship between a young fox and his best friend. A good additional purchase.

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