Written by: Frédéric Brrémaud
Illustrated by: Federico Bertolucci
Publisher: Magnetic Press
Format: Hardcover, 8.5 x 11, 80 pages, Full Color, $17.99
Brrémaud and Bertolucci present the second volume in their wordless nature series Love, presenting readers with a lush and captivating tale of survival in the wild.
This new volume follows a fox on what appears to be a typical autumn day: scouting for food while avoiding the grazing muskoxen, while herds of rams gallop and seabirds dive for fish. But things soon turn, as a nearby volcano erupts, forcing the fox – and every other creature in the area – into a desperate quest for survival.
Using no vocalizations or sounds effects, Brrémaud's scripts utilizes the animals' daily routines (mainly involving either trying to find food or avoid being food) not only to offer the readers a nearly poetic view of animal life – even with its inherent danger – but to craft a traditional narrative in which elements from the beginning play a role in the end. Without anthropomorphizing the players, he fills them with spirit and drive, and the panic that comes with encountering molten lava is easily understandable to any species.
Much of the strength of the experience comes from Bertolucci's art, which features lush colors and naturalistic settings, but with a framing that's reminiscent of high quality nature films. He depicts a wide variety of animals and settings – from the fox, muskoxen, rams, and bears in the forest to whales and orcas underwater to seals and a polar bear in a wintery land – each coming to life with richness and vibrancy. While there are some exaggerated emotional reactions in a couple of instances, the movements and expressions stay true to the various animals.
Love: The Fox is an exemplary graphic novel for readers who enjoy stories of animals, nature, or the environment. There are some scenes of animals fighting that may be too intense for younger readers, but otherwise this is an enjoyable book for any age.