Is it possible to love books too much?
Neither a traditional picture book nor one with a controlled vocabulary to support emergent readers, this Canadian import is an illustrated story about extreme bibliophilia. The eponymous vulpine protagonist loves to read and then, as the title suggests, eat his books. When he runs out of reading/eating material, he sells off furniture to secure more, and after some hungry times, he ventures into the library to satiate his hunger. A wily librarian soon discovers his bibliophagic tendencies and bans him from entering ever again, leading Mr. Fox to a life of crime. He steals books from a bookstore but doesn’t get away with the theft and so ends up in prison. There, he persuades a guard to supply him with pen and paper and writes a novel. It’s delicious. But before Mr. Fox eats his book, the guard reads it, copies it, and decides to publish it. Fame and fortune follow, so when Mr. Fox is freed from prison he's leading a life of luxury with endless books to read and eat. Biermann’s text and cartoon-style illustrations work together to humorous effect, the latter heightening the story’s absurdity with pictures that expand on each plot point. The prison guard lying on the couch with a bowl of popcorn as the events in Mr. Fox’s story unfurl above him is a particularly potent image.
A heaping portion of humor for bibliophiles. (Fiction. 8-10)