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The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse Hardcover – October 22, 2019
Enhance your purchase
Charlie Mackesy’s beloved The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse has been adapted into an animated short film, now available to stream on Apple TV+
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER · WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER · USA TODAY BESTSELLER
“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is not only a thought-provoking, discussion-worthy story, the book itself is an object of art.”- Elizabeth Egan, The New York Times
From British illustrator, artist, and author Charlie Mackesy comes a journey for all ages that explores life’s universal lessons, featuring 100 color and black-and-white drawings.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” asked the mole.
“Kind,” said the boy.
Charlie Mackesy offers inspiration and hope in uncertain times in this beautiful book, following the tale of a curious boy, a greedy mole, a wary fox and a wise horse who find themselves together in sometimes difficult terrain, sharing their greatest fears and biggest discoveries about vulnerability, kindness, hope, friendship and love. The shared adventures and important conversations between the four friends are full of life lessons that have connected with readers of all ages.
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From the Publisher
|The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse: The Animated Story||The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse|
|Now a short film streaming on AppleTV+, The Animated Story brings Charlie Mackesy’s illustrations to life in full color and includes never-before-seen artwork from the short film.||The classic edition of Charlie Mackesy’s international bestseller offers the illustrated story of four beloved characters on a journey of friendship and love.|
|Have to be read in order?||No||No|
“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is not only a thought-provoking, discussion-worthy story, the book itself is an object of art.”
— New York Times
“The world that I long to inhabit is the one that Charlie Mackesy has created – a world of infinite kindness, wisdom, mutual care and tenderness, and true love between real friends. My prayer/hope is that our world will become more like this one.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic
"I felt this book down to my core." — Hoda Kotb
"Love, friendship, and kindness--this book speaks a universal language." — Bear Grylls
"A wonderful work of art and a wonderful window into the human heart" — Richard Curtis
"Simply, the world need's Charlie's work right now." — Miranda Hart
“A sweet tale rendered in swirly black calligraphy and watercolor. Childlike in its simplicity, its messages are universal. . . . Mackesy has brought people together.” — The Washington Post
“A lonely boy ambles through the countryside on a spring day, finding companionship: first meeting the mole, then the other animals of the title. As they walk, the new friends talk, wonder, share their hopes and fears and pose some big questions. . . . A big hit.” — The Philadelphia Inquirer
“A delightful treat of a book. . . . If there were classes on how to be a good person, this book would be the textbook.” — Horse Nation
About the Author
Charlie Mackesy began sharing conversations between the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse on his social media channels in early 2018. He published The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse in late 2019 and the book has since brought comfort and joy to over seven million readers worldwide.
After two years of collaborative work, in 2022, the short film adaptation of the book will be released alongside The Book of the Film.
Charlie collaborates with a number of charities, including Comic Relief—he created the iconic “Love Wins” t-shirt—as well as the NHS, Choose Love, WWF and The Samaritans. During the pandemic he donated prints, books, drew on hospital walls, and posted messages of support to NHS workers, which he continues.
Charlie began his career as a cartoonist for The Spectator and a book illustrator for Oxford University Press. He spent time in America as a portrait painter and ran art therapy workshops for Alzheimer's sufferers and Holocaust survivors. He lived and painted in South Africa, and collaborated with Nelson Mandela on a lithograph project, "The Unity Series." And worked with Richard Curtis on the set of Love Actually to create a set of drawings to be auctioned for Comic Relief. Away from art, Charlie co-runs a social enterprise, Mama Buci in Zambia. His work features in books, private collections and public spaces, including Highgate Cemetery in London, in hospitals, prisons, churches, and university colleges around the UK, and in women's safe houses around the world.
He lives in Suffolk with his dog Barney.
- Publisher : HarperOne; 1st Edition (October 22, 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 128 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062976583
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062976581
- Reading age : 8+ years, from customers
- Item Weight : 14.7 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.62 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #55 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2023
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Top reviews from the United States
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It’s such a beautiful little book! Not just for the artwork, but for the wonderful messages in it. It’s not like anything I’ve really read before. There’s no aggressive plot or a lot of description, and at times I really had to squint to read some of the writing, but it is just such a sweet book. The messages in it are definitely something I wish I’d heard when I was younger, and I hope my little guy remembers them… I hope *I* remember them.
It’s such a soothing story that, as I read it to my little coauthor, he quiets right down, relaxes, and falls asleep. This last read through, we renamed the Mole “Tank” because he loves tanks, and it made him really happy. Honestly, the Mole is my favorite character. He makes me so happy. Who doesn’t love cake?!
And like the Mole (Tank), it’s when I’m surrounded by my little family that I realize, ‘I’ve discovered something better than cake.’ This little book is all about what is most important in life, about being kind and patient with others and with yourself and finding peace, and that home is not a place, it’s the people you love—the ones that make life meaningful.
I highly recommend this book. We’ll definitely be reading it again soon!
If you need an inspiring book as a gift for anyone from the age of child you read it to to the oldest of adults, buy it.
Top reviews from other countries
On a practical note, the text of the book is written in the authors own handwriting, which is nice but some people with additional needs might struggle to read it.
What really disappointed me is the content, which in my view is vacuous weak sentiment with no actual substance behind it. Reading it feels like scrolling through the 'inspirational quote' tag on Pinterest, it's a collection of tid-bits that sound meaningful at first glance plastered across an attractive picture. But then when you stop to think about it for a second there isn't actually much of value there.
For example 'Sometimes I feel lost' said the boy. 'Me too,' said the Mole 'But we love you and love brings you home'.
What does that actually mean?
I do see what they are getting at, and the idea of 'home' being a feeling rather then an actual place is explored later in the book - but only in a series of glib sounding platitudes.
It's the sort of thing that if you were actually in a low place emotionally could make you feel worse - like being told 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger' by a stranger when you've just had the most soul crushingly awful day of your life.
How do you feel when reading the above if you are one of those unfortunate children or adults who doesn't have a person in their life who loves them who can bring them 'home'? Even if you do, is it emotionally healthy to depend on the love of others to centre you if you feel 'lost'? How many people have ruined their lives pursuing relationships to fill the void of loneliness or their 'lost' feeling without addressing their own issues?
I think that's my main problem with this book, on the surface it all sounds lovely, short and pithy messages and ideas for living your life that you would want your child to absorb - but when you stop to think about the ideas it's actually presenting for a moment they are confused and unhelpful in some cases.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 14, 2019
Also, while I recognise the mole saying "eat cake" is only meant as a joke and isn't to be taken seriously, this is the only real practical advice in the book and seriously trivialises the mental health issues the book aims to draw attention to. These issues are serious and advice more meaningful than "eat cake" would have been appreciated.