• Picturebook Snob

Every cloud has a silver lining

Dream Big, Little Mole by Tom Percival and Christine Pym, Bloomsbury

What's it about?

A little mole admires the skills of other animals and wishes she could achieve similar things. When a wise owl advises her to be herself and appreciate her own abilities, Mole decides to do what she does best - dig. Mole's aspiration to burrow the "biggest hole ever" appears to have disastrous consequences until the unexpected happens and Mole's efforts turn out even better than imagined.

What can we learn?

Everyone has gifts and practice makes perfect. We shouldn't compare ourselves to others or abandon our dreams. It's important to be ourselves and be proud of who we are... and there's no such thing as bad luck!

What makes this stand out? This is a beautiful, affirming and uplifting story. We can all relate to feeling inferior to those around us, and to our plans and good intentions not quite coming together as we might have hoped. This story explores these experiences and reassures children by letting them know they are not alone and they are talented. Dream Big, Little Mole encourages children to pursue their aspirations and to persevere even when they encounter problems. This shows that even when a situation seems hopeless, there is always light (or water!) at the end of the tunnel. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and guaranteed to make you smile.

About those illustrations...

They are fabulous - so cheerful with lots of adorable details. The images showcase the natural splendour of the world around us. I love the colourful flowers, skies and river, and even the grass looks so pretty. It's fantastic how there are multiple panels in many spreads, making them even more animated. The animals' homes are brilliant and the scene that shows all the underground lairs is one of our favourites.

Why we love it...

This story reminds me of the Albert Einstein quote, "In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity." It's so easy to feel overwhelmed by events and deterred by setbacks. It's wonderful how what is almost a catastrophe for Mole ends up being instrumental in gathering everyone together and bringing happiness to all. Little Mole is incredibly cute and readers really connect with and root for her. The masterful rhyming text is a pleasure to read aloud.

Why you need it...

This entertaining and endearing story will inspire children to have confidence in their abilities and help them to develop resilience and stay positive in adverse circumstances.

About the author:

Tom Percival is a writer, artist, video producer and musician who has written many books for children and illustrated several more. We have Ruby’s Worry and Meesha Makes Friends from his excellent Big Bright Feelings series. He recently released The Invisible which is getting rave reviews and on our wishlist too.

About the illustrator:

Christine Pym has created illustrations for children’s books, cards, toys and clothing for companies all over the world. As well as collaborating with lots of acclaimed authors, Christine has also written and illustrated her own book, Little Mouse's Big Breakfast, which looks lovely too.

Dream Big, Little Mole was published by Bloomsbury in February 2021 - see this book on the publisher's website

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