Unexpected housemates lead to fitful nights for a new subterranean tenant.
Jackson the mole finds moving day exhausting. After unpacking his cozy underground home, he settles into bed for some well-deserved rest. However, three unexpectedly noisy and bored supernatural housemates interrupt his sleep night after night. Jackson’s inventive solutions for his problem don’t lead to silent nights, but the ruckus becomes a dull roar and at last he can sleep. Readers will wonder both how Jackson readily recognizes each rowdy offender (“There must be a pixie in the piano”) and why he doesn’t just drive them out. The passage of time seems problematic, as each offender seems active only every third night. And yet there is much to enjoy: the silly mistakes Jackson makes from lack of sleep, effective page turns that build suspense, and a predictable story structure. Soft, computer-generated illustrations will engage observant young readers keen to explore Jackson’s new home. At times, apparent variations in the resolution of different elements within the illustrations cause some elements to feel out of place. Additional inconsistencies include objects that shift position from spread to spread, and on one page, a clock seems to have three hands instead of two. It’s too bad these inconsistencies keep the artwork from rising to the level of the delightful text.
Neither rousing nor a snore, this story still satisfies. (Picture book. 4-7)