Review by Jocelyne Gregory
Tundra Books (Penguin Random House), April 2021
32 pages, hardcover, $21.99 CAD, ISBN 9781101918029
Ages 3–7, Pre-K–Grade 1
Picture Book, Fiction
Juniper Hollow is a quiet small town filled with polite and courteous residents. For Mr. Mole, the newest resident of Juniper Hollow, it is a wonderful—if not a slightly strange—new beginning to life among his curious new neighbours. Written and crafted by Lesley-Ann Green, Mr. Mole Moves In tells the story of Mr. Mole’s first day in his new home. The residents of Juniper Hollow are eager to meet their newest neighbour, but soon discover that Mr. Mole is a bit different. Instead of giving the Bunny children candies, he gives them erasers. Instead of shaking Raccoon’s hand, Mr. Mole shakes a branch. The residents of Juniper Hollow, who are all very polite and friendly, are curious yet confused by Mr. Mole’s behaviour. But with the spirit of acceptance and friendship, they gather for a welcoming party and all is revealed.
The artwork is adorable and warm with felt-crafted critters populating the pages, including raccoons, moles, giraffes, bears, cats, and chickens. The cardigans and sweaters the characters wear are hand-knitted and sewn. There is a certain stop-motion animation feel that makes the characters pop off the pages. The level of detail given to the flowers, grass, trees, and even roof shingles bring the reader further into the lives and the world of the residents of Juniper Hollow.
Mister Mole Moves In is a refreshing story of acceptance, compassion, and community support. The story is filled with wonderfully detailed characters, backgrounds, and a treat for readers who enjoy felt art and crafts. Fans of the previous book, Fox and Raccoon, will enjoy this new installment of the Juniper Hollow series.
Jocelyne Gregory is a UBC MFA creative writing graduate and a graduate of SFU’s the Writer’s Studio. She’s an author and editor and has provided manuscript consultations with the Sechelt Public Library and the Writer’s Studio. A lifelong gamer and fan of comics, she lives on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada.