Monday, July 12, 2010

Book Nook - Fantastic Mr. Fox

Hi readers,

When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.  I thought I'd revisit that story recently to see if I liked it just as much now as I did then.  I listened to the Roald Dahl collection on CD, read by the author, and it had not only Charlie, but also James & the Giant Peach, a few short stories and one of my new favorites.... Fantastic Mr. Fox.

The book version, shown here, is great, too - it's illustrated by Quentin Blake in a very whimsical way that suits the story well.  And the story, in a nutshell, is that Mr. Fox loves to get chickens and turkeys and ducks from three local farmers for the daily Fox family meals.  The farmers, the mean Boggis, Bunce & Bean, know that Mr. Fox is stealing from them and they decide to do something about it.  Mr. Fox & his family are on the run from the farmers' guns and shovels and tractors and backhoes.  But Mr. Fox is truly fantastic & comes up with a plan that outsmarts the farmers once and for all!

I don't think I ever read this story as a child, and I wish I had because I'd like to see it through a child's eyes & imagination.  I think I might have been a little scared by the farmers - there is much discussion on all the violent things they want to do with Mr. Fox's tail, body, his head, etc.  Because of that, I won't yet be reading it to my own kids, but when they are a bit older, I think it'll be appropriate.

However, reading it for the first time as an adult had its advantages.  I can appreciate the pickle the Fox family was in & can empathize with the parents.  Food, shelter, safety are all things that we have to ensure for our children.  You can also appreciate Mr. Fox's long term plan - use a little restraint now & the goods will be there for the taking long term.  I think kids will understand these things, too - but it's just a different perspective when you read it as an adult.

One side note, I just love the interactions between Mr. Fox & Badger.  Badger calls him Foxy and even tells him he loves him (page 60 of my version).  Their friendship is very sweet & charming - the original bromance!

Even though the story is short, we really get to know this great character, Mr. Fox.  He's confident, smart, caring, charismatic & a real leader.  George Clooney was definitely the perfect choice to voice the character in the recent movie (which I thought was great, too - very quirky & fun).

You might be wondering, did I still enjoy Charlie & the Chocolate Factory after all these years?  Yes I did.  But I am also thrilled to have found a new favorite which is indeed fantastic!



  1. The movie The Fantastic Mr. Fox is great--and I'm a self-avowed movie-hater. My whole family adored it so much we want to add it to our DVD home library (which currently only has 7 DVDs in it, 3 of which are Lord of the Rings!)

  2. I started watching the movie & DH came in shortly after it started. He sat down & watched the whole thing with me, even though he was on his way up to bed and he loved it too. I definitely think it deserves more than one viewing - it got 2 thumbs up at the Bach Haus!

    Thanks for visiting my blog & your comments - I appreciate it! :-)