Review Blog

Feb 16 2012

Mole's sunrise by Jeanne Willis

cover image

Ill. by Sarah Fox-Davies. Walker Books, 2012. ISBN 9781 4063 3778 5
Recommended. Picture book. The adventure of the mole, a small underground creature, being taken by the vole and his friends, above ground to see the sunrise, is a delightful story to read to children. Full of description, the story begs to be read aloud and discussed, as the blind mole enjoys what he cannot see through the explanations of the other animals in the group. Gathering at the log with rabbit, sparrow and squirrel, each describes what is happening as the sun takes to the air. Similes are used to enhance his experience. The sun is like a small gold button, which the mole can feel on his coat: the clouds are like raspberry icecream and the top of the sun is like the yolk of an egg, which he can taste. Each description uses one or other of the mole's senses, until he can imagine just what it looks like, and it is beautiful. The illustrations on each page beautifully depict the English countryside, and the readers will follow the journey the animals make with ease. The pages showing the sun climbing out of the lake and unto the sky will thrill younger readers as they can match the descriptions given by the animals to the mole, with the illustration shown, as each page becomes lighter with the rising of the sun.
For the experience of seeing something without using your eyes, this is a stunning tale to introduce discussions about the five senses and to initiate discussions about losing one of the sense, in the classroom. The English background, particularly the animals, the vole and mole may need some explanation, but the story and its charming illustrations carries the day.
Fran Knight

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