Mole is absolutely thrilled that spring has finally arrived. As the mud squishes up between his bare toes, he realizes that he needs to give Bear a wake-up call so they can share spring together. But that is easier said than done. Clues hidden in the illustrations will help children guess how Mole is going to wake up his friend. The stick rapping on the window doesn't work. Neither does a knock on his door. Mole ups the ante with a feather to Bear's nose and finally some toots on his trumpet. Nothing works. After some thought, Mole dashes outside. His chores keep him busy for quite some time as he prepares a feast for Bear the old-fashioned way, even milking the cow and churning the butter himself. So, it is no surprise that he is rather droopy-eyed when he finally delivers Bear's tray. Nor is the fact that while Bear is wide-eyed and thrilled to welcome spring, Mole has fallen fast asleep. Hillenbrand has crafted in Mole a character sure to tug at readers' hearts. His diligence, excitement and desire to share the wonders of spring are a breath of fresh air. The mixed-media illustrations capture both the harbingers of early springtime and Mole's enthusiasm, while Bear's droll expressions are charming. A sweet, simple tale of the lengths we all go to in the name of friendship...and spring.Â (Picture book. 3-6)Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Hillenbrand's (Don't Slam the Door!) simple tale treads lightly on familiar picture book ground: a perkier species tries to rouse a bear from his long winter's nap. In this case, the chipper critter is Mole, who has awoken to smell the fresh spring air and feel the mud under his feet with a "Squish. Squish. Squish." Despite his knocking, horn tooting, and tickling, the only response Mole gets from the slumbering Bear is "Snore." At last, a special homemade breakfast treat does the trick, causing Bear to wake up and smell the goodies, even as Mole's efforts leave Mole exhausted. These friendly animals have some of the coziest dens around--Bear snuggles in striped pajamas in a fluffy bed with comforter and pillows; Mole dashes about in blue gingham overalls and is a whiz with basic kitchen appliances. The repetition, ample onomatopoeia, and tender tone of the spare text, combined with heavily textured mixed-media renderings of this gentle pair of pals, create a sunny welcome to the season. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC
PreS--Mole wakes up and wonders if it is spring. Stepping outside, he relishes the "Squish. Squish. Squish" of mud under his feet. Anxious to share the news, he raps on Bear's window, but his friend is fast asleep. Mole's door-knocking, nose-tickling, and horn-playing all fail to rouse Bear. Deciding on a different tactic, Mole "gathered. He milked. He churned. He poured. He mixed. He baked." While wide-awake Bear tucks into his breakfast, it is Mole's turn to snooze. Hillenbrand's mixed-media illustrations have a warmly colored, textured appearance. With its well-placed repetition, this simply told tale is perfect for toddlers. Pair it with Karma Wilson's Bear Snores On (S & S, 2002) and Kevin Henkes's Old Bear (Greenwillow, 2008) for a seasonal storytime.--Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada[Page 124]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.