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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,278 ratings  ·  159 reviews
An injured magpie and a one-eyed dog live happily together in the forest, until a jealous fox arrives to teach them what it means to be alone.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published December 31st 2001 by Kane/Miller Book Publishers (first published January 1st 2000)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,278 ratings  ·  159 reviews

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Aug 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: jen
(although dana and greg read it with me on the subway yesterday, so i know they have been tainted, too). the description above is what is printed on the book, which is scary enough:

An injured magpie and a one-eyed dog live happily together in the forest, until a jealous fox arrives to teach them what it means to be alone.

but i think what they really wanted to write is "help o help this lady is threatening us and if we don't publish her crazy-assed book she is going to remove the toes of our chil
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
To see this review and to learn more about Margaret Wild please visit

Fox by Margaret Wild is a story about a dog and a bird with disabilities. They become friends and help each other until a jealous fox enters the story to teach them a lesson about what it's truly like to be alone.

This is a story about friendship and betrayal. It's quite dark and is best suited for older children that can cope with the abrupt ending and powerful message.

It's thought-provoking and a
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, dark
I had to read this in order to help my little sister figure out the theme of this book and I'm SO glad I read it.

Such a beautiful little book about a friendship between Dog and Magpie and how they help each other and rely on each other because of their disabilities.

Also, that plot twist was so freaking good and I love love loved that ending. It was also extremely short (took me legit 5 minutes) and can help your reading challenge!

What a dark little book with a deep meaning.
Aug 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone.
This might be the best children's book ever, but maybe it's not appropiate for most children. It's bleak and dark, sociopathic in it's layout, the moral of the story is not like anything one would expect in a book for kids. It's what a crazed lunatic all bent out of shape by existentialism might have written. Or maybe something that Beckett would have penned if he had decided that he wanted to scar children with his writings. I don't know what to say but I am in awe of this book. Everyone should ...more
Karen Witzler
Children's Picture Book? Beautiful artwork and careful evocative prose for this animal fable about friendship, mutual need, and the dangers of infidelity to such a bond. The words are rendered on the page in a psychotic script that sets the stage for the Fox to disrupt the loving accommodation that the half-blind dog and the one-winged magpie have made with a post-apocalyptic forest.

It has a bad ending.... Good companion piece to The Fox by D.H. Lawrence if that gives you some idea.

Seriously, DO
Phoebe Ledster
The partnership between Margaret Wild's writing and Ron Brooks' illustrations is beyond mesmerising. Wild's beautiful words add such depth and mystery to the characters that I ended up feeling immense sympathy for the book's antagonist- the Fox. On the other hand, Brooks has a fascinating style that presents the loneliness, rage and bitterness in the Fox, the kind nature of the Dog and the desperation of the Magpie. This would be fantastic to explore with children, looking at the relationships b ...more
Jonathan Peto
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
The characters have names like Dog, Magpie and Fox. The story is simple and potent and should hit a nerve. I read it to a class of fourth graders and will reread it again. There is so much to contemplate. It is a great story for writing about fiction. Some reviewers loved it but questioned whether it was appropriate for children. Like life, it is!
Melissa Buck
An amazing book about an one-eyed dog and his companion a flightless magpie. Together they are able to help each other to overcome their disabilities and live a happy life. Until one day, they meet a cunning fox, filled with jealousy and greed over their friendship, he does everything in his power to separate them to make them truly feel what it is like to be alone. I love the fascinating and colourful illustrations by Ron Brooks and the imaginative way of displaying the text through almost bein ...more
Andrew Swanson
THIS BOOK. I don't even have the words to describe the feelings this book made me feel.

Dog rescues Magpie, whose wing has been burned. She can never fly again, but Dog is determined to show her life can still be good. Steadfast, eternally loyal, Dog runs with Magpie and acts as her wings, while she acts as his missing eye. Magpie is almost able to forget her loss. Almost.

When Fox comes along with an offer too enticing to pass up, Magpie finds herself alone and far from her friend. She learns a p
Jena Gardner
Sep 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My new favorite picture book! The illustrations are fantastic and the ambiguity in the text led my fifth grade class to have a fantastic discussion and they wrote furiously in their literature response journals. Love love love it.
Renée Paule
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent and thought provoking book - very clever. My one issue is the awful way the text is displayed in the book, and at different angles too.
Anthony Eaton
Jan 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'll say from the outset that 'Fox' is one of the most horrible stories I've ever read. It's up there with other books that have either moved me to tears, or come pretty close to it. The first time I read this picture book, I felt as though I'd been punched in the gut, such was the impact of the final pages, and this effect hasn't decreased with time. It still moves me, and I'd still describe it as one of the most powerful picture books ever written. (which is, I know, a very big call...)

It's a
Eleanor Toland
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fox start off a straightforward, familiar fable about a friendship between two disabled animals, then swiftly turns into something much darker. Like Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales, Fox is powerful because it's both emotionally devastating and perfectly morally true. It's a children's story with a moral, but Fox isn't remotely sappy or simplistic.

The artwork and lettering are striking, evoking the desolate, dangerous landscape of the Australian bush. The shimmering desert, the milky blind
Mar 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: international
Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks have conspired to make "Fox" disturbing, strange, and thought provoking. The text, the pictures, the themes – there is no comfort in any of these. The cover warns you that danger is approaching - with the bright orange color, the sharp line drawings, and Fox’s profound yellow stare. Fox is as evil a character as I have ever seen in a children’s book – not evil born of greed or selfishness like Red Riding Hood’s wolf, but evil born of a desire to damage something prec ...more
Ellie L
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animals, conflict
‘Fox’ is quite an unsettling and unnerving read about the undoing of a companionship between a magpie and a dog, who join together to overcome their misfortunes. This is quite a cold story, which may be why I enjoyed it - I think it is necessary for children to be exposed to something outside of the realms of comfort. It is certainly not a straight forward story, with very complex characterisation which I think would be important to dissect with children, looking at motives and reasoning behind ...more
Lyndsay Kirkham
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most profound books I’ve ever come across. The rawness of betrayal is startling to a point of physical discomfort. The messages about friendship, honesty and integrity are unmatched anywhere else in fiction. BUY THIS BOOK.
Carrie Berry
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A dynamic book.
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fox is a dark and disturbing exploration into disability and jealousy. The story features a dog and a bird who are both disabled, and a fox who comes between them. The book's writing sprawls across the pages at different angles causing the reader to have to shift the book and turn it around - portraying the uncomfortable nature of the story. The writing is in a jagged, scratching font and is accompanied with abstract, haunting illustrations. The disabled bird desires to fly and she rides the bac ...more
Beatrice Fox
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such an artistic book for a children's book. I don't see this that often. The text is actually done in a find of scribbled handwriting sometimes on the edges of the page running along it instead of proper. A book of chaos really but it's wonderful. The art seems all chalk I think and REALLY REALLY GOOD chalk. The injured magpie forms a wonderful bond with the old half-blind dog...and each help each other in life. And then the villainous fox comes upon them. And he is one of the most sinister vil ...more
Nicola Edwards
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book is intriguing and unsettling at the same time. The whole book is unusually set out. The text is stark and a little beguiling, you have to turn the book to read the words. It isn’t clear the order of flow, this in itself lured you in. The story is raw and keeps you guessing to what will happen next. The codependency relationship between the magpie and dog is fragile, and the beguiling character of the fox is foreboding. There are no warm fluffy feelings with this story but there is a be ...more
Nov 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is a picture book, but it is not for children. The style of both the text and the illustrations is very dark and creepy. The story itself is bleak and depressing. I would summarize the theme of this story as "the struggle for love to survive in the face of evil resulting from damage done by a harsh and unfair world" ...more
Alice Bennett
A wonderful book about resilience and the power of friendship. It would be great to explore the three characters with children and how they each overcome adversity.
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book to read with children.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book is incredibly haunting, and is so genuinely devastating that it does not quite feel like it should be for children at all. It is unsettling and cruel and I love it.
Ben Hagan
The story is about a dog and a bird with disabilities. They become friends and help each other until a jealous fox enters the story to teach them a lesson about loneliness and what its like to be alone. This is a story about friendship and betrayal. It's quite dark and is best suited for UKS2 that can cope with the abrupt ending and powerful message. ...more
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: not the faint of heart, emotionally mature kids
Recommended to Fjóla by: 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up
Beware that this book may not be for everyone, and make sure to read it first before you show it to your sensitive child, but this is a book that is so emotionally charged that it left me speechless.

This simple wilderness story about the friendship between a magpie who can't fly and a one-eyed dog is powerful and touching. The full spread pictures, that are at times warm and at times stark, are edgy and bring out the atmosphere of the desert. The rawness of the pictures and the book design fit
Kirsty Pimm
Nov 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Fox by Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks is a story of many factors.
Friendship, betrayal and jealousy all play their part in creating a story that evokes compassion from the reader.
The structure of the book will please a younger reader, who can take pleasure from the illustrations and irregularities in the way the text is presented.
Older readers can sympathise with each character that presents in the story, justifying the relationships between them.
The characters resonate with their real life count
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
A rather grim tale about how three individuals--a magpie, a dog, and a fox--handle adversity. You can either accept what is and make something positive out of it, or you can resist change and let it embitter you. It had an apocalyptic feel to it because it was set in a burned-out forest and, later, in the desert, with no signs of life. The text had an awkward feel, looking like it was printed by hand by someone not used to writing, or with a spare bit of charcoal or a burned end of a stick, whic ...more
Oct 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2012, pets, childrens
This is an interesting, but melancholy tale of three animals. It has a fable-like quality to it, almost like one of Aesop's famous tales. The hand-lettered narrative appears to be almost scratched into the pages, in various aspects and alignments. And the mixed media and collage illustrations are very rough and textured.

Overall, it's a dark, but entertaining story, one of trust and deception. I like that the ending is really neither happy nor sad. We enjoyed reading this story together.
Sandy Brehl
The text and tone of this simple picture book are well-suited to its intensity and depth of meaning. Used with older readers (too intense for the very young) it opens a discussion of friendships, adaptation, cooperation, suspicions, longing, need vs. want, and stereotypes.
It also raises the question of why some people hurt others, intentionally, with insights to bullying as well.
Apart form that, it can be used to predict/confirm within this simple story line, examine language, view setting as
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Margaret Wild has written more than seventy books and has been published around the world. Her numerous awards and distinctions include the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Award for Jenny Angel, illustrated by Anne Spudvilas; The Very Best of Friends, illustrated by Julie Vivas; and Fox, illustrated by Ron Brooks. In 2008 she received the Nan Chauncy Award for an outs ...more

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“Fly Dog, fly! I will be your missing eye, and you will be my wings.” 2 likes
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