“Inidvidualism is being attacked in our Country today,” argued Michael Sanders of Academic Computer Services this morning. As Mr. Sanders worked diligently on the library scanner next to the reference desk, I was privy to his rants about the difficulty of being an individual in today’s society of spineless lemmings. Well…that’s not exactly what he said and I’m not sure what he was carrying on about but I have just the person, er…rat, to introduce to Mr. Sanders-someone who, with Mr. Sanders, will take on those who would deprive us of our individualism. Introducing, Wilbur, the “Naked Mole Rat!” (applause).
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Willems begins by giving us all the background we need about naked mole rats: “1. They are a little bit rat. 2. They are a little bit mole. 3. They are all naked.” All except Wilbur, an earnest dandy who can’t resist donning ties, jackets, pants, hats, or even entire superhero or astronaut getups. After all, the more outfits he has, the more he can pretend to be all sorts of different characters. Wilbur’s nude friends are appalled and complain to the colony ruler, who unexpectedly decrees that, from here on, their colony will be clothing-optional. Soon everyone is crazily clad and snapping up duds from Wilbur’s new clothing store. Willems’ art follows the simple style of his Elephant and Piggie books, and is dominated in color by (no surprise) naked-mole-rat pink. An ongoing horizontal line lends continuity to most of the pages, occasionally curving to add simple architecture to the scenes. But mostly it is Wilbur’s guileless observations that will have young readers feeling good about individual expression. Preschool-Grade 2.
Take a stand with JSU’s Mr. Sanders and Wilbur, the Naked Mole Rat- fight for your right to be an individual! (applause).