Fox & Son Tailers

Fox & Son Tailers

Rory’s dad, Fox, is a tailer. The BEST in the business! Animals come from all over to have their tails made by him. Rory helps in the shop and one of his jobs is measuring the customers for the tails - which isn't always easy!
But Rory is bored of making the same old tails. He has his own amazing ideas ...

Awards
IBA2022-Shortlist-Kids-Junior

Children's Book of the Year (Junior) - 2022

Irish Book Awards - Short-listed

Hardback: €14.99
Hardback: 32 pages
Size:260x215 mm
ISBN: 9781788492768

FOX & SONS - Makers of the Finest Traditional Tails for All Animals and Every Occasion!

Rory’s dad, Fox, is a tailer. The BEST in the business! Animals come from all over to have their tails made by him. Rory helps his dad in the shop and one of his jobs is measuring the customers for the tails - which isn't always easy!

But Rory is bored of making the same old tails. He has his own amazing ideas ...

‘A beautiful story with a heart-warming ending ... and with foxes! I love it.’ Chris Haughton

Paddy Donnelly

Paddy Donnelly is an Irish author & illustrator living in Belgium. He grew up on the north coast of Ireland, surrounded by mythical stories of giants, magical creatures and shape-shifting animals - all set in a stunning landscape from another time. All of this prompted his love for nature, animals, the sea and storytelling. He creates his illustrations digitally, but loves working with a textured, painterly approach. He wishes Pluto was still a planet.

A beautiful story with a heart-warming ending ... and with foxes! I love it.

Chris Haughton

The fox gets a poor deal in stories. The scourge of every henhouse, not even gingerbread men are safe from his jaws, and the ‘sly’ creature forever doomed to take the bad-guy role in almost every fable and fairytale. Even though we may admire his intelligence, a vulpine character can never be trusted, for fear his cunning will be turned to nefarious purpose. It is delightful, therefore, to step through the doors of Fox&Son, ‘Makers of the Finest Traditional Tails’, into an elegant world of top hats and tweeds. It is, indeed, a tale of tails, and what fine bushy tails they are too. Young Rory’s father, whose name, by some strange quirk of fate, is Fox, is a tailer, like his father and grandfather before him. Animals arrive from far and wide to have their measurements taken and speciality tails of all shapes and sizes created to their own specifications. … Rory, however, is bored of helping his father to make the same old tails, day in, day out. He longs to put his designs for fancy, feathery, flamboyant fashions into practice but Fox is not impressed with such “silly things”. Despite his father’s conservatism, Rory sneaks into the workshop when everyone is asleep and continues to let his imagination run wild, creating “wacky ideas” for colourful tails designed to showcase the wearer’s individuality. The determination to overcome the scepticism of others and follow his dreams pays dividends for Rory in this uplifting celebration of originality, beautifully presented in vibrant hues by Antrim-born author-illustrator Paddy Donnelly

The Echo

like all of Paddy's books, is another gem. It's a beautifully published and produced hardback … There are so many parts of this book to love - from the heartwarming tale to the stunning, rich illustrations and the underlying message. To start with the illustrations, there is no denying how beautiful Fox and Son Tailers is! The pictures are incredibly detailed - there are so many little bits to look at and talk about … favourite was the double-page spread of the peacock wearing his new tail - stunning. The colour palette is rich and warm - perfect for an autumnal bedtime story. The message behind the story is a worthy one too. It's about the value of creativity, trying out new things, believing in yourself and so much more…Utterly lovely book, well worth a read to appreciate its beauty and warmth

@literate.littles

cleverly written and wonderfully illustrated, this is a must have … will have readers of all ages smiling

MyShelvesAreFull

I love Fox and Son Tailers … A charming story with detailed, witty illustrations. Age 3+

Sarah Webb

I’m suddenly a huge fan. His artwork is vibrant, playful and clever. “Fox and Son Tailer” is great and it’s not a spelling mistake. They make tails. It’s also a lovely book about creativity. Great stuff

Simon Smith @smithsmm

quite simply a charming children’s story …The writing is a mix of both prose and verse which adds cadence to this whimsical yet sentimental little tale about embracing your creativity and discovering that the people you know the best can still surprise you. Donnelly’s digital illustrations are wonderfully textured and inventive, there’s even a secret adventure if you follow the mice on every page. Another triumph of storytelling from the author of the captivating children’s book The Vanishing Lake

Irish Examiner

Paddy Donnelly’s new picture book will suit young readers perfectly. It celebrates the joy and importance of creativity, family love and relationships, and it has a particularly fine ‘what if’ as its starting point. Fox and Son Tailers you see, have been providing tails to smartly dressed animals for generations. Their shop is always busy, filled with birds and animals of all sorts trying on tails for size. Rory, youngest in the family, helps his dad in the shop, measuring the customers. Each spread is filled with bustle and activity so that you can almost hear the chatter of the customers, the opening and closing of doors and drawers. The pages depicting the fittings for the first day back at school is particularly hectic, feathers, tape measures and fluffy tails flying everywhere as little bunnies cause chaos … Donnelly’s digital artwork has a gorgeous textured, painterly feel that is just right for the story and there’s much to enjoy, discover and discuss in this story 

Books for Keeps

The fox gets a poor deal in stories. The scourge of every henhouse, not even gingerbread men are safe from his jaws, and the ‘sly’ creature forever doomed to take the bad-guy role in almost every fable and fairytale. Even though we may admire his intelligence, a vulpine character can never be trusted, for fear his cunning will be turned to nefarious purpose. It is delightful, therefore, to step through the doors of Fox&Son, ‘Makers of the Finest Traditional Tails’, into an elegant world of top hats and tweeds. It is, indeed, a tale of tails, and what fine bushy tails they are too. Young Rory’s father, whose name, by some strange quirk of fate, is Fox, is a tailer, like his father and grandfather before him. Animals arrive from far and wide to have their measurements taken and speciality tails of all shapes and sizes created to their own specifications. … Rory, however, is bored of helping his father to make the same old tails, day in, day out. He longs to put his designs for fancy, feathery, flamboyant fashions into practice but Fox is not impressed with such “silly things”. Despite his father’s conservatism, Rory sneaks into the workshop when everyone is asleep and continues to let his imagination run wild, creating “wacky ideas” for colourful tails designed to showcase the wearer’s individuality. The determination to overcome the scepticism of others and follow his dreams pays dividends for Rory in this uplifting celebration of originality, beautifully presented in vibrant hues by Antrim-born author-illustrator Paddy Donnelly

Evening Echo

The illustrations by Donnelly are humorous, colourful, and very detailed. The illustrations allow for plenty of talk and discussion. I would recommend this book for children ages 4-7. This story could also be integrated into a literacy lesson to help explore themes about families, animals, and encourage students to explore their own creativity through the visual arts. The story would be very useful as a resource to teach the reading comprehension strategies of comparing, connecting and creating images in the junior classes

Seomra Ranga

Paddy Donnelly never ceases to thoroughly enchant me with his picture books. Storytelling and drawing have always been an important part of his life and his creations, gifted to us through both his illustrations and his writing, take us on imaginative, quirky, heartfelt journeys into the world around us … A charming tale filled with wordplay and expressive pictures, this book is full of personality. It is a wonder that shows the magic of following your dreams and staying true to your own course, regardless of what others (even those closest to you) may think. There is also a solid sense of inter-generational family life; carrying on with traditions while adding that special something of yourself that allows for growth, change and well…life to bloom. With meticulous detail and clever twists of the brush, we visit an animal world not unlike our own, with a variety of creatures who have certain needs and expectations, all of which are met by Fox & Son. But it is Rory’s’ dream to offer something unexpected. While first met with a gentle “just do as you’re told,” Rory is determined and quietly perseveres. And it seems he was right all along…we need a bit of “different” in our lives! Quirky, fun, creative, joyous…and heartwarming. Fox & Son Tailer is utterly wonderful!

Fallen Star Stories

Paddy is a visual storyteller and the details in the illustrations through the pages where Rory helps his Dad in his shop are brim full of extra details that children will delight in. Rory is a maverick! He comes up with new and innovative suggestions for tails with bright colours, feathers, spikes and bounce! Rory’s Dad is unconvinced. Tradition is tradition in the noble profession he follows until a very important customer, Mr Peacock comes shopping for a tail like no other…will Rory’s imaginative ideas be what this customer is looking for? Honouring his Irish roots where mythical and magical creatures weave themselves into storytelling, Paddy’s new book is a gorgeous, colourful treat of a story! Reminiscent of the origin Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling, I think you’ll love the satisfying ending in which an apology, a very happy peacock and a new generation of ‘tailers’ feature

Educa8Wirral

#BookOfTheDay, 5th Sep 2022

ACHUKA

one of the most beautiful looking books we’ve seen in a long time

RTE Guide

A clever story with exuberant illustrations that are full of tiny details for young eyes to pore over. A real winner

Irish Independent

beautifully illustrated

Tuam Herald

Teaching Resources: free to view and download

  • Download Activity sheets: Draw a new tail for Rory

  • Download Activity sheets: Help Rory and Fox design some really colourful tails!

Also by Paddy Donnelly:

The Vanishing Lake

Go to author page...

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