Unexpected Friends: A review of A Friend for Mole by Nancy Armo

Sometimes, friends come along when you aren’t even looking. I’ve found that to be true in my life. When what I’ve need the most has been a friend, there has always been one there. Sometimes longtime friends, and sometimes, those that are unexpected.

When Mole, from debut author/illustrator Nancy Armo’s new book, A Friend for Mole, emerges from the underground, the last thing he is looking for or expecting to find is a friend.

Mole had no intention of even leaving his cozy burrow… “He liked his soft bed of leaves, the warm smell of the earth, and the quiet darkness all around.” 

While Mole may be cozy and content, he’s missing something- love and companionship. But he doesn’t even realize he is missing it.

One day when Mole hears loud shouting and laughter above the ground, and notices dirt drifting down from the ceiling, he’s got to find out what’s going on up above.

When Mole emerges, he regrets his idea, and one bad things leads to another, and Mole ends up far (but not too far!) from the opening to his home. After tumbling into a bush, Mole goes inside and realizes that it is dark and quiet- just like his home. Before long, Mole is fast asleep.

Mole wakes up again to the pitch black of night. He is not scared. He is filled with fear. This is so wonderfully conveyed in Armo’s watercolor and Prismacolor Pencil illustrations.

It is then that something unexpected happens. Mole finds a friend. Wolf, who is afraid of the dark. They make a pact, and have so much fun together, they forget what they are scared of.

When the morning light rises, the two new companions find Mole’s burrow, and the two friends must part. But with the promise that they’ll soon see each other again.

Nancy Armo has weaved a tale that will resonate with my children. Those children who have come to school, new, afraid, and feeling alone. Those children who know what it is like to be alone, and then find that perfect, unexpected friend.

Teachers often have collections of friendship books in their classroom, and this book belongs among the ranks. This is a story that will be passed down for a long time to come.

It’s a reassurance to all of us that that friend we need is usually unexpectedly right there when we need it most.

Add this gem to your library today.

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