Victoria Stickland's Reviews > Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
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Sep 03, 12

A literary and visual delight from the genius team of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake.

This well-loved fable never fails to capture the imaginations of children (and big children!) through the classic adage of hero versus villain. We meet the cunning Mr Fox living underground, who to feed his family, regularly outwits three cruel and farmers Boggis, Bunce and Ben, by stealing their livestock. These revolting characters grow tired of being outsmarted and devise a wicked plan to kill Mr Fox, so lie in wait at the entrance to the home leaving the Foxes trapped and starving underground. Never fear though, the clever Mr Fox comes up with a ingenious plan to tunnel underground right into each of the farms so all the underground creatures have a plentiful supply of food and never risk the wrath of the evil farmers. The final chapter is witty and brilliant, stating that "And as far as I know, they [the farmers] are still waiting."

This is not your typical sugar-coated children's tale, there is no disguising these farmers want to kill Mr Fox: "'I'd like to rip his guts out!' said Bunce." Even our hero is no victim to be pitied, he is confident, crafty and his manners leave a lot to be desired at times, "...he let fly a tremendous belch." However, this is all balanced with the love and generosity shown between the members of the Fox family and strong morals which might not seem so apparent at first, "do you know anyone in the whole world who wouldn't swipe a few chickens if his children were starving to death?".

This is a brilliant book to read aloud to classes, as the the language is rich and vivid. Potential classroom activities for KS1/2 could include:

Ask students to brainstorm adjectives to describe Mr Fox and find evidence for these from the book.

Imagine you are one of the farmers and create a reward poster for the capture of Mr Fox, what language would you use to describe him?

Ask students to partner up and draw a picture of their partner, stating underneath why they are 'Fantastic' - encouraging the idea that we are all fantastic in our individual way


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