Nicki Greenberg, Morris the Mole, Allen & Unwin, August 29 2018, 32 pp., $19.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781760630829
Nicki Greenberg has created a rhyming delight in her book Morris the Mole. He’s an adventurous mole whose gung-ho approach to digging has a disastrous effect on the creatures around him. When Morris hits an obstacle in his digging, he doesn’t let it stop him – he digs right through the local swimming pool!
Never underestimate the difficulty of rhyme and rhythm in a picture book. When done well, the words roll of the tongue, delighting both reader and audience. What’s lovely about this character is that Greenberg resists the pull of having Morris learn an obvious lesson. He is pushy, determined and no one can put a dampener on his enthusiasm for digging! Indeed, the swimming pool incident only gives him a new hobby to be passionate about.
Greenberg’s illustrations are just as delightful as her rhymes, from the detail in the dirt to the indignant faces of the many creatures Morris upends. I especially loved the shocked frogs holding onto their huge bellies as they are thrown aside. Poor frogs!
This book will quickly become an oft-asked for favourite for reading aloud, whether in the bedroom or the classroom. Hopefully we’ll get a Morris the Mole sequel to see what he gets up to in the skies.
Reviewed by Madeleine Crofts