FICTION

Little Mole’s Wish

Schwartz & Wade/Random/. Nov. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525581345.
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PreS-Gr 1–Lonely, Little Mole befriends a snowball on the way home one day. As he pushes it toward the bus stop he confides, “I just moved here. I don’t have any friends.” The bus driver tells Mole that he can’t bring a snowball on the bus. Undeterred, Little Mole shapes his new friend into a bear. When they are turned away by the second bus, Little Mole adds a backpack and his own hat. It is quite late by the time Little Mole and his friend board the third bus, and Mole falls asleep. When he wakes up, his friend is gone. Savvy readers will understand what has happened, but Little Mole’s sadness as he trudges home from the bus stop and into his grandmother’s waiting arms is very real. Mole falls asleep still thinking about his friend, and in the morning, he scrambles out of his burrow to find a snow bear waiting in the clearing. The colored pencil, pen, and pastel artwork is soft with large white expanses of snow. Little Mole should appeal to readers who like Frank Asch’s “Bear” stories—the characters share the same innocence and sense of wonder.
VERDICT A general purchase for all picture book collections needing more winter or friendship-themed titles.

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