Main CategoriesYoung ReadersPicture Books and Beginning Readers Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, The


Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, The

Product no.: 978-0062976581
From the revered British illustrator, a modern fable for all ages that explores life’s universal lessons, featuring 100 color and black-and-white drawings.

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Publisher's Synopsis
“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 based on his famous quartet of characters. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse explores their unlikely friendship and the poignant, universal lessons they learn together.

Radiant with Mackesy’s warmth and gentle wit, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse blends hand-written narrative with dozens of drawings, including some of his best-loved illustrations (including “Help,” which has been shared over one million times) and new, never-before-seen material. A modern classic in the vein of The Tao of Pooh, The Alchemist, and The Giving Tree, this charmingly designed keepsake will be treasured for generations to come.

"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, Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic

"Mackesy, who has been a cartoonist for the Spectator and a book illustrator for Oxford University Press, says the straightforward, heartfelt conversations between the characters in The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse were drawn from 'conversations I’ve had with my friends about what life really means, what’s important; it was a way for me to think aloud on paper with words and drawings.'

The first, featuring the horse and the boy, stemmed from 'a conversation I had with my friend Bear [Grylls] about what courage really looked like' and 'the bravest thing we’d ever done'. While Grylls may be 'an emblem of courage', Mackesy continued, 'the bravest thing I’d ever done was when I was struggling and had the courage to ask for help. So I drew it.'

'I put that up on Instagram and forgot about it, and the next thing I knew was that hospitals and institutions had been using it, and the army had been using it for PTSD, it went crazy. I wasn’t aware of it. Occasionally I’d get emails saying ‘I hope you don’t mind we used it in our therapy unit, it’s helping people realise it’s a brave thing to show weakness’.

'All four characters represent different parts of the same person,' he explained, 'the inquisitive boy, the mole who’s enthusiastic but a bit greedy, the fox who’s been hurt so is withdrawn from life, slow to trust but wants to be part of things, and the horse who’s the wisest bit, the deepest part of you, the soul.'

An editor at Ebury, Laura Higginson, came across Mackesy’s pictures last summer, when the illustrator had already amassed 30,000 followers on Instagram. 'It wasn’t a formal proposal from a literary agent,' she said, 'I saw it and I thought this is really moving.' Higginson met him at an exhibition of his illustrations but according to the author, when he came up with the narrative thread which links his characters together 'we both started crying'.

Published on 10 October, the book has sold 51,610 copies according to BookScan. It’s No 1 on Amazon, has hit bestseller charts in the UK and the US, and has been shortlisted for the Waterstones book of the year."    ~The Guardian 

"Sometimes, all you hear about is the hate but there is more love in this world than you can possibly imagine."

Charlie Mackesy was born during a snowy winter in Northumberland. He has been a cartoonist for The Spectator and a book illustrator for Oxford University Press. He has collaborated with Richard Curtis for Comic Relief, and Nelson Mandela on a lithograph project, The Unity Series. He has lived and painted in South Africa, Southern Africa and New Orleans, and co-runs a social enterprise, Mama Buci, in Zambia, which helps families of low and no income to become beekeepers. He lives in London but is often in Suffolk.

Author Mackesy, Charlie
Book Type Hardcover
Page Count 128 pp.
Publisher Harper One 2019
Browse these categories as well: Main Categories, Picture Books and Beginning Readers, Young Adults and Mature Themes, Classics and Award Winners, Inspirational Poetry, Prose and Sacred Art, Noteworthy Releases 2019

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