Thursday, April 29, 2010

Read Aloud Thursday ::: Fantastic Mr. Fox

We have recently finished up two chapter books in our home ... one very familiar to me and one brand new. The first was Prince Caspian, book two (or book 4, depending on whether you use the old or new system of numbering. We prefer the old and are working through them in that order). : ) The girls have listened to me reading the book and we have accompanied that with the Focus on the Family dramatic audio version of the story. I really think, that with a book such as this with "older" language, it has been very helpful for the girls to hear it acted out, and they've been able to follow along really well with the book. We've purchased (through iTunes) the first 4 books (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Dawn Treader, and The Silver Chair) and have thoroughly enjoyed them when we have time in the car. We're looking forward to completing the series this summer on vacation.

Fantastic Mr. FoxOur other read-aloud that we finished was Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. Truthfully, the only other Roald Dahl book I have ever read is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and that was a long, long time ago. : ) I wasn't sure what to expect from this book (we've not seen the movie yet), and I'm still not sure what kind of recommendation to give it. How's that for confusing!

This is the story of Mr. Fox who lives with his family under a large hill between the farms of Boggis, Bunce, and Bean. The farmers have a had enough of Mr. Fox's stealing of their respective crops and take action in a most outlandish and extreme way. Mr. Fox and his family are about to starve to death when Mr. Fox comes up with a brilliant plan and saves not only his family but the other animal inhabitants of the hill and outwits the farmers.

I preread this book before reading with N1 and then read it aloud with her. She loved it. I will say, this book had lots of "s.t.u.p.i.d." in there which was easy enough to skip over when reading aloud. Part of that, I think, is just the era the book was written ... that was a more common put down as opposed to some of the worse ones that I see in some of the short chapter books today. The other issue with the book is the fact that Mr. Fox steals from the farmers and rationalizes it as it is just what he does ... he's a fox after all ... and because of that he saves everyone. While I obviously don't want to glorify stealing with my girls, to me, it's pretty obvious that this is the way foxes work and feed their family and unfortunately, the farmers get the short end of the stick in this deal. Either way, we enjoyed this short read and I recommend it with the suggestion that the mom read it first just to make sure you are comfortable reading it to your children. I don't think I would have just handed it off to N1 to read on her own, but as a read-aloud that we could do together, it was fine with me.

For more Read Aloud Thursday posts, head over to Hope is the Word!


  1. I've been wondering if any of Dahl's books were appropriate for my daughter. I've only read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, also and have been meaning to explore more of his books. Thanks for your perspective.

  2. Stephanie,

    I recommend you and Travis read (privately) the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman. I know you are both big C.S. Lewis and Tolkien fans, and after reading the first and third books, it has left me with so much to think and talk about in terms of children's literature and fantasy in general!


  3. My girls were asking for the second Narnia book just yesterday. Louise has not loved the audio version of Wardrobe (some of the dramatic elements scare her, I think), so I put them off. Now I'm rethinking it! :-)

    My girls have listened to the audiobook of Chocolate Factory, but that's their only exposure to Dahl. I think it's wise to pre-read his stuff.

    Thanks for linking up, Stephanie!

  4. Was this recently made into a movie? Because Jonathan just brought home a movie about foxes and I had never heard of it before (obviously, we haven't seen it yet) and I didn't know it WAS a book. I'm more curious about it now. =)

  5. We love the Focus readings of Narnia!!

  6. My husband finished reading the Narnia books (as they are known at our house) to my 6 year old last month. Will is now working through each one on his own. He loves them. We have the Focus CDs but haven't listened to them yet. I'm saving them for a road trip. :) Just last week hubby started reading Charlie and the Glass Elevator (the sequel to the Chocolate Factory) out loud with Will. So far they are enjoying it.


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