Why Mole Shouted

January 1, 2013

whymole

Why Mole Shouted and Other Stories written by Lore Segal. Frances Foster/FSG, 2004

A Parents’ Choice Gold Award

This read aloud, four stories in one book, about a mole who lives with his
grandmother is a sweet unassuming masterpeice. The relationship between adult
and child is endearing as any in children’s literature. The two get on quite nicely
even when Mole looses his much needed glasses, shouts loudly and frequently
asks “Why?” again and again and again and again. Even then, Grandmother
leans down and kisses him on the nose. When he is outside she gives him a
wooly scarf to wrap around his throat, makes sure he has his mittens, and that his
cap is pulled down over the place his ears would have been if he had ears outside.
As cold as it is, he is building a snowmole. In the house, Grandmother buttons
her wooly sweater all the way up, and puts another log on the fire.
Illustrator Sergio Ruzzier shows us a picture of her waiting there. The artist’s
tempo is simple. His muted colors are gentle. No line is wasted. All quietly
convey an extraordinary relationship that he skillfully makes appear ordinary.
Diana Huss Green ©2004 Parents’ Choice

 

”Why Mole Shouted and Other Stories,” by Lore Segal, runs in the tradition of
Arnold Lobel’s ”Frog and Toad” stories, or James Marshall’s ”George and Martha”
tales, those sweet, seemingly simple stories of great and abiding friendships.
Children may learn more of friendship from books like these than from years of
painful trial and error. Just as important, they learn that love takes all kinds of
forms, not merely the predictable or traditional ones. [...]
Segal has written versions of fairy tales illustrated by no less a great light than
Maurice Sendak. Here she is accompanied by tender watercolors by Sergio
Ruzzier, in muted shades of blue, green, tan, brown, and orangey-red, with a
dash of lavender thrown in for spice. His pictures are not pretty in any
conventional sense; indeed, they are almost deliberately weird, and the creatures
are homely, if immensely likable. ”Why Mole Shouted” is quietly stellar: gentle,
warm, and witty. It’s a great book for reading aloud, and inviting enough for
early readers. This is another Frances Foster imprint book, which simply means
that the great editor has struck gold yet again.  –The Boston Globe

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