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The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
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The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

4.70  ·  Rating details ·  7,371 ratings  ·  1,551 reviews
The Sunday Times Bestseller and New York Times Bestseller.

'You will not be able to buy a more beautiful book for Christmas for somebody you love' Chris Evans

A book of hope for uncertain times.

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
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.…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)
Terry Absolutely! These are timeless messages that are wholesome and wonderful. The artwork and font type is also beautifully done. :)…moreAbsolutely! These are timeless messages that are wholesome and wonderful. The artwork and font type is also beautifully done. :) (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,371 ratings  ·  1,551 reviews

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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
"I got you a delicious cake," said the mole.
"Did you?"
"Where is it?"
"I ate it," said the mole.
"But I got you another."
"Did you? Where is that one?"
"The same thing seems to have happened."

needless to say i loved this so much it broke me in half.

review to come / 4.5 stars


i don't know anything about this book but it looks like it's going to make me cry
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
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
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
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
'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
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!!!
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
”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.
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 ...more
Caroline Middleton
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
I received this beautiful book as an early Xmas present from my Mum and Dad. When Mum placed the present in front of me, I could tell it was a book, but I was rather concerned about which one it might be. You see, as of late, my Mum and I have had disagreements on quite a few books, so I was within my rights to be a tiny bit worried.

I was relieved when I opened the paper to reveal this book. I hadn't gotten round to buying it myself yet, so I was happy as hell to receive it as a gift.

Right now,
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.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book, adult
While the back cover of this book says it is intended for readers 6 to 70 years old, I do think much of it is fully intended for adults. At least I don't think 6 year old me would have understood the significance of it. The words, yes. The true meaning behind, no.

In many respects this book reminded me of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It has that same nostalgia feeling, but it is not so effective in making the nostalgia matter beyond the isolated sentences that make most of the
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Deservedly our Waterstones Book of the Year. It’s been insanely popular in store; one customer bought seven copies in a single transaction, and I think Charlie Mackesy might owe my manager royalties for all his hand-selling.

So many more reviews of The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse have appeared in lieu of Christmas Day, and I can only assume that it’s been gifted multiple times – I know I bought two copies for just that purpose.

How do I describe this book? Well, it’s an exquisitely
Oct 05, 2019 added it
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.)
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a lovely book with beautiful drawings. A short read with lovely thoughts about love, friendship and life. I wished it would be longer. Good read for grown ups, but also children. Sometimes I had a hard time reading what was written so that is why it gets 4 points otherwise it would be 5.

Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, school
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

"Kind", said the boy.
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE

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 strength
Stacey A.  Prose and Palate
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely beautiful.
If you are looking for something to warm your heart, if you could use a little more kindness in your life, if you are in need of a few words of encouragement, or if you are searching for some sign that goodness still exists and people care - then this is the book for you. It is simply lovely and I am so glad that this is the story that I started my 2020 reading journey with.
Laura Hoffman Brauman
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
☼♄Jülie 

What a beautiful book!
I first heard about this book after seeing one of Charlie Mackesy's sketches with a beautiful handwritten inspirational message. I think I was initially drawn to it because it featured a fox , and everyone knows I love .

I was so taken with it that I googled him to find out more.
That's where I found more of his 'sketches with meaning' ... I was immediately hooked!
I went out the following day and bought this, his latest book, and sat there in the city bookstore reading it.
Anna Louise
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Halfway through this beautiful book I began sobbing.

I’m incredibly hard on myself - often for no reason - and it was like the quiet, soft voice in my head that nearly always get pushed away by the mean, loud self deprecating voice broke away and was on the page reminding me to have more love and kindness for myself. That I’ve actually been through a lot and I can take the time to look after myself.

If you were on the fence about this book - maybe because you feel an illustrated book is a little
Karen Foster
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Our B&N booksellers pick for book of the year. This little treasure is truly a beautiful thing. The pen and ink drawings and script are really gorgeous, and the illustrations have the added flourish of water color at times..The simple fable about love, friendship, kindness and understanding is just so lovely. A very Pooh and Piglet vibe, which is never a bad thing.... For readers of 8 to 80.. ...more
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this in fifteen minutes and cried during most of the read. This is one of my newfound favorite things.
Jessie ✨
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely wonderful. ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’d be hard to give this less than 5 stars

Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: witholivia
Sorry to be a moaner, but this is just a string of instagram platitudes without structure of story. You need to earn the warm fuzziness otherwise its just inspiration porn.
Daughter read this to me in the car. The pictures are beautiful but I think we both found it a bit unsatisfying.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you are searching for an absolute treat of a book then look no further than Charlie Mackesy’s “The Boy, The Mole, The Fox & The Horse”. From the get-go you are astonished to the apparent attention to detail. The meticulous strokes on this beautifully illustrated work of art are my favourite part of the appeal. The level of intricacy is masterfully stroked and exquisitely crafted to the story it’s telling. There is plenty to enjoy, from hopeful quotes as “The truth is, everyone is winging ...more
(2.5) A fable for fans of The Little Prince, reminding readers of some simple lessons – that we are loved and shouldn’t be afraid, and that friends are there to support us through life’s trials. I liked the mole character and his obsession with cake. The drawing style and dialogue are reminiscent of E. H. Shepard’s illustrations for the Winnie-the-Pooh books. Most of the time, though, Mackesy stops at loose sketches. I prefer the more finished look of the colored-in pages. You’d have to be ...more
Ben Cela
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
I don't usually write many book reviews nowadays (or read for that matter, unfortunately) because the hustle and bustle of coming into adulthood (you know, working two jobs, buying "adult" furniture, existential crises...the usual) but this book is a special exception. Currently, I work at a Barnes & Noble where this was decided as the "Book of the Year." Needless to say, we were told to sell as many as we can. To get a better understanding of it, the managers actually let us read this book ...more
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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.”
“What do you think is the biggest waste of time?
Comparing yourself to others, said the mole.”
More quotes…