The Rough Patch

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The Rough Patch Award Winners

4 out of 5 stars

(1 Reviews)

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Average Rating:

4 out of 5

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  • A Bad Place

    4 out of 5

    Written by , Posted on at 3:21:12 PM

    This gentle tale of a fox’s fierce love for his dog takes us through the grief process in very believable terms. Why foxes are used to stand in for human beings is puzzling; foxes and dogs are natural enemies. (Maybe that’s the point that I’m missing.) Still, it’s a minor point with which most children won’t concern themselves. The anthropomorphized fox is an avid gardener and his love for his green space and his dog shine forth in the early images. When his beloved canine dies, we see his pain, so stark in the simple image tears almost come to the eyes. Evan’s subsequent anger, misery and gloom are reflected in the changes he forces into his garden and the plants that bloom in the absence of his carefully tended herbals. These things, too, have their own beauty which the stricken Evan actually appreciates. The story ends happily but that isn’t the thrust of the narrative. As in most processes, it is the journey that counts. The book has a subtle but beautiful message about the nature of loss, how nature abhors a vacuum and the way life can compensate for what is taken from us.