Title: Morris Mole
Author/Illustrator: Dan Yaccarino
Published: Harper, 2017
Sometimes you stumble upon a book that proves to be more delightful than you initially anticipated based on its cover art. In this case, it was Morris Mole who stole my heart.
Now, moles aren’t exactly the *cutest* animals in real life. I admit, I’m a sucker for a naked mole rat’s ‘so-ugly-it’s-cute-ness,’ but after reading Morris Mole’s story, I’ve fallen for the regular, garden-variety type of mole as well.
We meet Morris and his several brothers (all of whom appear to be in the construction trade). Morris is the smallest of the mole siblings, and he’s also the only one dressed in a bowler cap and suit (which means, of course, that he has an English accent when I read his lines). When the brothers mention the fact that they’ve run out of food, Morris tries to share his brilliant idea with them…with no luck. While the brothers head out for some serious digging down, Morris decides to dig…up!
When Morris comes to the surface, he sees more beauty than ever before. He meets friendly critters, smells good smells and, best of all, finds all kinds of scrumptious foods (scrumptious to a mole, that is). He gathers all kinds of treats up and then goes for what appears to be a plump blackberry.
It turns out to be a fox’s nose. The fox is JUST about to gobble Morris up when they hear a growl. It’s a wolf! And he’s looking for Fox. Fox asks Morris for help, so Morris digs him a hole to hide in. When the wolf asks Morris if he’s seen Fox, Morris feigns ignorance. The wolf stomps off and Fox is so grateful for his new mole friend’s help that he (and his friends) gather a whole ton of food for Morris.
Morris is hailed as a hero when he returns home with this feast. The last page is adorable, reminding us that even though he’s little, Morris can do really big things.
This book is a terrific example of everything right with picture books. The art and the text marry perfectly (they were both done by the obviously talented Dan Yaccarino), the book is funny and promotes kindness. It has a great overall message (don’t let your size/age discourage you from doing big stuff). And it stars a mole dressed like a British businessman. What more can you ask for?
Another note on the art: I just love the graphic feel. It’s really gorgeous and Morris’ expressions are adorable. I’m a sucker for a mole in a hat, it seems.
My girls have asked for this book several times since it has arrived from the library. We will probably have to get a copy for our own bookshelf. They are both big Morris fans, although they did wonder why he was the only mole with an English accent. I told them it was artistic license on my part. And also, what else could he possibly sound like?
Mama’s review: 10/10
Vivi’s review: A+
Lily’s review: “I like the part where he thought he was biting a blackberry, but it was a fox!”