March 16, 2012
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems
How on earth can anyone make naked mole rats funny? When I learned that Willems had a book on the topic, I knew he would try, but would he succeed? True confession: Naked mole rats kind of creep me out.
Or at least they did.
In Willems’ world, there are three things you need to know about naked mole rats:
- They are a little bit rat.
- They are a little bit mole.
- They are all naked . . . with one exception.
Wilbur, you see, is a misfit among naked mole rats. He actually enjoys getting dressed. Now, there really isn’t much funny about a naked mole rat in a suit, but the humor comes on strong when the other naked mole rats react. Honestly, imagine how people react to nudity and you’ve got the picture.
“What are you doing?”
“Naked mole rats don’t wear clothes!”
To this, Wilbur has only one response. “Why not?”
The other naked mole rats are so disturbed by Wilbur’s refusal to do things the right, appropriate and obviously moral way, that they go tattle to Grand-pah. (Seriously, I think I know these little rats.)
When Grand-pah announces that he will make a proclamation, Wilbur knows things have gotten very serious. He debates wearing a suit, a Zoro-like hero outfit, and a cowboy outfit. Finally, he decides to be like the other naked mole rats or at least as close as he can tolerate.
The crowd is so put off by Wilbur’s inability to get it right even now that they don’t notice Grand-pah’s arrival. Grand-pah, you see, has been converted.
Willems brings his trademark humor to yet another picture book. He doesn’t preach. He doesn’t lecture, yet kids will definitely learn a few things about diversity and not getting worked up about the things that make each of us unique, especially if these things don’t harm anyone else.
This book may not have the action that we are told to look for in a book for reluctant readers but a lot of kids will love the humor in naked animals vs clothed animals and the human behavior of the naked mole rats.
Now, who can I buy this for?