Friday, November 17, 2017

The Big Bad Fox by Benjamin Renner

The Big Bad Fox
by Benjamin Renner [jPB Renner] 

I was looking for a quick, lively “graphic novel” read, and saw this book on one of the youth displays — the art was distinctive and engaging, so I gave it a shot. And I really enjoyed it!

Author/Artist/Animator Benjamin Renner originally created this comical tale for publication in French in 2015, and it was recently translated into English. He also released an animated film version of the same story in 2017 (in French). The plot, in a nutshell — a downtrodden but persistent Fox is not considered a threat by the denizens of a farmyard, who greet his daily attempts to pillage their territory by welcoming him and inquiring about his health. The guard dog is disdainful of Fox, the chickens have no fear of him, and the other barnyard animals consider him, if not a “friend”, at most merely a daily nuisance. So, failing to capture any “prey” each day, he subsists on a vegetarian diet.
The local Wolf, on the other hand, decides to whip the Fox into shape, and sends him on an errand to steal the hen’s eggs. The Fox does this, but when the eggs hatch, the chicks immediately bond with the (male) Fox as a surrogate mother. Fox and Wolf agree to let the chicks plump up a bit before eating them, but as time passes, and despite his better judgement, the Fox starts to bond with his “adoptive children”. Fun ensues as Fox tries to hide this betrayal from Wolf, and also tries to conceal his adopted children from the barnyard sleuths (a comical and inept pig and duck) who are trying to track them down. When Fox (in a bad disguise as a Hen) and the chicks move to the barnyard, the real fun begins. I absolutely loved this graphic novel…it is filled with great sight gags and goofy humor alike, and the poor Fox becomes a terrific anti-hero that you root for. The bits where he bonds with the three chicks, especially when they beg him to tell them how ferocious the horrible “Fox” monster is, are hilarious! And the messages about parenting, co-parenting and adoptive parenting are inspiring!

[ official Internet Movie Database page for The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales ] | [ publisher’s official The Big Bad Fox book web page ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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