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Attention kids ages 10 to 14: explore the world of “Pax” by Sara Pennypacker in this awesome program just for summer readers like you! This program will be held on  Friday, July 29 – 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at  The West Woods Nature Center, 9465 Kinsman Road (Rt. 87), Russell Township.

To celebrate this book about the powerful relationship between a boy and his fox, we’ll try all the tricks of sight, sound and smell that a fox like Pax would use to find his way home.

We’ll hike to the site of a fox den at The West Woods. Though it’s unlikely that we’ll encounter any live foxes during the middle of the day, we’ll view photos taken by cameras in Geauga Park District, find out how to recognize the smell of a fox, and practice tracking their footprints and scat.

Since the book also features some peacefully breathtaking illustrations by Jon Klassen, we’ll also practice drawing foxes in different poses.

“I love this book,” said Naturalist Chris Mentrek, who will lead the program. “Even though it’s intended for kids in grades four through seven, I know plenty of adults who’ve snatched a copy from their favorite young reader and loved every page. It tells the story of a boy named Peter and his half-wild fox named Pax who become separated during a war; each then has to make an arduous journey to get back home. Peter has to learn to survive on his own, and Pax has to learn how to be a wild fox again.

“What I loved most is how the book alternates between chapters telling Peter’s story from a human perspective and chapters telling Pax’s story from the viewpoint of a fox. Pax’s chapters are chock-full of the gestures, scents and sounds that constitute fox communication. I wanted to have a program for folks who were intrigued by the descriptions in Pax and wanted to learn more about the world of Red Foxes.”

Registration is required at or 440-286-9516, which you may also call with questions. Please dress to be indoors and also in the day’s weather as we venture outside. Activities will be partially wheelchair accessible, but we can adapt for any ability level; email Naturalist Chris Mentrek at for details.

Psst…! Have you seen our Pax mascot at The West Woods Nature Center? Stop in this August for a self-serve scavenger hunt partnered with this program!