A Friend for Mole
Struggling with his overwhelming fear of the unknown, Mole stumbles across a friendly Wolf who is trying to conquer fears of his own. As they keep each other company and learn from one another, the two discover that friendship can be one of the strongest shields against fear.
Through Mole and Wolf's experiences, young readers learn that differences aren't necessarily weaknesses, and strengths are most powerful when used to help a friend. With simple but humorous text, and soft, bright illustrations to guide the way, this picture book is a gentle, fun journey through fear to friendship.
This is a sweet story, and could be used with young children to talk about friendship. Indeed, the promotional material from the publisher notes that “differences aren’t necessarily weaknesses and strengths are most powerful when used to help a friend.” I did find myself wondering why Mole was scared of the light but not of a wolf, but these types of “differences” could be more precisely spelled out with the help of an adult.
This is Armo’s first picture book, and at times, it shows. Her illustrations are inconsistent, in places, richly textured and fully rendered, and in other places, seemingly unfinished and clearly Photoshopped. Another example of a way that she could have pushed the illustrations further is with the cover, title page and first page, which each bear the same image. Though this is not a book I will likely read again, I will look for more from Arno in the future.