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Mole Hill

Mole Hill

Published: 7 May 2020

Paperback / softback, 32 pages

Recommended for age 3+

Illustrated by Alex Latimer

Published by Oxford University Press

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When three huge diggers arrive one day on Mole Hill, it's up to Mole to stop them in their tracks and save his home from destruction. But can one tiny mole defeat such big mean machines? Where there's a mole there's a way!

Reviewed by Rebecca Simpson-Hargreaves

Mole Hill is one mole’s battle against the machines of industry that want to destroy his home!

Mole is living happily with his children in his mound when one day he hears noises. Going outside to investigate he finds three large trucks ready to clear the ground to put in a shopping mall. The trucks will not listen to his pleas and a battle begins to save his home.

This story written and illustrated by Alex Latimer, has an easy to follow rhyming style, accompanied by bright and colourful illustrations. Children will enjoy the cleverness of the mole as finds an usual source to help him challenge the machines. It has wide variety of words to extend children’s vocabulary in an easily accessible way. An additional positive is the single male father character of the mole. This is a lovely way to introduce different family types to young children.

Mole Hill could be used to support lessons looking at rhythm and rhyme to create effect. It has applications for science, looking at animals and their habitats and also evolution and the environment. It is most suitable for the early years to year 2, though could be used in older year groups to stimulate philosophical conversations about ecology. As it is an Oxford University Press book it also has links with their Oxford Owl site where you can access a video of the author reading the story.

I am a lecturer in Primary Education specialising in English at the University of Manchester. Lover of picture books, poetry, non fiction and fantasy. Passionate about using children's literature to develop children's empathy, self-awareness and social justice and human rights.