Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed

( 16 )

Overview

Wilbur is different from the other Naked Mole Rats in his Colony, because he wears clothes (and he likes it!). But what will happen when Grandpah, the oldest, wisest, and most naked Naked Mole Rat ever discovers Wilbur's secret?

Funnyman and three-time Caldecott Honoree Mo Willems exposes the naked truth about being yourself and wearing it well.

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Overview

Wilbur is different from the other Naked Mole Rats in his Colony, because he wears clothes (and he likes it!). But what will happen when Grandpah, the oldest, wisest, and most naked Naked Mole Rat ever discovers Wilbur's secret?

Funnyman and three-time Caldecott Honoree Mo Willems exposes the naked truth about being yourself and wearing it well.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Little Wilbur is breaking the cardinal rule of Naked Mole Rat society: Never wear clothes. What will our well-coiffed rodent do when Grandpah, the grandest, most naked Naked Mole Rat of all, discovers that Wilbur is a crawling clothes rack? Author/illustrator Mo Willems once again delivers a moral fable wrapped in a bundle of chuckles.
Publishers Weekly

In the opening pages of this buoyant picture book, Willems (Knuffle Bunny) informs readers that "for this story" they need only know three things about naked mole rats: "1. They are a little bit rat. 2. They are a little bit mole. 3. They are all naked." The exception to point number three, however, is Wilbur, who revels in a wardrobe that ranges from a turtleneck and beret to an astronaut suit-infuriating his brethren. When the naked mole rats complain to their leader, Grand-pah, he gathers the colony and issues a proclamation. Happily for Wilbur, it's a call for tolerance. Willems is fully aware that nudity = comic gold for this audience, and his legion of emotive, square-headed rodents-far cuter than in real life-are paired successfully with droll prose ("Grand-pah did look heroic. Grand-pah did look regal. But he would also look heroic and regal in a casual shirt and some summer slacks"). Straightforward and engaging. Ages 3-up. (Jan.)

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Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Naked Mole Rats are a little bit rat, a little bit mole, and always naked. That was the truth until Wilbur came along. Wilbur liked to get dressed. He had a varied wardrobe, and he looked spiffy in everything he wore. The other naked mole rats were appalled. When they failed to convince Wilbur of the error of his ways, they appealed to Grand-pah, the oldest, greatest, and most naked mole rat ever. Heroic, regal Grand-pah requested a gathering of the colony, promising to make a proclamation. Imagine the surprise when Grand-pah appeared fully clothed and decreed that clothes could be fun. After that, some mole rats were naked, some were clothed, and all had a great time. Delightful, cartoon-like illustrations convey the many emotions expressed by the mole rats as they come to terms with the question, "Why not?" A fun choice for storytime. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2

Willems's contemporary fable concerns the way in which a young member of the species "naked mole rats" is different. As the nomenclature suggests, the group does not wear clothing, with the singular exception of Wilbur. His extensive wardrobe, ranging from a tuxedo to a space suit, and his insistence on wearing it, cause much consternation and criticism from his colony. At last, they consult Grand-pah, "the oldest, greatest, and most naked naked mole rat ever." He calls a town meeting. To everyone's surprise, particularly the protagonist's, Grand-pah arrives in a seersucker suit and waxes eloquent on the wisdom of Wilbur's simple question: "Why not?" Converts abound and a celebration ensues in which some dress up and some do not, but everyone has fun. Willems has a talent for creating funny lines, verbally and visually. Beige backgrounds provide an uncluttered stage for his pink creatures with their oversize rectangular heads, each conveying a distinctive personality. Much of the humor resides in the subtle changes in Wilbur's eyes and, of course, in his colorful costumes. Adults will embrace the message of tolerance, happy to have a tale that can be shared with young children. They will also appreciate the hints of Charles Schultz that surface here and there. Kids will giggle-and wish their daily dramas had similar endings. Now, however, they'll have a script.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
Willems tackles the old it's-OK-to-be-different genre with his customary chutzpah and subversive charm. It is common knowledge that naked mole rats are just that: naked. Wilbur, however, is a strange fellow who enjoys a nice set of clothes. Suffice it to say the other mole rats are shocked and horrified by his behavior. They mock him, show him heroic portraits of naked heroes and finally complain to the great Grand-pah, who is both very wise and very nude. But after some consideration, Grand-pah surprises everyone by proclaiming (while wearing a rather natty outfit of his own) that while clothes "may not be for everyone" they certainly can be fun. Willems eschews a black-and-white encouragement to stand out from the crowd, offering instead a story that makes a case for different opinions to operate side by side. There are some similarities to the Pigeon format (including the trademark temper tantrum, for instance), but otherwise this is a story that stands firmly on its two bare feet. (Picture book. 4-8)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—"Wilbur is different from the other naked mole rats in the colony: he wears clothes." He likes to dress up in everything from a suit and tie to a space suit, and the other mole rats criticize him. At a town meeting, Grand-pah decides that it's up to each individual mole rat to decide to wear clothing or to go naked. Mo Willem's hit picture book (Hyperion, 2009) comes to life in this production. His wonderful artwork featuring the pink mole rats has been animated, and the narration is expressively performed by Willems and his wife and daughter. The video has a few extra words of dialogue not found in the book, but the audio recording matches the book's text exactly. Jazzy background music adds fun to the telling. An interview with Willems concludes the DVD. The CD features the book's narration, optional page-turn signals, and an original song about the fun of dressing up. Children will enjoy this humorous production with a message about tolerance.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT —
Children's Literature - Joan Kindig
Mole rats, by nature, are not a dressy or showy group of rodents. In fact, they prefer to be stark naked their entire lives. Except for one that is...Wilbur. Wilbur has discovered clothes and loves everything about them. They can project your mood, make you feel powerful, and they keep you warm. The other naked mole rats are shocked because everyone is naked and that is just the way it has always been done. Wilbur is challenging the status quo and that really rattles these rodents. Wilbur finally asks them an important question: "Why not?" When the naked mole rats cannot answer that adequately they go to Grandpa who is the wisest of naked mole rats. After mulling it over carefully, Grandpa decides that clothes are awesome! Not every naked mole rat agrees but soon some start choosing to wear clothes while others remain naked. Another feature on this DVD is a fabulous introduction to film scoring by the very musicians who did the soundtrack for this book. It will be great fun to turn the volume down, as they suggest, and listen to the story without the music. Then turn it back up and hear the enormous difference the music and other sounds make. This is a terrific bonus on this DVD and one that kids will enjoy. Other features include an option for read along subtitles and a lesson plan that might fit your classroom. This is a great DVD that any library would find useful in their collection. Running time: 9 minutes. Animation. Reviewer: Joan Kindig, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—"Wilbur is different from the other naked mole rats in the colony: he wears clothes." He likes to dress up in everything from a suit and tie to a space suit, and the other mole rats criticize him. At a town meeting, Grand-pah decides that it's up to each individual mole rat to decide to wear clothing or to go naked. Mo Willem's hit picture book (Hyperion, 2009) comes to life in this production. His wonderful artwork featuring the pink mole rats has been animated, and the narration is expressively performed by Willems and his wife and daughter. The video has a few extra words of dialogue not found in the book, but the audio recording matches the book's text exactly. Jazzy background music adds fun to the telling. An interview with Willems concludes the DVD. The CD features the book's narration, optional page-turn signals, and an original song about the fun of dressing up. Children will enjoy this humorous production with a message about tolerance.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT —
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423114376
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 1/6/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 83,899
  • Age range: 3 years
  • Product dimensions: 10.82 (w) x 7.24 (h) x 0.33 (d)

Meet the Author

Mo Willems

Number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator Mo Willems started his career on Sesame Street, where he garnered six Emmy Awards for his writing before changing the face of children's literature with his groundbreaking picture books. Mo has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity) and his acclaimed Elephant and Piggie early reader series received the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal in 2008. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 20, 2013

    SO MUCH FUN

    If you love Mo Willems (and who doesn't) You'll love this addition. The pictures and the story mix together to make a tale of tolerance that any child will understand and love.

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    very cute book!

    This is another Mo Willems masterpiece. Very funny, adorable illustrations and a moral lesson to boot. My son is a HUGE Mo Willems fan. I bought this book for his birthday and he loved it. My son is 7 and a high level reader, but snuggle times and bedtimes he still loves being read aloud to and silly picture books are right up his alley. The Pigeon series is another favorite along with the Elephant and Piggie series (all Mo Willems).

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  • Posted June 5, 2009

    GREAT KIDS BOOK

    The book was funny and engaging. The first time my 5 year old heard it was in one of the stores read by Mo W. himself. It is becoming one of her favorite bed time stories.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    Cute story with good lesson

    Students liked the idea of all the animals being naked except one. The storyline was great but some of the vocabulary was difficult for primary age. Reading the story provided a great opportunity to discuss being different. The students enjoyed looking for the pigeon in the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The title alone is so funny that it makes you open the book and start reading before you have even purchased. Yet again Mo has gone and out done himself.

    Once again Mo Willems casts a hilarious book and always seems to throw in one of his other characters that my 7 year old is always looking for. My daughter cant get enough of his books, they are entertaining, sometimes with a lesson, FUNNY, and my child can read them or loves to have them read to her. Anything by Mo is a fabulous find!!
    The illustrations are grand and will also have you on the floor in laughter!

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  • Posted January 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Mo Willems Does It Again

    Mo Willems has created another lovable character for the Pigeon and his friends. Wilbur does not care that he is the ONLY naked mole rat that is not naked. He likes clothes and feels good when he wears them. With a very simple question, Wilbur makes a difference to the other naked mole rats. Great lesson in 'being yourself.' Wonderful read aloud!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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