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The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

4.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,292 ratings  ·  304 reviews
From the revered British illustrator, a modern fable for all ages that explores life’s universal lessons, featuring 100 color and black-and-white drawings.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” asked the mole.

“Kind,” said the boy.

Charlie Mackesy offers inspiration and hope in uncertain times in this beautiful book based on his famous quartet of characters. The Boy, the
...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published October 22nd 2019 by HarperOne
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  • The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy
    The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
    by
    Release date: Oct 22, 2019
    From the revered British illustrator, a modern fable for all ages that explores life’s universal lessons, featuring 100 color and black-and-white ...more

    Format: Print book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 10 copies available, 2747 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Nov 22 - Dec 22, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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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.…moreDefinitely! We have this for my son who is 6, but it honestly transcends any age group. You will not be disappointed. Highly recommended. (less)
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    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 4.67  · 
    Rating details
     ·  1,292 ratings  ·  304 reviews


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    Jessica
    Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    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
    ...more
    Ceecee
    Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    ...more
    Trish
    Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    ...more
    Caroline Middleton
    I will treasure this book always. The mix of ink and watercolour illustrations, and the ramshackle calligraphy, is beautiful in itself. But Mackesy has created characters that speak kindness so simply and beautifully, it is like poetry but (somehow?) more powerful. Some of my favourite moments:
    “I wonder if there is a school of unlearning?”
    “Sometimes I worry you’ll all realise I’m ordinary,” said the boy. “Love doesn’t need you to be extraordinary,” said the mole.
    “Is your glass half empty or
    ...more
    Mahi
    I received an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
    This book was like a cup of hot tea in the cold days of winter.
    like a blanket this book hugged me and protected me from the cold world.
    I would like a physical copy and I would recommend this to everyone.
    ( the font was a bit hard to read at first.)
    Laura Hoffman Brauman
    This beautifully illustrated book breathes kindness and acceptance and hope - and made my heart ache in all the best ways. I want to give a copy to everyone I know. From the introduction to the book: "I hope this book encourages you, perhaps, to live courageously with more kindness for yourself and for others. And to ask for help when you need it - which is always a brave thing to do. When I was making the book I often wondered, who on earth am I to be doing this? But as the horse is: "the truth ...more
    Kate
    Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Bought due to a rapturous recommendation from my work colleague, but I am so thankful for this gentle and loving book. Definitely one I will turn to for kindness and solace during difficult times.

    The simplicity of the illustrations suit the deep emotion and vulnerability expressed on each page. Each quote is motivational and life affirming - life is remarkable, your true friends love you for who you are, and you are enough.
    Tom Mooney
    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.
    Kathryn
    Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: favourites, school
    "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

    "Kind", said the boy.
    Carolyn Stover
    Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I am so stingy with 5 star ratings but this book deserved at least 5 stars. An inspiring tale of hope compassion and love. As an exclusive e reader I surprised myself by immediately purchasing this for myself, my mom and a friend. Everyone needs this in their library and their life ...more
    Katie
    This book is delightful. It features a series of pen and watercolour drawings about the friendship between a boy, a mole, a fox, and a horse, and is about the journey they take together.

    The story features all sorts of little epigrams about kindness and friendship, what the important things in life are, and the importance of self care. I have seen reviews comparing this to Winnie the Pooh, and that comparison isn't unwarranted, but I think Mackesy's messages are even simpler, but also more
    ...more
    Marc
    Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I read this in fifteen minutes and cried during most of the read. This is one of my newfound favorite things.
    Nick Swarbrick
    Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    “Sometimes I feel lost,” said the boy. Friendship explored through a flowing calligraphy, illustrations strongly reminiscent of E H Shepard, and multiple repeats of ideas that might cloy on an inspirational poster but in the course of this gentle, half-explained journey are engaging and illustrate a slow movement of ideas as a mole and a boy meet a fox and a horse. “Everyone is just trying to get home,” observes the mole, and here, at least, love and a hug are just the thing.
    Imaan Tamimi
    Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: own, 5-najm
    I might or might not have shed tears while reading this. It's so cute and heart-warming.
    Becky
    Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    This is a genuinely beautiful book.
    Lauren
    Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I absolutely love this book, such a cute, short read, with some lovely important messages. A real feel good book, with an adorable mole who loves cake!!
    Christie
    Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: children-s-books
    A lovely, hopeful book recommended to me by my nan-in-law! I genuinely enjoyed both the quietly insightful messages and the beautiful hand drawn images <3
    Pop Bop
    Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: reviewed
    Calm, Kind, and Comforting

    This book has been described as a "fable", but that isn't quite right, mostly because there is no actual plot or narrative. It is an illustrated collection of thoughts, aphorisms, and very brief vignettes. (Actually, vignette is exactly the right word, since it is a collection of brief, evocative descriptions or episodes, but is also a collection of "small illustrations which fade into the background without a definite border", which I was surprised to learn is the
    ...more
    Fern Adams
    Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Wow, what a book this is! I adored it. Got to the end first read round and had to go back to page one to read again and three readings straight through later I’ve put it down long enough to review. This is in many ways a simple book and yet it really isn’t. Exquisite art work, profound words and I really don’t know who this wouldn’t be suitable for. Slightly disappointed with myself for having been organised this year and already done my Christmas shopping as otherwise everyone would be getting ...more
    Cassandra Kay
    Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    "Always remember you matter, you're important and you are loved, and you bring to this world things no one else can."

    This book is short and sweet, but also extremely powerful in an unexpected way that you don't see the emotion hit you until it truly hits you. I'm talking rivers of tears rolling down your face. The watercolor paintings, the drawings, and the simple, but insightful, dialogue all tie together wonderfully.

    This book is beautifully crafted with such love and care. It's almost too
    ...more
    Rachel Buckley
    Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Wow
    Tim Joseph
    Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    OH MY GOSH. This is an absolute must read! A story about friendship and personal discovery, it is poignant, funny, beautifully illustrated and will absolutely give you the feels!

    While it's a short book (it took 15 minutes to read), I know I will be revisiting this over and over again. It's a must as a gift for readers. I literally can not say enough about it. Must read! And...

    "If at first you don't succeed...

    ... Eat some cake."
    Mike
    Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Think Christopher Robin and Pooh, today, with beautiful drawings, timeless wisdom, laughing, sighing, crying (happily), loving and being loved. Imagine a few moments or far less than an hour to realign, reawaken, reimagine you and your world as enlightened by the simple reflections of a boy, a mole, a fox and a horse. Bring light to your day and your life. This will be the top gift I give this Christmas. I can't imagine a better way to wrap up Joy and send it to my friends and loved ones. ...more
    Malvina
    Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Incredibly tender. You feel loved reading this book.

    'What do you want to be when you grow up?'
    'Kind,' said the boy.
    Angela Groom
    Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Such a beautiful book, so full of Love.

    The conversations between a boy, a mole, a fox and a horse shown in illustrations and beautiful calligraphy text. They are magical and perfect. The text almost melts in the picture and has a very simplistic style similar to Winnie the Pooh.
    Lots of words of wisdom throughout the book that you can share with any reader, like Charlie Mackesy says from eight to eighty.

    Some of my favourite parts "Asking for help isn't giving up says the horse. Its refusing to
    ...more
    Kristin DeGarmo
    Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I very rarely rate books 5 stars but this book deserves it. It’s beautifully illustrated but has even more beautiful messages inside. There are many pages I had to write down the quote because it meant so much to me. I actually found this book while at the bookstore where I work and started flipping through it and came across the line “be kind to yourself.” That particular day I really needed to hear that. I bought the book after work and read it and I’m glad I did. I absolutely adore this book ...more
    Peter Bellingham
    Absolutely fantastic. It is beautifully illustrated, stunningly presented, and virtually every page could be taken as an encouraging, inspiring, uplifting, challenging message in itself (hence why some of the pages have been used on public displays on the London Underground). I would recommend that every primary school teacher buy a copy to read to their class; every parent, grandparent or guardian should have one to read to their children, and every adult should have one for their own ...more
    Anne-Marie
    Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This book is a treasure of tender, loving wisdom. The ink and watercolour art is absolutely beautiful and the prose is full of deep life lessons and touching messages of love.

    It’s a story but even more so it’s a picture book. It’s a book to treasure. It’s a book of love and hope, of heart and soul. It’s a feel good book to leaf through daily and the perfect gift to someone you love.

    Charlie Mackesy shares his soulful drawings and messages on Instagram, it’s very much worth a follow.
    Maggie Mugford
    Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    This is absolutely stunning. It is the kind of material that can easily be read in one short sitting (which I did) but the kind that you may want to read over and over again.

    This is not for everyone, in the same way that The Night Circus is not for everyone. It is very much so literary fiction, for fans of works such as Fox 8 and The Little Prince. The artwork is amazing, and I have been going over certain pages to re-examine them again.
    Sarah
    Such a beautiful book that everyone should pick up and read. It's that kind of book you need to keep close in dire times. I will definitely re-read it until my heart knows the words in times of doubt.
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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 ...more
    “What do you want to be when you grow up?

    Kind, said the boy.”
    4 likes
    “What do you think is the biggest waste of time?
    Comparing yourself to others, said the mole.”
    2 likes
    More quotes…