Tonight’s delightful book on review is Little Mole is a Whirlwind by Anna Llenas, published by Templar.
What it’s about
Little Mole can’t stand still. He messes about. He gets distracted. He loses things. He breaks things … he never stops! People say that he’s rude, impatient, restless, useless, naughty, tiring and HYPERACTIVE.
His parents are worried and his teacher is desperate. With his end-of-term project coming up, Little Mole needs some help.
What I think
Anna Llenas’s book is a thoughtful and compassionate look at what life is like for a child with ADHD. Using the metaphor of a whirlwind, she shows how much energy Little Mole has and how it can sometimes, unintentionally, become more of a destructive force, not just physically but also in Mole’s dealings with friends and family. People become annoyed and frustrated at his inability to sit still, at his clumsiness, and at his distractedness.
Fortunately, he meets with the aptly names Serena, the Forest Bunny, who is an expert at dealing with children who are struggling to fit in. Through a series of sessions, she encourages Little Mole’s creativity, helping him learn to sit still for increasingly longer periods of time. She tells him that there is nothing wrong with him at all – he just needs to find the thing that he is passionate about.
It’s a clever concept to use a mole – more typically associated with quietness and slowness – as a character to exemplify hyperactivity. I think we’ve all met Little Moles in life and can become tired by their apparently endless supply of energy, perhaps forgetting that they have feelings that can be hurt when we get angry or frustrated. I know when I read this aloud to the children, they shared stories of siblings who couldn’t sit still and felt sympathetic towards Little Mole.
I always look forward to reading Llenas’s work when a book comes through the door as her illustrations, as always, are a joy. Using a mixture of materials, such as paper, cardboard, newspaper, paints and pencils, her pictures become almost 3D in appearance, with a childlike appearance that is so suited to the story. Full of colour, movement and personality, they engaged the children and provide opportunities to find new items of interest on subsequent readings.
By the way, I love the title of this book in Spanish: Topito Terremoto!
And now over to the children, who had fun drawing their own Little Moles!