cover image Morris Mole

Morris Mole

Dan Yaccarino. Harper, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-241107-5

Yaccarino (I Am a Story) highlights the power of kindness and daring to go against the grain in the story of a small, dapper mole who doesn’t fit in with his larger, burlier brothers. Deep underground, a family of blue moles spends its days doing the same thing: “Together they dug. They ate. And they slept.” Yaccarino instantly establishes the difference between bookish Morris, who wears a checkered suit and fedora, and his strapping brothers, who are decked out in boots and hard hats. When food becomes scarce, the brothers do what comes naturally (“Dig, dig, down! Deep in the ground!”) but Morris summons the courage to follow a hunch, tunneling up to the surface where a bounty of food awaits. So do predators: in another show of bravery and resourcefulness, Morris saves the life of a fox who is about to eat him. The grateful fox enlists its friends to help Morris gather snails, bugs, and worms to bring home to his impressed brothers. Yaccarino’s crisp, retro graphics exude energy and humor while emphasizing the rewards that can come with trusting one’s instincts. Ages 4–8. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (May)