A good friend will help you prepare for your challenges and will see you through them, as Bear does for Mole in another charming tale in the series from Hillenbrand (Kite Day, 2012, etc.)
As Bear packs books into his knapsack, Mole asks for help in removing his training wheels and checking his bike for safety. Each simple sentence is clearly illuminated with carefully rendered mixed-media artwork, from “They removed”—with Bear holding the bike steady as Mole wields his wrench—to “Mole snapped”—as the pleased little mammal, snout in air, properly fastens his helmet. A tender, double-page spread shows Bear placing a reassuring paw on the back of worried-looking Mole’s bike as the large-type words declare, “At last Mole was ready.” Now comes the wild action! A sophisticated simultaneous succession shows Mole wobbling toward a gentle “crash” on the facing page. Bear encourages the sobbing Mole to try again, and this time he succeeds—scattering plenty of leaves and animals as he gains speed. At journey’s end, everything comes full circle as the friends arrive just on time for a tale at the storymobile. The few words in the text include such vocabulary as grimaced, hoisted and exhaled, making this a terrific choice for a read-aloud from a precocious older sibling to a younger one.
A winner all around. (Picture book. 3-7)