What Does the Fox Say?

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
What Does the Fox Say? Book Poster Image
Wacky art helps make childlike song a great read for kids.

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Kids say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn or recall the sounds different animals make. There's a reference to Morse code as simply "Morse," which parents may need to explain. (The illustration of a fox tapping out a message helps.)

Positive Messages

Gets kids to consider deep questions such as: How would a fox communicate with a horse?

Positive Role Models & Representations

The unseen narrator is curious, respectful, and admiring of the different animals and refers to the fox as "my guardian angel."

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that What Does the Fox Say? is a graphically stylish picture book that illustrates the lyrics of "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" by Norwegian comedy/pop duo Ylivs, which was the top video on YouTube for 2013. Even without the music, kids will have fun making the imagined sounds the fox might make and looking at all the funny animals on the busy pages. The music video is amusing in part because of the contrast between the singers' mock seriousness and the outright silliness of the lyrics. Here the words just seem like totally kid-appropriate text, perfect for reading aloud.

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written byUnoriginal December 17, 2013

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

Awesome. That's all I have to say!

What's the story?

WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY? is a picture book version of the lyrics to the catchy pop song and music video by Norwegian pop duo Ylvis. YouTube named \"The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)\" its Top Video of 2013, as it received more than 200 million global views. The basic question the song poses is, in fact, intriguing. As all little kids know, cats say \"meow\" and cows say \"moo,\" but what does the fox say?

Is it any good?

Without the catchy melody and pulsing beat of the Ylvis song, you might think the words would fall flat on the page, but the wacky, stylized art keeps things lively and engaging. Antic scenes of different animals busy at play and mischief give kids lots to look at, point out, and talk about. The distinctive palette of burnt orange, gray, cream, and tan makes the book stand out as well. 

Kids also will enjoy, with or without the music, trying out the suggested possibilities of what the fox says, such as, "Jacha-chacha-chacha-chow!" and "Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!" It should make for a rousing read-aloud.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the sounds animals make. What other sounds can you think of besides the ones mentioned in the book (and the song)?

  • If you've heard the song or watched the video, how does the book compare? Which do you like better?

  • What sound do you think the fox makes?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and animal stories

Themes & Topics

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