Elem. – Mole in a Black & White Hole

Sediva, Tereza. Mole in a Black & White Hole. Thames & Hudson, 2021. 978-0-500-65205-3. Unpaged. $16.95. PreK-1.

Mole lives alone in a dark, damp, underground hole. His only friend is a bright pink chandelier that hangs from the ceiling (which readers can see is actually a root vegetable). Chandelier tries to persuade Mole to come to the surface, where there is sunshine and lots of color and life to be found, but Mole isn’t so sure. One day, Mole awakens to a warm sunbeam on his cheek and realizes that Chandelier is gone! Mole is very upset, but remembers what Chandelier told him about the world above. He finally finds the courage to climb up through the hole and explore, and what he finds changes his whole outlook on life. Unique illustrations consist of horizontal two-page spreads that show a distinct division between the black and white underground and the colorful aboveground. This uplifting story about finding the beauty in things is sure to stir something in all readers.

THOUGHTS: I love the subtle message conveyed by this story about optimism, determination, and intentionality. In the words of Chandelier, “There is so much color and so much life to be found. But to find it, you must search for it.”

Picture Book           Julie Ritter, PSLA Member

Elem. – The Superpower Field Guide

Poliquin, Rachel. The Superpower Field Guide. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018-2020. $13.76 ea. $55.04 set of 4. 95 p. Grades 3-6.

Beavers. 978-1-725-48225-8.
Eels. 978-1-725-48226-5.
Moles. 978-1-725-48227-2.
Ostriches. 978-1-725-48228-9.

What the average reader does not know about freshwater eels could fill volumes, and luckily there exists just the volume to educate us all. At a scant 96 pages, Eels, part of The Superpower Field Guide series, uses illustrations by Nicholas John Frith, diagrams, timelines, and more to accompany the story of Olenka, a freshwater eel living in a river in Russia. Readers will learn of the eel’s 10 superpowers, including wall crawling, double invisibility, and globe-spanning grit. Sections are short but high-interest and fact-filled, and the entire book could easily be read in one sitting.

THOUGHTS: A great addition to an elementary or middle school library where nonfiction circulates well.

597  Cold Blooded Vertebrates, Fishes          Melissa Johnston, North Allegheny SD