By Etienne Delessert
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780618734740, 32pp.)
Publication Date: March 2007
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Tobias is a very special mole. He collects shiny round pebbles and hides them down in his burrow where they’re safe . . . or are they? When a friend” warns him about robbers on the prowl, Tobias begins to worry. Should he scatter the precious pebbles throughout his network of tunnels? Or can he guard them more easily together in one room? Frantically, Tobias moves his stones from one place to another until he discovers, too late, that he has been tricked into letting his fears get the better of him. This contemporary fable warns of the dangers of misplaced trust and unwarranted fears.
Etienne Delessert was born in 1941 in Switzerland. For more than thirty years the self-taught artist has been translating his and the world's ideas, passions, fantasies, and nightmares into the visual language of books, magazine illustrations, posters, animated films, paintings, and sculptures. His imaginary creatures and landscapes juxtapose chaos and order, the familiar and the fantastic, the serious and the joyous, to clarify this world and create new and surprising universes. Delessert has illustrated more than eighty books, including collaborations with avant-garde playwright Eugene Ionesco and renowned psychologist Jean Piaget. His internationally acclaimed books have been translated into more than fifteen languages and have garnered numerous awards and distinctions, including ten gold medals from the American Society of Illustrators. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, designer Rita Marshall, and their son Adrien.
A dark fable about the power of thought. . . . Delessert's willingness to enter the recesses of Tobias's mind . . . shows how seriously he takes children.
Not trusting strangers is always worth discussing, and Delessert's art is always worth a look.