Mole is not the sort of animal who likes big crowds. Mole’s idea of a fun time involves digging tunnels and working on construction projects. So when Mole gets invited to Rabbit’s birthday party, his anxiety spikes. For a critter used to spending time alone, a crowded party is going to be too much.
But supporting friends is more important than nerves, so Mole prepares Rabbit’s favorite dessert and heads to the party. However, Mole’s twisting journey through the tunnels is spent fretting, and when he finally arrives at Rabbit’s door, he is too nervous to knock. Then Skunk arrives, who isn’t a big fan of crowds either. Together, they build up the courage to knock on Rabbit’s door.
It’s not unusual for small children to fret about crowds, especially ones containing strangers. Maya Tatsukawa’s Mole Is Not Alone will help shy kids realize that they’re not alone. Mole’s anxieties around sharing space with so many other animals—even those considered friends—are clearly conveyed through text written entirely as speech bubbles from Mole.
Created through a combination of stencils, stamps, paint and digital illustration, Tatsukawa’s charming art includes many small details that will allow children to pore over each page in search of something new about their favorite animal characters. There’s even a two-page spread of a maze that readers can complete to help Mole move from one tunnel to the next.
Sweet and cozy—much like the cream puffs Mole makes—Mole Is Not Alone lends itself well to both storytime read-alouds and quiet snuggles before bed. Fans of Yeorim Yoon and Jian Kim’s It’s OK, Slow Lizard and Cori Doerrfeld’s The Rabbit Listened will want to add this to their shelves.