I'm Ooko.

I’m Ooko.

In Ooko, by Esmé Shapiro, a lonely fox searches for companionship. Geared up with a stick, a leaf, and a rock, she’s all set to play. But, ugh, she has no friends!

Sounds like someone is about to begin a quest.

Ooko finds a neighborhood nearby and discovers a new species: Debbies. These Debbies come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and they all have dogs. Ooko tries to shape herself more like a dog, in order to find a friend; unfortunately, she’s not starting from the same place as on of Belyaev’s domesticated foxes.((Learn more about domesticated foxes through RadioLab.)) Instead, Ooko, gets creative.

Domesticated foxes develop cute characteristics.

Domesticated foxes develop cute characteristics.

In the end, a confused Debbie mistakes her for her own dog. Life gets itchy and boring and Ooko moves on.


Colorful and goofy. It didn’t appeal to me.

Reasons to Love

It’s a cute story.


The story hinges on a joke or two that don’t carry the book. For me, the artwork didn’t make up for it. We all need friends and shouldn’t compromise our integrity or appearances to gain them. Amen, Fox.

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