cover image Moles and the Mireuk Rnf

Moles and the Mireuk Rnf

Holly H. Kwon, Woodleigh Hubbard. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-395-64347-1

In a fresh retelling, the familiar theme of a parent seeking the best possible spouse for a child is whimsically brought to life. Papa and mama mole think their daughter--she of ``the softest gray fur and a delicately pointed nose''--is sheer perfection, so to find ``the most suitable husband,'' papa addresses in turn the sky, the sun, the clouds and so on. Not surprisingly, his answer is at last found close to home, at the foot of the towering gray stone temple called the Mireuk. Though the book's rather subdued cover belies the fun within, the artwork is the real star here. Hubbard, known for her wildly original books ( C Is for Curious ; Two Is for Dancing ) supplies imaginative, hip illustrations that dance across the pages in freely-drawn lines and squiggles. Trees sport rainbow foliage; a white-dotted purple bird proudly bears candy-cane plumage; a lavender-faced Wind puffs a house, a car, an airplane and a boat through deep blue curlicues. Even the graceful typeface with ample leading is just right. This version of the Oriental tale may lack the theatricality of this season's The Rats' Daughter (last fall's The Greatest of All provides yet a third variant on the story) but offers a particular quiet charm all its own. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)