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The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  120,372 ratings  ·  18,717 reviews
Enter the world of Charlie's four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most important life lessons. The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared millions of times online - perhaps you've seen them? They've also been recreated by children in schools and hung on hospital walls. They sometimes even appear on lamp posts and on cafe and bookshop windows ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published October 10th 2019 by Ebury Press
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Madhattervet Definitely! We have this for my son who is 6, but it honestly transcends any age group. You will not be disappointed. Highly recommended.
Victorya I know this was asked a year ago but... yes definitely. I've just read it at 14, and there were so many things I needed to hear from this.…moreI know this was asked a year ago but... yes definitely. I've just read it at 14, and there were so many things I needed to hear from this.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  120,372 ratings  ·  18,717 reviews

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Merphy Napier
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-stars

When I picked this up to read to my son one night, I didn't expect to tear up, to need to pause to process these beautiful truths, and to buy copies for my family members. It's a story I wish I grew up reading, and it's a story I plan to read again and again.

I highly recommend it!
It is impossible not to like this book. It’s entirely made up of charming illustrations and great handwriting and beautiful sentences and jokes about cake. It gives you zero chance to dislike it.

I wish I could dislike it, because I have a very cold and mean soul and it would be very on brand for me to hate something that Chris Evans, Captain America himself, called the most beautiful book/Christmas gift possible and the marketing copy calls “hope in uncertain times.”

But alas. I had no chance.


when i first saw this title and cover, i said AWWWWW! and then, over the holiday season, so many people were praising this book in print and in person, i knew i needed to get a copy for myself. OR, to get a copy for greg because - fox - and read it before gifting it to him. because i am a monster.

for me it's a mixed bag. on the one hand, the artwork is gorgeous

on the other hand, this

which just, no. like capital-letter NO with all of my being.

again, i am a monster. this is known.

show me a cute an
Larry H
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This unforgettable book with the memorable title is a book about friendship, kindness, and self-esteem told in the most special of ways.

First there is a boy. He is alone. He comes upon a mole, whom it seems loves cake more than anything else. The mole becomes the boy’s friend and companion, his coach and confidante. The boy shares his fears, the mole shares advice and his love of cake.

When they meet the fox, it is caught in a snare. Instinctively both the fox and the mole know if the mole frees
Dec 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019-in-2019
Instagram “wisdom.” Winnie-the-Pooh for adults, maybe. Required reading for work. I hate this book. I hate the font, I hate how expensive it is, I hate that I had to read it, I especially hate that it was exactly what I expected it to be. I never would have read it had I not been forced. I had forgotten that I initially read the introduction, which caused me to stop reading.The introduction says something like, “Ooh, look at you, starting at the beginning! I never do that!” Fuck you. You don’t k ...more
Mar 16, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2020, nonfiction
Written in a hard to read font, I found this disjointed effort quite disappointing. There are some nice quotes but no connecting thread or continuous flow as it lacks a narrative. Both the story and the artwork seemed unfinished and I am left feeling incomplete in my understanding of the popularity of this book.
Mar 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Petrik by: TS Chan
I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

Well, isn’t this just incredibly wholesome and hopeful.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy was a book that I spotted several times on many best-sellers list. However, I was never interested in it; I never expected or planned to read this book. This was a book gifted to me by my co-blogger, TS; she insisted her co-bloggers receive this wonderful gift, and I’m really thankful for her generous g
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, non-fiction
I listened to the audio of this, narrated beautifully by Charlie Mackesy in a meditative style that is sublime and just begs to be listened to again and again, whenever you feel the need for it. This is the perfect read and listen in our turbulent crisis hit times, helping to knit back together our battered bodies and souls. I would certainly recommend it for the simplicity of its pearls of wisdom for those suffering from certain mental health issues, such as depression. Needless to say, I am no ...more
Oct 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
a quiet, meaningful collection of comforting thoughts and lovely art.
not exactly the most profound of sentiments, but i feel like, if read at the right moment, it really could be quite impactful.

full of important and gentle reminders, nonetheless.

4 stars
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Isn`t it odd. We can only see our outsides,
but nearly everything happens on the inside.

A wonderful and heartwarming picture book, with incredible and uplifting messages!

So apt and valuable for these uncertain and troubled times. This book is not like the usual picture book. Every page has that `feeling` of peace and serenity.

Picture books are usually for younger readers, but this one is for all - 8 years to 80 years and beyound.

a must-read!
Angela M
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-favorites
A beautiful book with handwritten gems of wisdom about life, love, friendship along with lovely drawings. It was the perfect book to read right now. It takes about ten minutes, but it took me longer because I read it again as soon as I finished it. A real treasure to hold on to or pass on to someone you love, which is what I’m going to do. A perfect book for an uncertain time. It did my heart good . It reminded me in some ways of The Little Prince or The Velveteen Rabbit in the way it touched me ...more
Tom Mooney
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Lovely illustrations but the words are cringe-worthy. It reads like a shit celebrity's enigmatic Twitter posts. All faux-wisdom that isn't even close to being as deep as it thinks it is. ...more
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lori by: Ceecee's review
Shelves: reviewed
It's hard to find the words for this one. Other people have though.
I am not a Pooh fan.
(Could those of you throwing stuff at me please stop? I'm just not. Sorry to pooh pooh Pooh...
...but it's just too twee for me.)

This to me is not twee. Okay, occasionally, but in the same way as The Beatles "All You Need is Love" is. Mmmm, that comparison feels so cozy.
(There's real music in here too, sheet music which I wish I could read. I haven't seen it addressed anywhere and if anyone reads this and ca
Carolyn Marie Castagna
"Sometimes I feel lost," said the boy. "Me too, said the mole, "but we love you, and love brings you home." - The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by @charliemackesy 🌟
This book is so many adjectives: powerful, impactful, lovely, heart warming, comforting, beautifully crafted, brilliant, simply amazing, are just a few that come to mind! 🦊
As an artist and aspiring book illustrator myself, Charlie Mackesy's stunning artwork is incredibly inspiring! 🖋️
I love how loose his line work is, and the w
'What is the bravest thing you ever said?' asked the boy...'Help' said the horse.
Gorgeous beautiful black/wite brown/white colour drawings, really beautiful.
For me though it is not a 5 star which is the average rating I think at Goodreads, why, because it is a bit a bit of supersweet cuteness and morality overkill. 😊 This is probably because I’m used to read dark books…. So maybe I am not the target group for this book? 😉
But, definitely a book to leaf through, read the wisdom, be in awe of the
Sam Quixote
Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it
A particularly maudlin boy, a Yoda-like mole who likes cake, a quiet fox, and a wise horse roam a generic countryside setting saying inspirational Instagram platitudes to one another:

“Nothing beats kindness” said the horse. “It sits quietly beyond all things.”

“Often the hardest person to forgive is yourself”

“What do you think success is?” asked the boy.
“To love” said the mole.

“Is your glass half empty or half full?” asked the mole.
“I think I’m grateful to have a glass” said the boy.

“Being kind t
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful and inspirational book to start 2021 with. A simple and thought provoking read, where the reader is reminded of the fundamental of goodness and kindness we were all born with.

Beautifully illustrated and you cant help but love the characters as they plod along their merry way, a book that old and young can find joy in and I can imagine a mother reading this with her child. I loved the simple little messages that I think we all need reminding of now more so than ever in order to
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Omg!! I’ve heard about this book forever!! I didn’t believe it!! I got it free in a sale! It’s on my favorites list! It’s so simple yet profound!

You are loved…

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Wow! This was beautiful!
Apr 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: awful
My previous rating and review disappeared.

I found this nauseatingly awful. Sickly sweet wisdoms spoken from a Christopher Robbin like toddler talking to animals. This reads like a poor copy of Winnie the Pooh without any of the good parts. Even the illustrations and situations are copied from Winnie the Pooh. This takes around two minutes to read, many pages blank for no apparent reason, the worst book I have read in a long time.
Imogen Kathleen
Mar 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
I'm about to be fairly negative about a very positive book...

This Winnie-the-Poohesque story(?) follows an array of characters as they offer comforting words of wisdom and reassure each other through their personal fears.

The Good

- This book is beautiful. The art is stunning, and the pictures ended up being the highlight for me.
- A little positivity and kindness is always a good thing. I'm sure that this book would make an excellent gift for someone, especially if they're having a hard time.

The B
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is so beautiful it almost makes you want to weep. If you are looking for a thoughtful and stunning book as a present for Christmas then look no further - it’s GORGEOUS! This is a wonderful story of unlikely friendships and love which has some fantastic illustrations some of which a a bit reminiscent of E H Shepard’s Winnie the Pooh drawings.

The boy first meets the mole and he is adorable - which is something I never thought I’d say about a mole since ‘the little gentlemen in black vel
Christy Hall
My sister bought this book for my daughter, who is a bit of a reluctant reader. My daughter has a processing disorder so reading is a lot of hard work. When the book is so good it outweighs the difficulty of the task of reading, I know the book is a winner. As she was reading, she kept running out of her room to tell me about a cute, sweet or touching part of the book. When she finished it, she handed it to me and said, “Your turn!”

It’s a beautiful children’s book. It reminds me of The Little Pr
Charlotte May
I spent a sunny Autumnal morning reading this book and honestly it could not have been more perfect.

“What do we do when our hearts hurt?” Asked the boy. “We wrap them with friendship, shared tears and time, till they wake hopeful and happy again.”

This book spoke to me. From the beautiful words and gorgeous illustrations, it was a peaceful and heart warming experience.

“Don’t measure how valuable you are by the way you are treated.”

I’d quote the whole book if I could. Last one.

“What do yo
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I received this book for free as part of an Instagram tour (TLC Book Tours specifically) I did to promote the book.

This book was absolutely amazing! I loved everything about it.

The story is very simple but very profound. There are lots of little pieces of wisdom sprinkled throughout that really hit me hard. For example, this was one of my favorite passages:

“Sometimes I feel lost,” said the boy.
“Me too,” said the mole, “but we love you and love brings you home.”

It reminded me a lot of Winnie the
What a beautiful book that I want to own. It’s special. I saw this in the store and it pulled at me, so I knew I wanted to read it. I put it on the wait list at the library and only a few hundred people were ahead of me. I saw booktubers talk about this book and I knew I had to read it. It’s wonderful. I love this.

It reminds me of Winnie-the-pooh in some ways. Each page is like a one paneled story or saying. Most of them feel like Zen Koans, but they take place between the boy and mostly the mol
Jan 26, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-r, kindle
Absolutely love this book! It's full of great messages and suitable for people of all ages, highly recommend.

For those reading on the Kindle app, it's better on landscape mode.

Jun 26, 2021 rated it liked it
A bit twee but nicely illustrated and suited for any rainy day
Don't measure how valuable you are by the way you are treated said the horse.

Sometimes I worry you'll all realise I'm ordinary said the boy.
Love doesn't need you to be extraordinary said the mole

Sometimes I think you believe in me more than I do said the boy.
You'll catch up said the horse.

What's your best discovery? asked the mole.
That I'm enough as I am said the boy.

Nicely illustrated, and soothing in a sense, but also quite sweet. Y
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review will be a little different. Because there really is no way to sum up this gorgeous book that I discovered thanks to a Waterstones ad on Twitter. The blurp already tells you all you need to know about the story so I'm just here to show you a few of my favourite pages that will simultaneously give you an impression of the art and the message behind it.

A true work of art with a wonderful message. The art style is not something I thought would be for me but it turned out to be rather won
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
We will all want to live in Charlie’s world where it’s all about love, friendship and kindness.
The drawings are just beautiful!
Im so glad I bought this book, now it’s going to be passed around to my family..the adults and grandchildren both!
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Charlie Macksey was born during a snowy winter in Northumberland. He has been a cartoonist for The Spectator and a book illustrator for Oxford University Press. He has collaborated with Richard Curtis for Comic Relief, and Nelson Mandela on a lithograph project, 'The Unity Series.' Collectors of Mackesy's works include Elizabeth Gilbert, Whoopi Goldberg, Roger Waters, Richard Curtis, The Murdoch F ...more

Articles featuring this book

  Every December, as we wrap up our annual Goodreads Reading Challenge, we ask our incredibly well-read colleagues an incredibly tough...
98 likes · 142 comments
“What is the bravest thing you've ever said? asked the boy.
'Help,' said the horse.
'Asking for help isn't giving up,' said the horse. 'It's refusing to give up.”
“What do you think is the biggest waste of time?"
"Comparing yourself to others", said the mole.”
More quotes…