THE FOX AN THE FOREST FIRE
By: Danny Popovici
Published: August 24, 2021
Publisher: Chronicle Kids
So many families have been devastated by forest fires this summer. It seems every day on the news another area is being ravaged and destroyed by wildfires. This new children’s book offers an opportunity to discuss how the wildfires affect nature and the people that live near it.
A young boy and his mom move from the city to the country. The boy has a hard time adjusting to the much quieter nights, the chirping birds, and hiking with his mom. Eventually, he finds the joy of living in the forest and being immersed in nature. He even notices a fox is often nearby.
One day during an adventure, he spots a plume of smoke in the distance. He hurries home to tell his mom and suddenly his life is uprooted from the forest back to the city while they take shelter.
Danny Popovici spent a summer many years ago, working on a forest firefighting crew. He learned to appreciate nature, animals, and the danger of forest fires. More recently, he had to flee from a forest fire in his own area, which led him to write this book.
His attention to the sensitive topic and the importance of appreciating nature is noticeable. This is a hard topic to write for children and Popovici has taken a difficult topic to discuss and made it understandable and empathetic. His compassion for teaching others about wildfires is evident. The character in this story comes home to find his home destroyed, but instead of being angry, he and his mom find joy in a new beginning. His message is one that kids from all kinds of disappointment can take a lesson from. Popovici also shares his personal story with readers at the end of the book as well as a lesson on wildfires and a need for action to protect our environment.
On a personal note, my cousin’s husband is a National Forest Fire Fighter. He is in charge of his own forest in the Chippewa National Forest in Minnesota. He often travels to other forest fires across the nation, traveling out West this summer to help fight fires, missing out on family events, birthdays, etc. Their son has even started fighting forest fires as well. Their bravery and willingness to sacrifice their time, their safety, and sleep in tents surrounded by fires amaze me.