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The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

4.61  ·  Rating details ·  47,795 ratings  ·  8,200 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
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published October 22nd 2019 by HarperOne (first published October 10th 2019)
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Mommooshka Yes, but to read with parents for younger children to help them understand the more abstract parts and discuss any questions. The author says it's for…moreYes, but to read with parents for younger children to help them understand the more abstract parts and discuss any questions. The author says it's for 8 to 80 but even younger and older will enjoy and benefit from it. (less)
Terry Absolutely! These are timeless messages that are wholesome and wonderful. The artwork and font type is also beautifully done. :)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  47,795 ratings  ·  8,200 reviews

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Merphy Napier
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Larry H
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Angela M
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a heartwarming graphic novel about life, friendship and cake!

Read this, it'll make your day!
Swaroop Kanti
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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!
Mar 16, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2020
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.
Dec 04, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lori-goodreadsing again
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lori-goodreadsing again 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
'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
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 vel
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
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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. ...more
Sam Quixote
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
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
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 won
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: 'the truth is, everyone is winging it.'

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Enter the world of Charlie's four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most important life lessons.

The conversations of the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared thousands of times online, recreated in school art classes, hung on hospital walls and turned into tattoos. In Charlie's first book, you will find his most-loved illustrations and some new ones too.

MY THOUGHTS: I received this book for my birthd
Apr 25, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book feels the same way the smell of freshly baked cookies and a warm hug feel.
Dannii Elle
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
"Kind," said the boy.

"What is the bravest thing you've ever said?" asked the boy.
"Help," said the horse.

This story is too pure for this world and I am not okay!!!
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
THIS is what the world needs now.
I can understand why this little novella is a best seller..... and I hate moles! THE BOY, THE MOLE, THE FOX AND THE HORSE is an excellent read for any year, but especially a COVID-19 2020 year!

A few of my favorite quotes from the book about sum it up for me:

"The truth is...everyone is winging it."

"Sometimes just getting up and carrying on is brave and magnificent."

"When the dark clouds come, keep going."

Definitely "a book of hope for uncertain times". Recommend!

(Note: Lowered my r


In a year filled with stress, and so many people having difficulty concentrating on reading books they might normally love, this book is the perfect antidote. It is filled with simple, charming illustrations, and a story that includes a young boy who is lonely, and the three characters he meets along his journey - the Mole, the Fox and the Horse - and the friendship, trust and companionship that follows. But more than that, it is filled with a wisdom so simply shared that it will touch the heart
"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
”Being honest is always interesting” said the horse.

This is one of the prettiest books I own and I loved every page. I didn’t get this as a Christmas present like everybody else because nobody I know in real life is that thoughtful or even reads for that matter. I need better friends.
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t know how this book managed to simplify all of life’s complex emotions and abstract thoughts but it does. This little story managed to encompass all the morals of feel good children’s books and yet still made me think as an adult.
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This wonderful heartfelt book certainly lived upto the hype, I'm so glad that I initially decided to pick up a copy for my daughters collection when I spotted it in the shops.

In truth I though this was solely aimed for kids, but as the introduction states this can be enjoyed by anyone from eighty to eight.
Shes way to young to appreciate the beauty of this stunning hardback, but I hope that she'll end up keeping and maybe pass down to her own children.

The charming musings of a boy and his animal
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
4.999999 🌟🌟🌟🌟💫

How many times did I pass by this book? Countless.

How many times did I scoff at it being named Barnes & Noble Book of the Year? Countless.

How many times did I turn my nose up the illustrations and font? I think you get the point.

Little did I know... The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy

“What is the bravest thing you’ve ever said?” asked the boy. “Help,” said the horse.”

“Often the hardest person to forgive is yourself.”

Charlie Mackesy has shared something that reminds us of the goodness, kindness and stren
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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

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“What do you think is the biggest waste of time?"
"Comparing yourself to others", said the mole.”
“What do you want to be when you grow up?"

"Kind", said the boy.”
More quotes…