Ooko - Esme Shapiro

text and illustrations by Esme Shapiro

age range:

Penguin Random HOuse

Tundra Books


Ooko is a fox, and he is looking for a friend. He is excited when he finds another fox, who is actually a dog, playing with a fur less two-legged fox, who is actually a girl named Debbie. But Debbie and the dog run away when he gets closer to play with them. Ooko is very upset. He really wants to have his own debbie to play with, but it seems debbies doesn't like him. What do the other foxes have that he doesn't? Ooko tries very hard to be like the other foxes until a short sighted woman mistakes him for her dog Ruthie. Then Ooko realizes that debbies are not that good at games after all...

Finally Ooko meets Oomi, a raccon who would love to play stick with him. Ooko is happy to know he doesn't need to be like the other foxes to have a friend.


We loved this book. It's funny and sweet. The art is beautiful, and original. I found the message "to each their own" interesting. The story points to the idea that when we can't find a friend it doesn't mean there's something wrong with us, we should just look for someone who doesn't expect from us to be who we are not. Someone who likes "play stick" as much as we do.


I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.