Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl Review

illustrated by Quentin Blake

Fantastic Mr Fox

A collection of words woven together and spread across pages of paper can create some wonderful entertainment where the reader can lose themselves in another world with some wonderful characters. One such word magician was the author Roald Dahl – a master storyteller that is probably best known for his wonderfully delightful children’s stories (he did also write stories for adults, poetry, screenplays and even a pamphlet about measles).

Dahl has been writing books since 1943 (The Gremlins) and his books are still very well received today. In 1970 he published a story about a very cunning creature that roams the countryside, towns and cities and even your garden at night, you may even have seen one for yourself, the gorgeous red fox. This book is titled Fantastic Mr Fox.

We all know that foxes are perceived to be shy and cunning creatures and that is no different when we meet Dahl’s Mr Fox, he shows just how cunning he can be when he outwits three greedy, mean and cruel farmers who want to kill him and will stop at nothing to do so!

Fantastic Mr Fox is a story about the anthropomorphic Mr Fox and his family; Mr & Mrs Fox and their children of four small foxes. Foxes are scavengers and will eat anything, but Mr Fox and his family aren’t city or urban foxes and have the luxury of living in the countryside with their den under a big tree in the woods and don’t have to scavenge through bins to find their food as they are surrounded by three well-stocked farms. These farms belong to three different mean and greedy farmers, one fat, one short and one lean: Farmer Boggis has a farm full of plump chickens, Farmer Bunce has a farm full of juicy duck and geese and Farmer Bean has a farm filled with turkeys and apples.

Mr Fox relies on scavenging, hunting and poaching to feed himself and his family. With three well-stocked farms on his doorstep, he always has a plentiful supply of readily available food he can steal to keep his family well fed – as long as he stays out of the way of the farmers three.

But Boggis, Bunce and Bean, the three dim-witted, mean and greedy farmers, have had enough of Mr Fox stealing from them. His constant stealing and outwitting the farmers at every turn with his trickery and cunning starts a war and a feud between Mr Fox and the farmers ensues – one which the farmers are determined to win!

Fantastic Mr Fox is a story of countryside conflict. Farmers versus fox. A tale of the farmers determination to protect their food stocks and kill Mr Fox by whatever means they can; this involves plots of shooting him, digging him out and destroying his home and even starvation. It is also the story of Mr Fox’s cunning and trickery and outsmarting the three farmers whilst still feeding his family and all their woodland friends.

Overall, Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox is a delightful tale of greed versus nature, sly cunning versus direct action. Whilst I didn’t feel that there was as much dark humour and wit in Fantastic Mr Fox as in some of Dahl’s other stories I have read, it is still a fun, enjoyable and entertaining read. It is not a fluffy read, it does have lots of scheming and violence that might scare the youngest of readers, but it is not too graphic or too scary, although it does add tension to the tale – the farmers use guns and shoot Mr Fox’s tail off, Mr Fox kills chickens with a quick snap of his jaw etc. but the violence doesn’t go into any real detail and these events get passed over quickly with ease.

It is a good story of the ugliness of greed from the three gluttonous farmers and the cunning, trickery and kindness of the Mr Fox and his family. A short chapter book where young readers won’t be overwhelmed with long passages of reading, one where readers will be routing for the fantastic Mr Fox, the heroic father who is doing everything his can to look after his family and friends, rescuing his family from mean farmers, gunfire, starvation and death whilst still getting one over on the hard of thinking farmers.

Personally, I didn’t think Fantastic Mr Fox was as funny as some of Dahl’s other books, but it is still an entertaining, enjoyable and engaging story. Mr Fox is a delightful character full of charm, trickery and sly cunning who clearly loves his family and friends and will do anything for them.

And for those of you wondering, the last I heard, the farmers three were still camped outside a fox hole somewhere in the countryside waiting for Mr Fox to show himself – I wonder if they still remember why they or there or maybe they just enjoy camping?

Note: If you have a fox problem, please don’t try any of the methods used by the three mean farmers in this book, visit for help and advice. Whilst some people consider foxes to be vermin they aren’t, and have never been, actually legally classified as vermin. For more information visit

Rating: 4/5

RRP: £9.99 (Hardback) / £5.99 (Paperback) / £3.49 (Kindle)

For more information, visit Available to buy from Amazon here.

DISCLOSURE: All thoughts and opinions are our own. This review uses an affiliate link which we may receive a small commission from if you purchase through the link.


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