The Terribly Friendly Fox is a masterpiece of deception and darkness. At first glance, I thought that this would be about a misunderstood fox. Very quickly though, I realised the reader is in on the joke. The fox in this story is ever so friendly… in fact, he’s terribly friendly!
It all begins when Gerald the fox arrives at the ‘The Annual Woodland Creatures’ Ball’, and the guests are a little concerned, which is completely understandable. Gerald is a fox after all and they’ve heard rumours about foxes’ appetites. But Gerald reassures them he is a vegetarian fox… as you can imagine, this might not necessarily be the case! Unfortunately, the mouse who is hosting the ball is completely oblivious to Gerald’s true intentions and what is happening around him.
I love Susannah Lloyd’s play on words, especially the line ‘Gerald promised he would make a few more things disappear later on,’ when Gerald is performing his magic tricks. ‘The Terrible Friendly Fox’ is one of those books you can read again and again and still pick up on little details in Ellie Snowdon’s fabulous illustrations. Unlike her book ‘Great Bunny Bakes’, which is illustrated in a soft pastel palette, this book is illustrated in bold red, with contrasting black and white, which suits the ‘dark’ theme well.