Mole and the Baby Bird

Overview

A Christopher Award Winner

A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

A Book Sense 76 Children's Pick

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Mole rescues a baby bird, cares for it, and loves it, until the day he realizes it is because he loves it that he must set it free.

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Overview

A Christopher Award Winner

A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

A Book Sense 76 Children's Pick

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Mole rescues a baby bird, cares for it, and loves it, until the day he realizes it is because he loves it that he must set it free.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In its new form, Marjorie Newman's Mole and the Baby Bird, illus. by Patrick Benson, a gentle story of a mole and the bird he cares for, is just right for littlest hands. PW wrote, "With a quietly resonating tone, Newman tackles heart-tugging issues-the responsibilities of pet care, the pain of loss, respect for the natural world-that many parents will find familiar." Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Little Mole finds a baby bird that has fallen out of its nest and, when no help arrives, takes it home. Despite warnings from his mother that the bird might not live, it thrives under Mole's care. Afraid that the bird will fly away, he builds a sturdy cage for it, even though his parents tell him that his pet should be free. Of course, the captive becomes despondent in spite of the attention and loving care Mole gives it, and after an outing with Grandad, the youngster frees the bird. The message of making others happy through a selfless act and the true meaning of love comes across gently, and responsibility in dealing with wild animals is clearly presented. The endearing characters have both authenticity and appeal, and the countryside is vast yet delicately and precisely drawn. The home is cozy and warm in contrast to the hillside with its wild freedom and the glory of the forest. A lovely book that's easy enough for beginning readers.-Marlene Gawron, Orange County Library, Orlando, FL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An old adage ("If you love someone set them free") and a message about respect for nature combine in this sweet story. Newman tells it simply, with just a few lines of text per page ("Mole found a baby bird. It had fallen out of its nest"). Benson’s (Squeak’s Good Idea, 2001, etc.) delicate illustrations, which appear to be rendered in watercolor and pen and ink, are similarly unadulterated. In the opening spread, for example, Mole—wide-eyed with his paws behind his back—observes the wayward baby. On the facing page, the two appear in nearly the same position with only their expressions changed (Mole bemused, the bird confused). When Mole brings the bird home to his parents, they offer an honest assessment of what it means to care for such a creature. "They usually die," says his father. Still, Mole is determined to beat the odds and, under his care, the bird prospers. But when it tries to fly, Mole moves swiftly to keep the bird grounded. Benson’s vignettes are full of touching detail: as Mole transports lumber to build a cage, for example, the bird carries nails in his beak. Only Grandpa can help Mole see the animal’s true nature and, in the end, Mole does what’s best for the bird. This enjoyable story is so subtly crafted, with text and illustration so perfectly paired, that youngsters will eagerly read between the lines, making it a natural choice for read-aloud sessions and a good starting place for discussions about the environment, relationships, and more. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582349145
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 9/18/2004
  • Edition description: BOARD
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 5.74 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Marjorie Newman began writing stories as early as age seven and has since published about 90 books for children.

Patrick Benson was born in 1956 and was educated at Eton. He has illustrated over 24 titles including The Little Boat by Kathy Henderson, which won the 1995 Kurt Maschler Award, was short-listed for the 1995 Smarties Book Prize and was Highly Commended for the 1995 Kate Greenaway Medal. He is also the illustrator of the runaway bestseller, Owl Babies.

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