Mole is happy and fulfilled by his simple life and limited possessions ("one bed, one pillow, one shelf for books, one cup for tea") till a friend "who has everything" persuades him that he doesn't have nearly enough. And so he sets out on a journey of acquisition, tunneling under and popping up in swamps and forests, in caves, junkyards, and underwater, and always managing to find another thing that he absolutely must have. Once he has everything, it must be transported back and stuffed into his small home. Having so much to attend to, and dust, and fix and, fidget with leaves no time to do the things he really likes, so Mole decides that maybe he already had everything he wanted, and not a thing more than he needed. After a grand giveaway, Mole pares his life down to just those things that make him happy and fulfilled.
Mole’s idyllic existence is threatened when the bug of acquisition bites him.
Odone introduces readers to good-tempered Mole. The little insectivore has a small home with a bed and a pillow, a shelf of books and a teacup. He also has a lake to skip stones on, caves to explore, stars to walk under, birds to spook and a friend named Emerson, who comes for tea. Mole soon learns that one cup won’t do. “You need more, Mole,” said Emerson. And more than just a teacup. Lots more, like everything. So Mole embarks on a quest for everything, tunneling hither and yon and gathering all the stuff he finds, like everything. It is good fun to watch Mole go about his mission, as Odone’s artwork has a kooky, grand scope to it, with many strange objects drawn in soft colors and a gently antique feel. When Mole comes to discover that all the junk makes his home claustrophobic—a stout foldout page highlights his cornucopia—and that he has to spend a lot of time taking care of it (dusting, winding, whatnot), the message is served without the need for a hammer to drive it home. Everything has to go—well, not that second teacup. Sometimes more’s the merrier.
Mole finds a comfortable balance in the material world without getting apoplectic about it—a worthwhile lesson, neatly presented.
Jamison Odone,a graduate of The Art Institute of Boston, has created a modern classic with this, his debut title for Blue Apple Books (with more to come). Mr. Odone wanders daily with his notebook, searching for ideas, one of the few things one can never have enough of.
Jacketed hardcover with gatefold. Ages 4 and up.
USA 14.99 | Canada 16.99