The Children’s Book Review | January 21, 2018
Written by Adam Rex
Illustrated by Scott Campbell
Age Range: 4 and up
Hardback: 40 pages
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (2017)
What to expect: Unrequited Love, Animals
Who of us hasn’t pined for a great beauty, as Ox has pined for Gazelle? In this delightfully dark, anti-romance story, Ox has found his true love in the form of the balletic, alluring Gazelle. He writes her a letter, stating his love. She writes back.
Thank you for your letter. I hope you understand that I have many admirers and cannot reply to each one personally.
Delighted, Ox writes back, and receives an identical letter. But the third time, Gazelle writes back herself.
Here is a third and final letter, different from the first two. There is no need to write me again.
Success! Now Ox is getting somewhere. Ox and Gazelle begin a hilariously one-sided (or is it?) love affair through letters. Gazelle keeps claiming she could never be interested in a clumsy, smelly ox, and Ox keeps finding new ways to admire her charm and grace. Will these two silly animals ever find their way to each other?
Adults will especially love the irony of Gazelle continuing to write back to the Ox she has supposedly no interest in, and children will catch on quick that something rather funny is going on here. Maybe Gazelle really does like the attention, if she keeps writing back? The illustrations are dreamy and quite funny. Gazelle lounging on a pool pillow in a bikini is hilarious, as is her angrily writing a letter back to Ox about how amazing she is, and how amazing he is most definitely not. The personalities of the animals really come through – especially Gazelle’s interminable vanity. A delightfully funny edition to any child’s bookshelf.
About the Author
Adam Rex has written several books for young readers including the New York Times–bestselling Frankenstein makes a Sandwich and The True Meaning of Smekday. His picture book School’s First Day of School earned seven starred reviews and was a New York Times Bestseller. He lives now with his wife and son in Tucson.
About the Illustrator
Scott Campbell is a maker of paintings, illustrations, comics, kid’s books, and video games. He studied illustration at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, focusing on comic and children’s book illustration. He is the author/illustrator of Hug Machine. XO, OX is Scott’s first book for Roaring Brook Press.
XO, OX, A Love Story, written by Adam Rex and illustrated by Scott Campbell, was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Discover more books like XO, OX, A Love Story by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Adam Rex, Animals, Love, Picture Book, and Scott Campbell.
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