Who Will Make the Snow?
Taras and Marjana Prokhasko, trans. from the Ukrainian by Boris Dralyuk and Jennifer Croft, illus. by Marjana Prokhasko. Elsewhere, $22 (72p) ISBN 978-1-953861-74-0
This cozily domestic chapter book by married team the Prokhaskos opens on the first day of spring, when twins Crawly and Purl are born to an already sizable mole family. Papa Mole writes for forest newspaper The Daily Mole; Mama Mole plays the double bass, “studied various languages, grew orchids, jumped on a trampoline”; and Crawly and Purl’s siblings provide companionship. Low-key forest adventures follow in seven chapters, accompanied by lively discussion. Papa Mole finds a strange egg, and two birds swoop in to save the chick that hatches; Purl learns to swim and saves a small mole in the river; and the family takes in a leveret born out of season. The title refers to a philosophical debate: Mama says that after moles die, “heavenly moles make the snow,” a group of owlets, meanwhile, believe that their ancestors make it. While a character called Mute Marten sells “exotic” African fruits, chatty, seasonally focused text translated by Dralyuk and Croft describes a world in which conflict stays largely mole-sized and manageable, while softly colored, scribbly line drawings provide glimpses of mole home life, including neat lines of drying underwear and a simmering cauldron of quince jam. Ages 7–11. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/14/2023