Fantastic Mr. Fox

Book review by
Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
Fantastic Mr. Fox Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Clever animals outwit farmers in funny, fantastical tale.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 20 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids will learn which animals make their homes underground.

Positive Messages

Resourcefulness and wit can be more powerful than weapons.

Positive Role Models & Representations

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.

Language

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6-year-old Written bySeagal2014 January 30, 2021
Adult Written bycferraro April 21, 2016
Teen, 13 years old Written byalphagirl2020 February 2, 2021

Such a cute story for little kids!!!

Oh my gosh. I love this book!!! It’s so cute and embodies a light, childlike perspective on things in a good way. If I was a mom right now I would have my kids... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byilhc December 10, 2020

A children's novel written by British author Roald Dahl

Fantastic Mr Fox is a children's novel written by British author Roald Dahl. It was published in 1970. The story revolves around an anthropomorphic, tricky... Continue reading

What's the story?

In Roald Dahl's funny and witty FANTASTIC MR. FOX, the title character is a brave and clever hero, who steals food from three bumbling and rude farmers to feed his family. Tired of having their goods stolen, Boggis the chicken farmer, Bunce the duck and goose farmer, and Bean the turkey and apple farmer join forces to find and kill Mr. Fox. They discover the opening to the fox family's den, and when Mr. Fox scampers down the hole, they manage to shoot off Mr. Fox's tale. With the farmers waiting outside the hole, and digging deeper to reach Mr. Fox, the foxes also keep digging, hoping to find a passage to safety.

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. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Roald Dahl portrays the animals in Fantastic Mr. Fox. Are Mr. Fox and his friends similar to the animals in his other books? 

  • The foxes sit at a table to eat. Can you think of some other things the animals do in this story that are more like what people do?

  • Have you seen the movie version of Fantastic Mr. Fox? If so, how is the movie different from the book, and which do you like better?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy and animal stories

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate