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 3 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 16 reviews

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.


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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bycferraro April 21, 2016
Adult Written byCardiffict April 21, 2016
Kid, 12 years old March 23, 2020

Best Book Ever!

Fun Book. However, hunters shoot animals.
Teen, 16 years old Written byBrigidArmbrust December 21, 2018

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

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For kids who love fantasy and animal stories

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