A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Kids will learn which animals make their homes underground.
Resourcefulness and wit can be more powerful than weapons.
Positive Role Models
Mr. Fox is smart and resourceful, and a dedicated provider for his family. He's also generous in the end. sharing the feast he has discovered with lots of other animal families.
Violence & Scariness
Mr. Fox gets his tail shot off, causing bleeding and pain. Mr. Fox kills chickens for his family to eat.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Mr. Fox and Badger find their way into the cellar where Farmer Bean keeps his hard cider. Rat sips away at the cider and doesn't want to share, but Badger, Mr. Fox, and the smallest fox gulp some down. Badger describes the home-brewed liquor as tasting like "melted gold" and "like drinking sunbeams and rainbows."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know Roald Dahl's novella Fantastic Mr. Fox is a charming story in which the animals outfox the farmers. Mr. Fox is a heroic father, rescuing his family from gunfire and starvation. He's also a friend to the other burrowing animals; the foxes share their feast with families of badgers, moles, weasels, and rabbits. Some alcohol is consumed in the story, as Mr. Fox, Badger, and one of the little foxes dig their way into Farmer Bean's cider cellar and they all swig down some of the home brew. There's also some violence against animals. The three farmers (Boggis, Bunce, and Bean) chase the foxes with guns and shoot Mr. Fox's tail off, and Mr. Fox kills chickens for his family to eat. But the witty and lighthearted story breezes past these events pretty quickly. Fantastic Mr. Fox was made into a delightful animated film, directed by Wes Anderson and starring George Clooney as Mr. Fox.
Is It Any Good?
This animal adventure by beloved author Roald Dahl is short and sweet, featuring mean bumbling villains (farmers Boggis, Bunce, and Bean) and a dashing hero in Mr. Fox. The story will charm readers with its devoted families of furry animals and a subterranean world full of other interesting creatures. There's also just enough suspense to make the story exciting. Young readers will root for the fox family and laugh at the farmers' lame moves. A bonus: Some editions of this short novel are packaged with more Dahl animal tales.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.