Graphic Novel Review: The Big Bad Fox by Benjamin Renner

The Big Bad Fox by Benjamin Renner. Translated from French by Joe Johnson. First Second, 2017. 9781626723313. 188pp.

A hapless fox tries to steal eggs from the henhouse at the farm, but he’s beat up by a very angry chicken. A pig and rabbit offer him some turnips instead, but that doesn’t make him happy. Then a wolf tries to turn him into a ruthless predator, mostly because the wolf can’t get near the chickens himself. At his urging the fox manages to steal a few eggs, which the wolf then expects the fox to hatch and raise so that the wolf can finally eat some chicken. The pig and rabbit set out to capture the fox. The chickens are up in arms (up in wings?). And of course, because this is ridiculous, the chicks hatch and bond with the fox, who also clearly loves them (and then needs to keep the wolf from eating them).

It’s all a bit silly, but I love the simple drawings and the panel-less layout. The whole graphic novel flows, and I wish I had a kid to read it to again right now. (Renner is an animator who made the feature film Ernest & Celestine, and who has also turned this book into an animated TV special, part of The Big Bad Fox And Other Tales. My local library has a copy, and I hope yours does, too.)

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