I will admit that I am one of those people who gobble up new books. Often I read straight through a new book very quickly, because I am so excited and want to see how it ends. But then I go back and read it again right away, going slowly and savoring it the second time. I do not, however, sprinkle salt and pepper on the pages and actually eat the book. Mr. Fox does. He eats books - chews them up and swallows them and licks his lips.
Mr. Fox has a problem with his diet. He has such an appetite for books, that he has sold almost everything he owns and there is no money left to buy books. The solutions he comes up involve the library and the corner bookstore, but he forgets to consider the consequences of his plan at each location. Then he is in a real mess. What can a book-loving fox do?
Taking the idea of a voracious reader to absurd lengths provides all kinds of humor in this witty picture book. Mr. Fox with his salt shaker and pepper grinder satisfies his hunger for literature and has plenty of "food for thought." The illustrations of the fox sprawled on the floor of his apartment reading, or casually whistling as he eyes the nearest exit in the library are comical. Younger readers will be rolling in the floor at the scene where "cheap paper upset his stomach." (Yes, it shows him in the bathroom. What kid wouldn't laugh at the sight of a fox atop a toilet?) And when he threatens, "I'll bite you in the bottom!" everyone will be laughing aloud.
Along with the obvious theme of loving books and reading, there are other topics that this story introduces. One big point of discussion could be thinking things through and considering what the results of your actions will be. Another could be the problems with being too greedy, even for good things like books. It could also be paired with another humorous book like Gregory, the Terrible Eater to accompany a lesson on proper nutrition. Young readers may be encouraged to try writing their own stories, as Mr. Fox attempts to do, or create their own illustrations of Mr. Fox eating one of their favorite books. And older students can explore all the vocabulary and the terms that describe hunger of one sort or another.
Perfect for readers who love books such as Judy Sierra's Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf! or Wolf! by Becky Bloom. This is another one of those stories where we are cheering for the character that is really a rascal. I know that kids will love Mr. Fox. Whether you read it at home or at school, children will be chuckling over the fox's antics and adults will be shaking their heads at his single-minded pursuit of books. Everyone will have a good time - which is really the best way to enjoy a good story.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.