'Home again swiftly I glide,
Back to my beautiful bride.
She'll not feel so rotten
As soon as she's gotten
Some cider inside her inside.'
That's the first verse of a jaunty little song in Fantastic Mr. Fox, a classic by Roald Dahl. When he sings the song, Mr. Fox and his friend Badger have just secured a big feast's final ingredient, some fermented cider from a farmer's secret cellar.
Badger's first taste of the cider cracked me up.
'It's my turn,' said Badger, taking the jar and tilting his head well back. The cider gurgled and bubbled down his throat. 'It's ... it's like melted gold!' he gasped. 'Oh, Foxy, it's ... like drinking sunbeams and rainbows!'
The whole book is like that, one delightfully funny scene after another as Fox and his friends outwit their vengeful human neighbors. "I'm on the foxes' side. Are you?" Junior asked me as I read the novel aloud this week. Yes, absolutely.
Featuring many amusing line drawings by Tony Ross (in our edition; Quentin Blake, et al., did others), Fantastic Mr. Fox is a great choice for kids eight and older. Readers who like short, exciting chapter books will be thrilled.
Two Writing Teachers have the Poetry Friday roundup on the table today. Enjoy it with your own glass of sunbeams and rainbows.