Publisher's Note:  

Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Fox? No one, it seems.

The fox dreams of being the terror of the barnyard. But no one is intimidated by him, least of all the hens?when he picks a fight with one, he always ends up on the losing end. Even the wolf, the most fearsome beast of the forest, can’t teach him how to be a proper predator. It looks like the fox will have to spend the rest of his life eating turnips.

But then the wolf comes up with the perfect scheme. If the fox steals some eggs, he could hatch the chicks himself and raise them to be a plump, juicy chicken dinner. Unfortunately, this plan falls apart when three adorable chicks hatch and call the fox Mommy.

Beautifully rendered in watercolor by Benjamin Renner, The Big Bad Fox is a hilarious and surprisingly tender parable about parenthood that's sure to be a hit with new parents (and their kids too).

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by First Second Books

The Big Bad Fox

by Benjamin Renner

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Overall Review:  

This was a really cute graphic novel!

The Big Bad Fox is an adorable story about one fox who cannot be fierce. Because of this, he fails at being a terror in the henhouse, and so he never gets to have chicken for dinner. No matter how much coaching he gets from the big bad wolf on how to be terrifying, the fox usually has to make do with turnips and vegetables. His unexpected appropriation of three baby chicks makes the situation all the more ridiculous, in that he plans to eat them once they’ve gotten big enough, but ends up getting attached to them instead. Since he was present at their hatching, the chicks are under the impression he is their mommy, and come to believe they are all three little foxes.

The illustrations are rather loose, but though they aren't lifelike they contain a lot of liveliness about them, which makes for entertaining reading. The pacing of the story is well done, and the acceleration of scenes into mad scenarios is hilarious.

The humor reminded me of older Disney cartoons. For example, when you're a kid the cartoon is funny, but when you're older you catch jokes you never got when you were little. There is a lot of violence/violence-related humor, but it’s never meant to be taken seriously and is used more for a comic effect than for actual violence. 

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None 

Violence/Gore:  A character bites someone; a character chases another character with a stick; a character sometimes gets hit/attacked by other characters; a character teaches another character how to be fierce; characters plot to steal chicken eggs; a character reports getting shot at in the past; a character is captured; characters plan to eat baby chicks; a character is afraid he accidentally smothered young characters; young characters occasionally fight with each other; a character agrees to have a pseudo-fight with another; a character is tricked into eating a turnip disguised as a chick; characters get attacked by young characters; a character witnesses a fox extermination club demonstration, including pecking a fox to death, evisceration, blasting with dynamite, etc.; a hen beats up a fox; a fox and pig are tied to a pile of dynamite; a wolf threatens a fox; hens threaten and attack a wolf. 

Sex/Nudity:  Baby chicks think a male fox is their mommy (not a gender issue); a fox "broods" on a nest of eggs.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Bullying, kidnapping, guns, physical violence, verbal abuse.

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Reviewed By Katrina
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