Knuffle Bunny ) informs readers that “for this story” they need only know three things abo"/>

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed

Mo Willems, Author, Mo Willems, Illustrator . Hyperion $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4231-1437-6

In the opening pages of this buoyant picture book, Willems (Knuffle Bunny ) informs readers that “for this story” they need only know three things about naked mole rats: “1. They are a little bit rat. 2. They are a little bit mole. 3. They are all naked.” The exception to point number three, however, is Wilbur, who revels in a wardrobe that ranges from a turtleneck and beret to an astronaut suit—infuriating his brethren. When the naked mole rats complain to their leader, Grand-pah, he gathers the colony and issues a proclamation. Happily for Wilbur, it's a call for tolerance. Willems is fully aware that nudity = comic gold for this audience, and his legion of emotive, square-headed rodents—far cuter than in real life—are paired successfully with droll prose (“Grand-pah did look heroic. Grand-pah did look regal. But he would also look heroic and regal in a casual shirt and some summer slacks”). Straightforward and engaging. Ages 3–up. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/03/2008
Release date: 01/01/2009
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