A gentle rhyming story app for ages 3-5+ about a beautiful fox that falls asleep in Peter Maceever’s garden. Suitable for grown-ups to share with and read to younger ones, or for ages 4-5 to explore alone with the British author narrating.
Includes simple ‘word bubbles’ with matching voiceover that appear and play on touch of key objects to encourage basic word/object recognition – and a fun drag and drop word/picture matching game at the end for older ones, to consolidate learning.
This is the first of six rhyming stories by Karen Inglis about Ferdinand, a beautiful and kind-hearted urban fox .
“Ferdinand Fox curled up in the sun as the church of St Mary struck quarter past one. His tummy was full, he was ready for sleep, and closing his eyes he began to count sheep…”
When Peter Maceever spots Ferdinand Fox sleeping in his garden he tiptoes out to take a photo, certain that the fox will run off. However, at the click of the camera Ferdinand simply opens one eye then goes right back to sleep! He has far more important things to do – like dream about cake, ice cream and all of his other favorite food, which he shares with us through his dream bubbles…
By the end of the story Ferdinand has left the garden. “ but we somehow know that we have just met a very special fox.”
Behind the Book
The character of Ferdinand was inspired by a beautiful urban fox I saw one misty November evening in London trotting by under a streetlamp in a quiet backroad “ he had the most beautiful coat, very kind eyes and a magnificent tail. That evening and over the following days and weeks I couldn’t stop thinking about him. Where was he going? What sort of fox was he? He certainly looked very special to me!
After that people kept telling me about foxes they had seen in urban settings doing funny things. Quite suddenly I found myself turning these tales into rhyming stories. Then one day my flatmate (roommate) told me about a fox that had fallen asleep in our back garden when I was out. He had tiptoed out to take a photo — and the rest of the story is true, though of course I made up the food dreaming part!
Why Kids Love the Book
Firstly for the rhyme and rhythm of the story – along with the vibrant illustrations. (At school visits children love filling in the missing words once they have heard the story once! And the love counting time as the clock moves from one to five o’clock.)
Secondly because I think we are all curious about wild animals – children are quickly drawn in to find out more about this fox – the story very much puts them in Peter Maceever’s shoes.
Thirdly because the gentle interaction allows them to explore what they see on the page through touch, sight and sound and so become part of the story. The word bubbles that appear on touch of an object (eg fox, sheep, tree, cake etc) fade in gently and stay just long enough to be associated with my voice saying each word.
Finally for fun — a few of the images offer surprises on touch: for example, the pink jelly pudding wobbles and makes a gurgling noise, and the clock strikes on touch. However this interaction doesn’t dominate the story and can be ignored entirely if you wish.
For the older ones the matching game includes fun sound effects not only for when they get the answer right (lots of children cheering and the image drops into place) but also if the answer is wrong (a fun ‘boing’ sound plays and the image bounces back to its starting place, giving the child the opportunity to try again). As there are only four choices on each page it doesn’t take long to get it right!
Author website: kareninglisauthor.com