Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl

Fantastic Mr. Fox (1970)
Written by Roald Dahl
Illustrated by Quentin Blake

This book is a charming and witty story by an author who is well known for writing charming and witty stories! Roald Dahl keeps Mr. Fox and his family one step ahead of the bad guys, farmers Boggis, Bunce, and Bean, while making sure that both suspense and humor fill the pages. Mr. Fox is always portrayed as the good guy, which is funny since he is in the predicament he is due to stealing. But he is of course a fox, and that is what they do. Though the animals are greatly anthropomorphized Dahl is skillfully able to maintain that they are still animals throughout his book. He also keeps you rooting for the animals throughout the entire story, and laughing at every blunder made by the farmers in their attempt to catch and destroy the Mr. Fox.

The illustrations are simple and few, but for a chapter book that is not an unacceptable thing by any means. They help visualize the story to a point, but they aren’t spectacular by any means. The illustrations are drawn to look humorous, which is of course a good thing since the story is filled with humor.

Fantastic Mr. Fox holds the distinguished status of being the very first chapter book that I read to my daughter. I picked it because it is a shorter chapter book, my daughter loves animals, and I knew she would like Dahl’s sense of humor. I am happy to say she liked it a lot, and it made for a wonderful first experience with a chapter book. Though this book could easily be read and enjoyed by an older audience, I think it does make the perfect read aloud for beginners. It is a wonderful introduction into chapter books for skilled early readers to read themselves as well. And as is expected from the author, the book is packed with silly humor that will keep the children laughing and wanting to read more.

Content- B
Illustrations- C
Readability- B

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