Follow this young fox as he explores the world around him during the first few months of his life. He’s about a month old when he first comes out of the den. Watch as he explores the world around him, learning how to hunt through play and by using his senses. See the changes as he grows from a young kit to a young fox. After all, by the next summer, he’ll have children of his own! Naturalist photographer and environmental educator Mary Holland has captured Ferdinand’s First Summer in a way that is sure to grab children’s hearts.
Keywords: seasons, behavioral adaptation, physical adaptation, growth and change, summer, animal senses, adaptations, learned behavior, life cycle, sequencing, months
Animals in the book: red fox
Vetters: Thanks to Amy Yeakel, Education Program Director and Dave Erler, Senior Naturalist, at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center; Helen Fey Fischel, Associate Director Education, Delaware Nature Society; Kathy Uhler, Director, Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center; and to Doug Jackson, Park Naturalist at Westmoor Park (CT) for verifying the accuracy of the information in this book.
"Ferdinand is a red fox kit who begins life in a den with his brothers and sisters. Readers observe him and his siblings getting milk from their mother and, as they grow, waiting for her to bring them food. Also discussed are foxes’ keen senses and how meaningful play teaches them to thrive in the wild. The story, which takes readers through the course of a year, concludes with Ferdinand’s gradual approach to independence as he must hunt on his own. Each spread includes a large, engaging photo and a paragraph or two of text. The book concludes with additional facts about red foxes and short activities about their life cycle and diets. No sources are listed. The brief text does not have much depth, but it is accurately touted as being a “fun-to-read story and a launch pad for discussions and learning.”–Stephanie Farnlacher, Trace Crossings Elementary School, Hoover, AL School Library Journal
"An irresistible kit fox greets the reader on the cover of this book and draws one into the world of Ferdinand and his family of red fox. Facts about the kit fox's life cycle, adaptations, and food preferences abound in this exquisite, photographic journey through the first year of life." (May 2013)
"Ferdinand and his siblings explore the world with their senses, putting new things in their mouths to taste and feel. They point their ears toward sounds and explore their incredible sense of smell. The kits practice pouncing on prey by jumping on each other and play fight to learn defenses. By the end of the summer, Ferdinand is putting all these things to use to find his own food, and next spring, his own kits will be learning the same lessons."...(January 2013) Kirkus Reviews
Mary Holland is a naturalist, nature photographer, columnist, and award-winning author with a life-long passion for natural history. After graduating from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources, Mary worked as a naturalist at the Museum of the Hudson Highlands in New York state, directed the state-wide Environmental Learning for the Future program for the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, worked as a resource naturalist for the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and designed and presented her own “Knee-High Nature Programs” for libraries and elementary schools throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. In addition to Animal Eyes her children’s books include A Beaver’s Busy Year and Ferdinand Fox’s First Summer (NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books, Moonbeam Bronze award) with Arbordale and Milkweed Visitors, (Science Books and Films’ list for the best books of 2006 in the category Children’s Books under Zoological Sciences). Mary’s book Naturally Curious: a Photographic Field Guide and Month-by-Month Journey Through the Fields, Woods and Marshes of New England won the 2011 National Outdoor Book Award for the Nature Guidebook category. Mary lives in Vermont with her lab, Emma.
Visit Mary’s blog at naturallycuriouswith maryholland.wordpress.com
2014 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books
2013 Bronze Moonbeam Award
Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year 2014
2014 New Books for Missouri Students Selection
Science Books & Films Best Books of 2014 in Zoological Sciences