Morris strikes out on his own in this story about an anthropomorphic, iconoclast mole.
Smaller than the rest and clad in a dapper suit rather than miners’ gear, Morris Mole’s suggestion falls on deaf ears when he voices an idea to improve his fellow moles’ lot. While his brothers’ focus is on digging ever deeper underground to find scarce food, Morris Mole decides to tunnel up through the earth. “I may be small, but I can do big things,” he tells himself as he digs deep within himself to find courage. When he emerges aboveground he finds a wonderland of not only food, but bird song, flowers, and friendly passers-by. An encounter with a fox almost dooms Morris, but then he (rather implausibly) saves the fox from a wolf, who, for some odd reason, just lets him be. This plot twist seems rather forced and lacking in logic, but the grateful fox then rallies others to collect a veritable feast for Morris Mole to bring back to his underground family. Yaccarino’s digital illustrations are bold and graphic, and they do an excellent job of contrasting the under- and aboveground worlds that Morris Mole traverses in his adventure of individuality and community.
Plot holes may mar the story a bit, but there’s plenty to dig anyway. (Picture book. 4-7)