15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2001
In Modly Warp the Mole, Alison Uttley opens the possibility and adventure of archaeology to children when Mole's excavations brings him to Brock Badger's Roman villa and the source of moasic eye he has long pondered is discovered, while the other animals have an adventure of their own camping the night out in the meadow.
Modly Warp, the very the down to earth thinker and doer of the Little Gray Rabbit series, is also a great model of maturity and responsibility for children, especially boys, in his role as counter-point to the kind, gentle Gray Rabbit.
Some may wish to criticize this book, as they might the series, as old fashioned in its ways, for its portrate of great virtures, and as "unrealistic" gentle sweetness. Yet that is exactly what appeals both to me and to my children.
In its fundamentals of ordinary life, Moldy Warp's adventure is not so far from that of the child's own imaginings, but relates them to new, interesting possiblities of treasures more realistic than mere pirate gold. Local history is available to everyone, and indeed can be discovered by some well planned digging.
However, the great power of this wonderful book is in the lesson that is exemplified when, having come back from Badger's house with many fine Roman antiquities, the wonder of which he has an acute awareness, he is generous enough to allow the young ones to carry them for him. When they loose all of them on the way, he resolves the feeling a sadness and guilt by having a picnic for them, and expressing his genuine affection, and satisfaction, for, and in, his friends.
I read, and was excited by, this story 40 years ago, both of my children find great satisfaction in it today. Further, as an adult reading it to them, I find myself being reminded of the very best way deal with disappointments in their, and in others, behaviour. Hence, that Moldy Warp aspires to a greater, more genuine humanity than many of the interactions of the day makes it a refreshment. What is lacking in the ordinary should not become an insistance for every greater degeneration, but a reason to find ways to inject into the ordinary, what is, in the final analysis, the sublime.
Childrens' books that achieve such high objectives are all too rare, and no little mean accomplishment, this book does it with charm and the great depth of a truly gentle soul.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 October 2012
This was the first book I ever read for myself and the memory of it has lingered for 60 years. Not only is it well-written and beautifully illustrated, but it is an education for young minds, far from the horrors of the internet, social networks and TV. Fill your house with books like this and you will have well-balanced, caring and happy children - which is just what you wanted, wasn't it?