Readalongs is a new feature here at Literary Lindsey. As you probably know, I have two littles (8 and 3, respectively). It's fun to read beloved childhood classics with the kids in your life. But it can be even more fun is to pair books for kids and adults that have the same kind of stories. So, welcome to volume 2 of Readalongs!
This is Sadie is written by Sara O'Leary and illustrated by Julie Morstad. This picture book follows a small girl through her day as she imagines herself on all sorts of adventures. She knows that the best way to spend a day is inside a story, whether she is reading one or using her imagination to make one from scratch.
Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi is also a book about imagination. Our protagonist is St. John Fox, a novelist with a propensity for killing off his female protagonists before the final page. He has (of course) named his artistic muse Mary Foxe and she inspires him to put pen to the page...until she comes to life and forces him to reevaluate his writing and his relationships.
Both books use imagery of foxes throughout. Sadie loves foxes and careful readers will see that her stuffed fox and fox mask make several appearances throughout the book. In Mr. Fox, the names of the characters are obviously references. But foxes will make a few more appearances in the stories that St. John and Mary create.
The second similarity is that both books are about the nature and magic of story. Sadie boasts that she is never bored, because there is so much to do. She loses herself in the stories of Mowgli, Alice, and other beloved fairy tales. She has wings (of course) and proclaims that she loves to spend her days with her friends, both real and fictional. St. John is a writer, a creator of stories. Oyeyemi's novel looks at the responsibilities of a writer for his characters and tales and the ways that authors are irrevocably connected to their stories.