An extremely cute, rhyming picture book that will be loved by children from three to six.
Beautifully illustrated by Greenberg with appealing characters, this is the story of a little mole called Morris who has the habit of digging haphazardly as he seeks adventure. He unwitting surfaces in all kinds of inopportune settings, causing chaos for the other creatures above ground, until finally it seems as if he has had a barrier built to stop him from surfacing. What is he to do? The final scene is funny and leads to what promises more adventures in his future.
The text is rhyming and is conveyed with often repeated words, which will allow littlies to join in and then recognise and read. The font chosen adds to the illustrations which are full of talking points and comical expressions which will engage the young audience in exploring not only the writing but what is happening around the main character’s antics. Clever choices of background page colours allow young children to differentiate between underground digging sequences and the above-ground mayhem caused by Morris’ surfacing.
This book is set in an English countryside showing many generic but some very English creatures, (mole, hedgehogs, frogs, mice, snails and bunnies) but could easily be used in a Junior Primary classroom and be rewritten and illustrated as a class exercise using Australian animals. There is also scope for looking at manners and the consequences of over-exuberance when being single-minded in one’s activities.
It will make a delightful addition to any child’s book collection and will be, I am sure, one that will be requested often to be read at bedtime.
Reviewed by Leanne Caune
Rating out of 10: 8
Distributed by: Allen & Unwin
Released: September 2018
RRP: $19.99 hardcover