The Terribly Friendly Fox


The voles queue for the balloons that Gerald, AKA Mr Wiley Fox, presents. He sweeps Margaret off her feet on the dance floor. Gerald promises to ‘make a few more things disappear‘ following his conjuring tricks. HIs singing engages the audience, although our host is aware there are a quite number of puddings left over. There seem to be too many chairs to play musical chairs, also. Gerald isn’t overly concerned to take one last bite at the end of the evening…

Who is ‘The Terribly Friendly Fox‘? After initial misgivings, the guests at ‘The Annual Animal Woodland Ball’ are convinced Mr Wiley Fox is now a reformed character and vegetarian. They fall for his charms, his tricks, games, crooning, dancing and the toast ‘to new friends’. Will Gerald take his bite out of the animal community to become a signed up, foxy member endorsed, trusted and fulfilled? Or is there something more at play…

‘The Terribly Friendly Fox’ is a complex, layered, craftily amusing picture book. There is so much to discover behind the curtains and our host’s narration of the evening. Welcome Gerald… or should we?

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The Terribly Friendly Fox

Susannah Lloyd and Ellie Snowdon

(Simon & Schuster)

Ta da! It’s the night of ‘The Annual Woodland Creatures’ Ball’! The guests look splendid, the floors are polished, the chandeliers are twinkling and…. there’s an unexpected arrival amongst the guests. Mr Wiley Fox? His arrival has set the cat amongst the pigeons and the mouse amongst the trifle! There have been alarming stories about foxes. However, this is ‘The Terribly Friendly Fox‘- or so it seems!
However, this fox is debonair. Furthermore, he’s ‘changed his name to Gerald’ and is a vegetarian! Could Gerald really become the ‘life and soul of the party‘? It seems like he’s on best behaviour, proposing toasts, singing atop the piano, blowing balloons for the voles! Who’d have thought it?
Our narrator is entranced. He’s slightly concerned about missing diners and more chairs than usual in a game of musical chairs, but Gerald’s presence overcomes any niggles. Gerald is triumph!
Bookwagon loves Ellie Snowdon’s Great Bunny Bakes. ‘The Terribly Friendly Fox‘ is a super companion to that favourite. The story is rich, layered and deep with inference, while the layered, Ronald Searle- like illustrations complex and inimitable. Would you invite ‘Gerald’ to your ball?


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