Roxy the Raccoon / Carlos the Chameleon / Molly the Mole / Vincent the Vixen

Roxy the Racoon
Molly the Mole
Carlos the Chameleon
Vincent the Vixen

Alice Reeves and Phoebe Kirk
Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Roxy the Racoon introduces a physically challenged racoon living in the forest along with her three friends. Needing a wheelchair means that she can’t always do the same things as her pals. Visiting Brad Beaver in his dam is impossible as is playing football with Sammy and the other squirrels. Climbing the tree to call on Cherry Chipmunk is also too much of a challenge.
However after some thought each of Roxy’s friends manages to make adaptions that allow the racoon to be included in all their activities. Beaver builds a ramp, Squirrel changes the game and then the animals work together to make a hoist so that the four animals can view the sunset from the top of the tree.
The story ends with Roxy and her friends deciding to collaborate in making the whole forest an all-inclusive environment.
Part of the ‘Truth & Tails’ series this little book will help young children understand the importance of working together to remove barriers so that the differently abled can always be included. It’s a good starting point for discussion whether at home or in a classroom. To that end the author has included circle time suggestions at the end of the story.

Lack of self-confidence and feeling the need to be the same as the peer group is something that troubles many children and so it is with Carlos the Chameleon.
Herein we discover that Carlos is in the habit of changing his colour from his own bright green to that of which ever of his animal friends he wants to fit in with at any particular time. One day however when the animals discover what he’s been doing, they assure him that looking different isn’t a barrier to being friends: it’s what he is on the inside that matters. At last Carlos is free to be himself – kind, caring and a beautiful shade of green.
Molly the Mole too suffers from low self-esteem and despite being a very helpful friend she is constantly comparing herself with the other animals rather than being happy and celebrating what she has to offer. Thankfully though her friends help her to come to understand that everyone is unique and that she should believe in herself.

Vincent the Vixen introduces the tricky and complex topic of gender identity.
As is the case with Roxy the Racoon, after each story, author Alice Reeves includes helpful circle discussion points, and follow-up resources.

A useful set of books to have in a teachers’ library available to all primary school staff.

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