Wow! I've just finished reading this book to my partner's daughters, they're 6 & 8, they're crying themselves to sleep as I write this. I won't ruin it for you too much but we were all enjoying the book until the last chapter. Both girls love animals & I'd heard good things about Morpurgo's books so Fox Friend seemed perfect, and it was... until the end!
It's a beautiful, well written story about a young girl nursing a fox cub back to health. The tiny cub had survived a run in with the hunt & young Clare carried it home to care for it until it was old enough to return to the wild. Sounds great so far doesn't it? Well, it's not all happiness & joy, oh no, why write a story that children will enjoy when you can send them off to bed to have recurring nightmares!
Perhaps I'm wrong, perhaps Morpurgo's right, perhaps young children should be exposed to the horror of real life at such an early age. Okay, well, I'm off to get them out of bed to tell them that Father Christmas has been fatally stabbed in the neck before we settle down to watch Reservoir Dogs, Natural Born Killers & Taxi Driver. Thanks Morpurgo, thanks for shattering their innocence.
PS, I only gave it one out of five as I couldn't give it zero. If you do buy this book, only read the first six chapters to your children.