Cover image for Mole and the baby bird
Mole and the baby bird
Newman, Marjorie.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Bloomsbury Children's Books: Distributed to the trade by St. Martin's Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Mole rescues a baby bird, cares for it, and loves it, until the day he realizes it is because he loves it that he must set it free.
Reading Level:
AD 120 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 1.7 0.5 65078.

Reading Counts RC K-2 1.8 1 Quiz: 32757 Guided reading level: H.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Being fixed/mended
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Mole finds and lovingly cares for a wounded baby bird. As the bird recovers, Mole's mother explains that soon the bird will fly. But Mole wants to keep the bird, so he builds it a cage. Then, one beautifully clear day, Grandad takes Mole for a walk to the top of a high hill where Mole can feel the wind whipping around him. "I'm flying!" he says. When Mole returns home, he looks at the caged baby bird, finally understands that birds are meant to fly, and sets his baby bird free.

The extraordinary team of author Marjorie Newman and illustrator Patrick Benson has created a book that speaks to the delicate nature of love and freedom. This is a book for the ages, and one to treasure for a lifetime.

Author Notes

Marjorie Newman began writing stories as early as age seven and has since published about 90 books for children.

Patrick Benson was born in 1956 and was educated at Eton. He has illustrated over 24 titles including The Little Boat by Kathy Henderson, which won the 1995 Kurt Maschler Award, was short-listed for the 1995 Smarties Book Prize and was Highly Commended for the 1995 Kate Greenaway Medal. He is also the illustrator of the runaway bestseller, Owl Babies .

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-4, younger for reading aloud. When Mole finds a baby bird and brings it home, his parents caution him that "It's not a pet bird. It's a wild bird." But Mole insists that the bird is his pet, and the bird survives and even grows. Mole sees that the bird wants to fly, but he builds a wooden cage to keep it from leaving. Grandad Mole comes, and apprised of the situation, takes Mole for a walk up the highest hill. At this point, Benson's spot illustrations expand to fill the double-page spreads, so that readers will see the birds flying freely, and will not only guess the outcome of the story but also feel how the book should end. In his wisdom, Grandpa has shown Mole what is right and what is natural, but it is Mole who makes the decision to set the bird free. Benson's ink-and-watercolor artwork is equally good at showing the emotions on a tiny bird's face and the expanse of the great world that beckons. --Kathy Broderick

Publisher's Weekly Review

In its new form, Marjorie Newman's Mole and the Baby Bird, illus. by Patrick Benson, a gentle story of a mole and the bird he cares for, is just right for littlest hands. PW wrote, "With a quietly resonating tone, Newman tackles heart-tugging issues-the responsibilities of pet care, the pain of loss, respect for the natural world-that many parents will find familiar." (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-Little Mole finds a baby bird that has fallen out of its nest and, when no help arrives, takes it home. Despite warnings from his mother that the bird might not live, it thrives under Mole's care. Afraid that the bird will fly away, he builds a sturdy cage for it, even though his parents tell him that his pet should be free. Of course, the captive becomes despondent in spite of the attention and loving care Mole gives it, and after an outing with Grandad, the youngster frees the bird. The message of making others happy through a selfless act and the true meaning of love comes across gently, and responsibility in dealing with wild animals is clearly presented. The endearing characters have both authenticity and appeal, and the countryside is vast yet delicately and precisely drawn. The home is cozy and warm in contrast to the hillside with its wild freedom and the glory of the forest. A lovely book that's easy enough for beginning readers.-Marlene Gawron, Orange County Library, Orlando, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.