Fox Song


32 pages
ISBN 0-19-541000-9
DDC j813'.54




Illustrations by Paul Morin
Reviewed by Kelly L. Green

Kelly L. Green is co-author of The Ethical Shopper’s Guide to Canadian
Supermarket Products and associate editor of the Canadian Book Review


This poignant tale by Joseph Bruchac is about the importance of
remembering—remembering people, stories, and the things that link us
to those who have gone before. Young Jamie lies in her bedroom, too sad
to get out of bed after waking from a dream in which her Grama Bowman,
who was really her great grandmother, was still alive. She closes her
eyes and wills herself to remember specific times she spent with Grama
Bowman: the bark they gathered to make a basket, the respect Grama had
for the tree from which the bark came, songs Grama taught her in her
Native Abenaki language, and the way she taught Jamie to regard the
earth, its seasons, and the animals who share its space with us.

Jamie finally rises and goes outside to walk where she used to walk
with Grama. While she is out, she sees a red fox that Grama called her
best friend and remembers Grama telling her that someday, “when you
are out here and I am not with you, you keep your eyes open. You might
see her, and when you do, you will think of me.”

Bruchac’s story is not only a lovely tale about loss and the legacy
of good memories. By drawing on his own Native background, he conveys in
very simple and concrete terms the importance of a spiritual connection
to our familial and natural roots. It is in her stories about the
animals and nature that Jamie finds her continuing connection to Grama
Bowman, and her solace. Bruchac also manages to demonstrate the capacity
children have for grief, and the respect that adults should show for
this depth of feeling. Morin’s beautifully realistic paintings
complement the text perfectly. Highly recommended.


Bruchac, Joseph., “Fox Song,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 24, 2024,