MOLLY AND THE STORM

Christine Leeson, Author, Gaby Hansen, Illustrator
Christine Leeson, Author, Gaby Hansen, Illustrator , illus. by Gaby Hansen. Tiger Tales $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58925-027-7
Reviewed on: 03/03/2003
Release date: 03/01/2003
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-85430-854-2
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-1-85430-853-5
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Where's the best place to take shelter during a storm? As the skies darken, Molly Mouse and her siblings get offers from a well-meaning squirrel, harvest mouse and rabbit. But Molly questions the homes' safety. In Hansen's (previously teamed with Leeson for The Magic of Christmas) depiction of the storm's gathering gloom, a happy reunion with Mother Mouse provides a ray of hope; Mother and Molly Mouse's golden tones act as a spotlight among the gray and lavender shades of the other mouse siblings. Mother leads them to safety in an old oak tree, forging their way by creating a chain of tails. As her family falls off to sleep, Molly goes in search of the other animals whom, it turns out, the storm has forced out of their homes. A penultimate spread portrays all of the various animal families snug and safe in the tree's hollow. When a rainbow appears the next day, the Harvest Mouse deems it a tribute to Molly Mouse, "for saving us." Leeson tells her story economically and briskly, allowing Molly's simple act of kindness and bravery to stand on its own strengths. Hansen does not draw clear distinctions between the various species, yet she depicts a comforting world in which the storm never becomes truly menacing. The winsomeness and poignant vulnerability of the cast, as well as Molly's thoughtful, earnest mien will likely win over readers. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)

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