Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt, Isabelle Arsenault

Jane, the Fox and Me

Written by Fanny Britt, Isabelle Arsenault

11+ readers   

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Told almost entirely in pictures – strip cartoons and some larger scale illustrations - with only a small amount of text in speech and captions, this is a powerfully moving story which captures the loneliness of being an outsider. Without preaching or spelling it out, it also presents an unusual and heart-warming way that such an experience can be resolved. The almost-teenager narrator once had friends; now the other girls’ gossip and giggle about her and write nasty things about her weight on the wall. Consumed with self-loathing she finds solace in Jane Eyre, another unhappy character but one for whom there is a resolution. But the appearance of a fox on a school trip to the countryside changes everything. As does the arrival of a new friend. A quiet book with a strong story that makes a lasting impact.


Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt, Isabelle Arsenault

Helene is not free to hide from the taunts of her former friends in the corridors at school. She can't be invisible in the playground or in the stairways leading to art class. Insults are even scribbled on the walls of the toilet cubicles. Helene smells, Helene's fat, Helene has no friends ...now. When Helene's heart hammers in her chest as Genevieve snickers at the back of the bus, inventing nasty things to say about her, Helene dives into the pages of her book Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. And, in the solace she finds there, Helene's own world becomes a little brighter. But how will the story end? Is there any hope for the wise, strange, plain Jane Eyre? How could Mr Rochester ever love her? On nature camp, arranged by the school as a treat, Helene finds herself in the tent of other outcasts. Again, her inner and outer worlds become entangled as she reads on - this time putting herself into Jane Eyre's shoes. It would be impossible for Mr Rochester to marry a sausage in a swimsuit, even if he loved her. Wouldn't it? But, while deeply lost in self-doubt, Helene's world is unexpectedly shaken up by a fresh new friendship. Geraldine snorts with laughter at her jokes! They love being together! Helene begins to worry less about what the cruel girls think - and more about how happy she can be (and make others)...Perhaps Jane Eyre's story will end well after all, too.


Sometimes there is no logical explanation for child cruelty. We're lucky if we have a Jane Eyre to turn to, even as we try to find new friends and confidants. For some children out there, Jane, the Fox & Me is going to be their own Jane Eyre. Helene will shoulder their blows and offer hope for coming out strong at the end. Could a book of this sort hope for anything better? A rare piece. -- Elizabeth Bird * School Libraries Journal * Jane, The Fox and Me is an absolute treasure that blends the realities of children's capacity to be cruel, the possibilities of transcending our own psychological traps, and literature's power to nourish, comfort, and transform * Brain Pickings * This graphic novel is engaging and very moving. Evocative drawings with clever use of colour illustrate Helene's isolation, sadness and, finally, hope. -- Marilyn Brocklehurst * The Bookseller * An emotional graphic novel. The illustrations are lovely. -- Jemima Catlin * The Big Issue in Scotland * This graphic novel by an author/illustrator team from Quebec is a haunting, nuanced study of isolation, bullying, depression, and perseverance. The world for Helene is drab and grey, depicted in pencil scribbles, charcoal smudges and cloudy ink washes. Imagination and fantasy bring rare spots of colour, until at last Helene finds a new friend, Geraldine, and real life assumes the myriad hues of fiction. It's a superb, masterful piece of work. * Financial Times * Using the graphic novel format Britt and Arsenault have created an incredibly moving of story of overcoming bullying and loneliness. The use of colour is particularly striking and evocative. . . Beautifully poetic, at times heartbreaking but also full of hope, Jane, the Fox & Me is a powerful example of how deep and meaningful graphic novels can be. * Library Mice * A wonder of a children's graphic novel. This book should be supplied to every school in the country to help highlight the effects of bullying * Wondrous Reads * A well-written look at bullying and Fanny Britt really captures the poignancy of Helene's despair in her sparse, well-chosen words, it's Isabelle Arsenault's illustrations for this graphic novel which make it a must read * The Book Bag * Have you ever found a book that is just so beautiful you don't really care what it's about? Because that's how I felt the moment I saw the illustrations of Jane, the Fox and Me . . . If only there were more graphic novels as impressive and appealing to young girls as this one! * Transatlantic Bibliophilia * A graphic novel so well drawn and beautifully told I'm certain it will speak to adults too -- Rachel Cooke * The Observer * This beautiful graphic novel is 101 pages - long enough to be really absorbing. You can devour it in one hit and/or savour it more slowly. I'm relatively inexperienced in reading graphic novels, but I love the way this one is more than the sum of its parts - evocative drawings and spare text, then the space in the reader's mind where these two elements combine and expand. The message I took from this story was that everybody needs somebody, and that friendship is a precious thing. School children of all ages, especially girls and those grappling with friendship problems, would find this an engaging read * Armadillo * Shows its young readers how free and independent they can be from other people's abuse, how much they can rely on their own resources, as well as on the beauty and surprises life has in the stores for them. It points out how all these experiences help them grow out of their problems. The beautiful drawings by Isabelle Arsenault make this encouragement all the more clear * Sul Romanzo * Quite outstanding -- Robert Dunbar * Irish Times * In this beautiful, uplifting graphic novel by a Quebecois author/ illustrator team, a lonely, ostracized girl finds solace in Jane Eyre and companionship in a fox she encounters one night at summer camp. The anti-bullying angle is downplayed

About the Author

Fanny Britt is a Quebec playwright, author and translator. She has written a dozen plays (among them Honey Pie, Hotel Pacifique and Bienveillance) and translated more than fifteen others. She has also written and translated several works of children's literature. Jane, the Fox and Me is her first graphic novel.

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Book Info


104 pages


Fanny Britt, Isabelle Arsenault
More books by Fanny Britt, Isabelle Arsenault


Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

8th February 2014




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