Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl

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My kids recently discovered the joys of Fantastic Mr. Fox.  I read it many years ago when I was a kid and absolutely loved it!  Was it a part of your childhood too?

Premise:

Mr. Fox and his family are being hunted by three greedy farmers who are tired of sharing their bounty with the animals.  Mr. Fox must outwit the farmers and provide for his family and the other animals on the hill who are now in danger from the gun-crazy farmers.  Can he find enough food for all of the animals and keep them safe from the farmers–Boggis, Bunce and Bean?

My thoughts:

This book is super-short and could be finished in one sitting–making it perfect as a beginner’s chapter book.  The illustrations should also help keep it interesting for the younger kids.  The book pictured above is illustrated by Quentin Blake who has a very whimsical style.

Boggis, Bunce and Bean are a bit boorish–what with their nose-picking, gun-toting and general uncouth manners.  Their uncivilized behavior is nicely contrasted with the animals’ more polished manners and speech.  It’s a nice juxtaposition of the two types of characters.

This version is the one that I read when I was a kid.  I much prefer the illustrations in this version over the one pictured above and they are at least half of the reason that I found the book so charming when I was younger.  I’ll have to buy a copy of it for our family’s library once we get moved into our new house.

I recommend Fantastic Mr. Fox to children who are just starting chapter books, to fans of Roald Dahl, and to families who want a fun read-aloud book.  I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does!

Possible Objections:

  • One instance of somebody saying “shut up”
  • The farmers use guns, though they don’t actually shoot and kill any animals

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

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