“Fantastic Mr. Fox” by Roald Dahl
I’m a lifelong Roald Dahl fan, and it’s all due to one of my all time favorite books, “Matilda.” Oh, how I loved that fantastical tale of a special little girl and her days at school and her love for books. Also, I love “The BFG,” and “The Twits,” and “The Witches” scared the ever-loving crap out of me until I was in 3rd grade.
So how did I make it to 30 without having read “Fantastic Mr. Fox?”
Who knows, but I recently read the book aloud to my (now) ten month old son, and it was a blast.
Dahl is about silliness. His books are not complex or full of great grand life lessons, but they’re always a romp and a hoot – and “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is exactly that. It’s a quick and easy read with likable animal characters and a pleasant resolution that’s sure to make little kids happy.
Mr. Fox has a system to feed his family, stealing from three local farmers – the despicable Boggis, Bunce, and Bean. When the three farmers tire of being raided, they decide to try and kill Mr. Fox, and wind up driving the Fox family deep underground where they’re sure to starve. Fortunately, the Fantastic Mr. Fox has a plan — and with the help of an underground friend or two, might even be able to save his family and the other animals threatened by Boggis, Bunce, and Bean from starvation. Yeah, I think you can guess how it ends. Which is not a bad thing at all. Sometimes, in this world, you need a happy ending.
I should probably watch the recent Wes Anderson film adaptation soon, but TBD on that. (I can’t imagine how hipster foxes will work, le sigh.)
Roald Dahl remains, now and forever, the man. I’ll absolutely introduce my son to all of his works. In fact, “James and the Giant Peach” is up next, after Tilly’s Moonlight Garden,” by Julia Green.