Growing up the book I read most often, more than my favourite Narnia books (The Magicians Nephew and The Horse and his Boy), more than the Jungle Books whose poems I could recite by heart (and some I still can), more even than the Just So Stories, was Fantastic Mr Fox. It was my quick fix read. Full of cunning and humour and people it was easy to dislike. I grew up on a small holding, we lost our chickens to foxes over a couple of weeks and the whole thing was so messy and upsetting we never replaced them. Yet this fictional fox was so full of charm and wit and cleverness I was very firmly on his side. I still have my original copy. The cover is missing. It fell off with over use.
As an adult (technically if not always in behaviour) of 35, there are many books I love. Many tales I’ve reread a dozen or more times and every time found something new to surprise and delight me. I still read Fantastic Mr Fox. He is still my favourite literary hero.
The stories in Fox & Fae celebrate the fox for all the wonderful attributes they share with Dahl’s creation. The book also explores the downsides of being beautiful and clever. It also visit the flip side of that, in ‘A Crackling Fart’ for example our foxy fellow’s superiority and cleverness are his downfall as much as his greed. It’s a wonderful collection of stories and I hope someone somewhere will take one of our foxes to their heart as much as I did Fantastic Mr Fox.
Tales of the Fox and Fae will be out this summer in the mean time there are plenty of other Fox Spirit titles out there.
If you check out the rest of the site you will find a small number of foxes caught on camera around the world. Fox photos are by Phil Knott.