David LaRochelle

author & illustrator

Mr. Fox’s Game of “No!”

Mr. Fox's Game of "No!"

by David LaRochelle
illus­trat­ed by Mike Wohnout­ka
Can­dlewick Press, Sep­tem­ber 10, 2024
Ages: Preschool to Grade 3
ISBN 978–1536240481

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Step right up for a bat­tle of wits and test your brain with this near­ly impos­si­ble Game of “NO!” Kids will love avoid­ing Mr. Fox’s clever traps in this fun­ny, inter­ac­tive sto­ry, but they won’t be able to resist answer­ing “YES!” when asked if they want to read it again.

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  LaRochelle and Wohnout­ka, the bril­liant­ly wit­ty writer and illus­tra­tor whose book See the Cat: Three Sto­ries about a Dog won the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, take kids on a vic­ar­i­ous adven­ture of sneaky ques­tions designed to trip up and amuse lis­ten­ers in equal mea­sure. From the cov­er por­trait of Mr. Fox sport­ing a car­ni­val barker’s top hat, cane and easy smile, to his final bow, the illus­tra­tions cap­ture his role as an able trick­ster and his ideas for beguil­ing his audi­ence. After all, every ques­tion in the book pre­pares kids to answer the last one cor­rect­ly. And here it is: “Have you ever read a fun­nier, bet­ter writ­ten, more beau­ti­ful­ly illus­trat­ed book than this one?” A clever, hilar­i­ous pic­ture book! (Book­list, starred review)

LaRochelle delight­ful­ly upends expec­ta­tions in this trib­ute to the pow­er of no. … Clever Mr. Fox pro­pos­es a “near­ly impos­si­ble” game: say­ing no to every ques­tion he asks. Inad­ver­tent yea-say­ers must return to page one and reread. Innocu­ous ques­tions such as, “Are you ready to play?” are traps. And when read­ers are pre­sent­ed with an enor­mous ice cream sun­dae, the ques­tion, “Would you like a taste?” tru­ly becomes dia­bol­i­cal. … Accom­pa­nied by Wohnoutka’s chuck­le-wor­thy car­toon images, the ques­tions turn a bit more per­son­al: “Are you stronger than a baby?” “Are you wear­ing any under­wear?” In a laugh-out-loud mar­vel of excess and pac­ing, Mr. Fox chal­lenges read­ers to put up with a tongue lick­ing from slob­bery, smelly Stinkpot the water buf­fa­lo. And the very last no-brain­er ques­tion is a neat­ly engi­neered bit of puffery: “Have you ever read a fun­nier, bet­ter writ­ten, more beau­ti­ful­ly illus­trat­ed book than this one?” But there’s no penal­ty for reread­ing this hilar­i­ous, irre­sistible book — per­haps read­ers will out-manip­u­late Mr. Fox after all! You can bet on this sideshow for an inter­ac­tive good time.  (Kirkus Reviews)