Eeny Up Above!
Jane Yolen, illus. by Kathryn Brown. Crocodile, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62371-865-7
Eeny, a small, winsome mole, lives with older sisters Meeny and Miney in a cozy underground dwelling. Meeny and Miney are content with the home’s “deep darkness” and “familiar tidiness,” playing chamber music and bathing Eeny in a tea cup, but Eeny loves the world Up Above: “It was full of things both complicated and new.” In graceful prose, Yolen (Owl Moon) describes Meeny and Miney’s warnings about the dangers of Up Above, including eagles, cats, and humans, while the young mole’s friends flesh out these descriptions. Centipede describes the frightening appearance of a cat with “tickly whisklers and sharp claws.” Humans? “I have nearly been hoed by one and almost tractored by another,” Snake tells her. But Eeny, always ready to embrace what is complicated and new, ventures upward, and finds her encounter with a human a very different experience. Brown (The House That Jane Built) draws the plants and animals that sweetly pinafore-clad Eeny meets in lively, delicate detail, and makes the apparently white human who surprises Eeny manifestly nonthreatening in this morsel of a bedtime adventure. Ages 3–8. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/2021