Fantastic Mr. Fox



Dahl's satisfying Robin Hood tale.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The lessons in this tale are a little convoluted. Mr. Fox is a hero for stealing and killing chickens; the farmers are villains for wanting to stop him and kill him.

Violence & scariness

Chickens are killed, Mr. Fox gets his tail shot off.

Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the lessons are a little twisty here, and guns are used, resulting in Mr. Fox losing his tail.

What's the story?

Mr. Fox is in the habit of stealing food for himself and his family from three nearby farmers: chickens from Boggis, ducks and geese from Bunce, and turkeys from Bean. But \"all three of them were about as nasty and mean as any men you could meet.\" Resenting Mr. Fox's thefts, they join forces to kill him.

First they lie in wait outside his den and manage to wound him. Then they begin digging to catch him and his family, first with shovels, and then with machines. Finally they decide to starve him out. But that's when Mr. Fox gets a brilliant idea.

Is it any good?


While this is a very slight story -- clever fox outwits mean farmers -- it provides lots to talk about. Why shouldn't the farmers try to kill the fox who is killing their animals? Is this some British class-consciousness, or does Dahl revel in junior-league subversiveness and messing with parents? Kids won't care -- they'll just love the story, and root for their stand-in, Mr. Fox, to defeat all those mean adults who don't want him to have what he wants.

Roald Dahl has more than his share of classics of 20th-century children's literature. In between his greater works, he tossed off many lesser books, and this is one of those. It's humorous and satisfying, in a straightforward sort of way -- none of Dahl's characteristic wicked cleverness is here. It's good for younger and reluctant readers, or when you're looking for a quick, fun read-aloud.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what the morals of this story are supposed to be. Why is it good for Mr. Fox to kill chickens, but bad for the farmers to want to kill him? Why is it good for Mr. Fox to steal their chickens, and bad for them to want to stop him? Do you agree with all this?

Book details

Author:Roald Dahl
Illustrator:Quentin Blake
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Alfred A. Knopf
Publication date:August 16, 2007
Number of pages:81
Publisher's recommended age(s):8 - 12
Read aloud:6
Read alone:8

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old November 24, 2009
It's a good book because it's about this fox and people... Great Book!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Kid, 7 years old August 24, 2009

fantastic mr fox

hi I think this book is quite intresting I read it all the way through it was quite a lot of page's in that book my favirate charchter was fantastic mr fox we read it all out loud at school it took nealy 7 weeks to read all of that.I think rahl dahl is a good writer the best book is charlie and the choclate factory weve watched them both. kind regards harli
Kid, 12 years old November 24, 2009


i've loved this book when i was five great book


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