Mole Had Everything

Mole Had Everything

by Jamison Odone
     
 

Mole is happy and fulfilled by his simple life and limited possessions ("one bed, one pillow, one shelf for books, one cup for tea") till a friend "who has everything" persuades him that he doesn't have nearly enough. And so he sets out on a journey of acquisition, tunneling under and popping up in swamps and forests, in caves, junkyards, and underwater, and always

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Overview

Mole is happy and fulfilled by his simple life and limited possessions ("one bed, one pillow, one shelf for books, one cup for tea") till a friend "who has everything" persuades him that he doesn't have nearly enough. And so he sets out on a journey of acquisition, tunneling under and popping up in swamps and forests, in caves, junkyards, and underwater, and always managing to find another thing that he absolutely must have. Once he has everything, it must be transported back and stuffed into his small home. Having so much to attend to, and dust, and fix and, fidget with leaves no time to do the things he really likes, so Mole decides that maybe he already had everything he wanted, and not a thing more than he needed. After a grand giveaway, Mole pares his life down to just those things that make him happy and fulfilled.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Odone (The Bedtime Train) takes no shortcuts as an illustrator; each spread of Mole’s story is crammed with visual information. Mole has a furry gray coat, a scarf with fringe, and few possessions—something that doesn’t bother him until his friend Emerson comes for tea and finds that Mole only has one cup. “Look at my house,” Emerson says. “I have just about everything!” Mole’s exhaustive attempt to collect more belongings culminates in a handsomely produced die-cut, double-page gatefold that lifts up to reveal his new possessions: a traffic light, a pirate flag, and dozens of other largely unidentifiable, vaguely steampunky objects. While the ending is predictable—Mole gives everything away and goes back to the simple life—Odone thoroughly explores the burden of owning too many things, drawing Mole despondent next to a triceratops skull and stuck snout-first inside an old RCA-style loudspeaker. Dark elements throughout (it’s autumn, and the birds fly like dead leaves) give the book a Halloween feel; perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of Odone’s work is the narrow path he walks between Wind-in-the-Willows whimsy and surreal spookiness. Ages 5–up. Agent: Libby Ford, Artist Representative. (June)
Children's Literature - Suzanne Javid
Meet Mole, short, cute, thoughtful and good-tempered. He leads a simple life having a small home, one bed, one book shelf and one cup for tea. He likes to explore caves, skip stones in the lake and sit on top of his favorite rock. One day Mole invites his friend, Emerson for tea. Hmmm. Two friends and one teacup. That did not work. Emerson encourages Mole to get more, not more teacups, but more of everything. Mole agrees he might not have enough things, and after putting a "gone to find everything" sign on his small house, sets out on his search. Tunneling, looking under rocks, in woods, junk yards, caves and under water, Mole ties a piece of string to each wonderful new something he finds. His new finds certainly look old and sometimes unidentifiable, but Mole feels he has everything. Tugging, pulling and trudging back home, he begins the task of getting everything inside his small house. Not easy but Mole gets it done and then finds very little room left in his house and very little time left for him to explore caves or sit upon his favorite rock. Instead, he finds himself dusting, winding, fixing and not having much fun. He makes another sign reading "Almost everything for free." The whole town rushes over and almost everything is gone. Now Mole has a small home, one bed, one book shelf and two cups for tea. This picture book will make young children smile. Soft colors and a double-page foldout reveal Mole's collection of new possessions. A lesson about balance in the material world and how much is enough. Mole is a lovable furry small mammal that young children will adore. An important concept and lesson presented with more visual information than text. Thumbs up. Reviewer: Suzanne Javid
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—"Mole had everything-one small home, one bed, one pillow, one shelf for books and one cup for tea." And he is perfectly happy with his simple home, with time to enjoy things he loves. Then his friend Emerson comes for tea and Mole discovers that one teacup isn't quite enough. Emerson sighs and shows Mole his home, which has just about everything. He suddenly doubts the quality of his life and sets out on a journey to collect everything, which he pulls along on a multicolored string. After returning home, Mole finds that living with "everything" takes up too much of his time, and he decides to return to his simpler life. All is as it was in the beginning of the book, except that Mole now has two cups for tea with a friend. The story presents a kind of gentle moralizing similar to that found in The Little Prince (Harcourt, 1943), and Mole's flyaway scarf is also reminiscent of the princely space traveler. The paintings are done in muted colors overlaid with ink crosshatching for depth, and the book contains one sturdy gatefold. This is a quiet, contemplative story best suited for one-on-one sharing and a book that will be deeply loved by a few thoughtful children.—Anna Haase Krueger, Antigo Public Library, WI

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781609052249
Publisher:
Blue Apple Books
Publication date:
05/08/2012
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
748,692
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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