Entertaining supporting characters, Lily Dawson
Fantastic Mr Bean
February 23, 2021
Fantastic Mr Bean by Mary-anne Scott is about a young boy named Lachie who wants to play the part of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox in his school’s upcoming play.
When he tells his family about how confident he is that he will get the part, his brother Frank is sceptical. However, his mother believes in him and makes Frank help him find something special that could give Lachie an edge over others trying out for the role. Frank comes up with the idea of making a fox tail from the branches of their bee tree.
Throughout the book, I really enjoyed the sibling interactions between Lachie and Frank as they are written in a way that makes them highly realistic. This is shown in the ways that Frank switches between mocking his brother to supporting him in getting the part.
Lachie and Frank work together and end up creating a way for the tail to fall off when Mr Bean shoots it.
A few days later, Lachie comes home and triumphantly tells his family that he has got the part. When Lachie recites a few lines for his family, he skips the lines where Mr Fox would say ‘My Darling,’ or as Lachie put it, ‘mushy stuff.’ Frank points this out but Lachie full on refuses to say it.
It was quite surprising to find out that Lachie had given up his role of Mr Fox in favour of Mr Bean, and even more surprising when he starts to act like Mr Bean in real life, to the point where he even frightens Millie, his younger sister.
One of my favourite parts of this story was during the school show when Lachie and his fellow actors are digging up the foxhole to try to draw out Mr Fox. I laughed when two of the actors held up some signs for the audience to follow, including booing and shouting at the farmers.
“Two actors, dressed as townspeople, raced over to Lachie and asked what on earth the three farmers were doing. When Boggis, Bunce and Bean said they were digging out the fox, the actors laughed and held up signs for audience participation.
As you read through Fantastic Mr Bean, you meet a range of entertaining supporting characters, including the annoying Pearson who plays Boggis, the caring Mrs Drummond, and the amazing Areta who plays Mrs Fox.
I loved how the story ended with its big twist and found it very satisfying to read, although I did wish that this entertaining story had been a bit longer.
While Fantastic Mr Bean was a short book, I still feel that it was very well written to a high quality and it made a big impact, carrying its message ‘You don’t have to be the lead to be the star’ throughout the story. This book is perfect for those who are a little bit more reluctant to read, or younger readers who love Roald Dahl and want to read something new. I know that this book will be one I will read over and over and enjoy for many years to come.
- Lily Dawson is 13 years old and lives in Auckland.