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. (Picture book. 4-8)