Fantastic Mr. Fox
Roald Dahl ~ illustrations by Donald Chaffin
(later reillustrated by Quentin Blake)
So much excitement with the Where the Wild Things Are and Fantastic Mr. Fox movies right around the corner. Seriously, I can't get enough... whether it be Wes Anderson's directing controversy or the discussion on whether or not Dave Eggers ruined a Spike Jonze masterpiece with his angst ridden writing. Really, you could cut the anticipation with a knife around here. Will be taking my four-year-old son to both no matter what the mommy-critics say. But hey, I'm the mother who played Edgar Allen Poe spoken word for her son today and then found herself having to explain why PERSON A killing PERSON B and hiding him under the floor doesn't constitute as "the circle of life." But I digress...
Since I've reviewed the first book, I figured it was about time I got around to the other. Not hard really, since my son (not to mention his parents) is currently obsessed with all things Dahl. At nights, Dahl's books are basically all we read, and I know you've heard me gush enough on the subject, but if your child is interesting and interested at all, you owe it to them to introduce Dahl to their imagination. Seriously, at this point in my career as a professional reader to an audience of one, if someone came down and said I could only read one author to my son for the rest of his adolescence... Dahl would give Mr. Sendak a run for his money. Big time. Well, then... though we love the Quentin Blake illustrated version at our house, I figured I'd highlight the original if for no other reason than its enticing jacket copy.
IN THIS BOOK YOU WILL FIND:
An enormously fat man, a chicken farmer...
and a mean man.
A pot-bellied dwarf, a duck-and-goose farmer...
and a nasty man.
A thin man, a turkey-and-apple farmer...
and a beastly man.
The most respectable
and well-behaved animal in the district.
A rude creature and drunkard.
MRS. FOX AND HER FOUR SMALL CHILDREN
A fine family.
Our hero, a fantastic fellow.
If you're three years old or more you'll love this extraordinary adventure story, Fantastic Mr. Fox.
And that's it in a nutshell folks. These three bad farmers get a hankering to kill poor Mr. Fox and his kin and devise a plan that has fox and his friends digging for their lives. That is until they dig to a wonderfully magical place that basically solves all their problems forever. Like the jacket says, there is adventure, but more than that... there is family love, furry animals and loads and loads of food. To see where Wes Anderson got his childhood inspiration you really need to check out Donald Chaffin's original illustrations. Much more refined and Andersonesque than Blake's, but having both in our collection just sweetens the pot. Even though I am a Blake loyalist, I will not pick a favorite, and rather, say this. No matter who the illustrator is, the story rings so loud and clear and awesome, all you can do is smile.
In the words of the immortal Mrs. Fox:
MY HUSBAND IS A FANTASTIC FOX!
Read it and find out just how fantastic for yourself.Also by:
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me