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“I may be small, but I can do big things,” Morris. – Morris Mole
by Dan Yaccarino
AR Test, Picture Book
Beneath the Earth’s surface, a small mole named Morris lives with his big brothers. They spend their days digging for food and spend their nights eating what they found. However, Morris is not like his older brothers. He is the littlest of the group. He dresses nicely and prefers to think outside of the box.
One day, the brothers come to a startling realization—they are out of food! The older brothers agree that the best solution is to dig even deeper, while Morris suggests that they look elsewhere. Not hearing him, the brothers start their dig. Morris has a moment of fear. He has never done anything alone before. Eventually, he gathers his courage, announcing that his size does not limit his abilities. With that, he does something no mole has ever done before—he digs up. He digs until he reaches the surface, and he is amazed by what he finds.
Morris Mole is a short and sweet picture book with illustrations that put readers into Morris’ shoes. The underground is drawn as pitch black with the only color being the single-shaded brown dirt. Meanwhile, the outside has a blank background that allows the beautifully blended colors of the flowers, animals, and insects to shine. Plus, the characters’ heights and clothing display their personality. For example, Morris is well-dressed and small compared to his near-identical big brothers. On the other hand, the antagonizing wolf he faces outside is dressed in a hilariously stereotypical leather jacket and jeans. His towering height and razor-sharp teeth give him a menacing presence, making Morris’ kindness and bravery all the more impressive.
Morris Mole will teach readers that even the smallest of creatures can do big things. Young readers can learn from Morris’ creative problem-solving and the unconditional kindness with which he treats his fellow animals. Plus, the book’s alliteration makes the story fun to read aloud. For another picture book that shows that someone’s small size doesn’t determine their destiny, check out Knight Owl by Christopher Denise.
- Fox finds Morris and tries to “swallow him up in one gulp.”
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