Expedition Backyard: Exploring Nature from Country to City

Expedition Backyard cover
Expedition Backyard: Exploring Nature from Country to City by Rosemary Mosco; illustrated by Binglin Hu

By Rosemary Mosco
Illustrated by Binglin Hu
Color Design by Ashanti Fortson
Flatting Assistance by Desolina Fletcher
RH Graphic, 2002
116 pages

Ages 6-10

Friends Mole and Vole live in the country. Mole is content with a quiet life observing and drawing nature and Vole is an adventure seeker, always rallying Mole to head out on their next expedition. This lively graphic novels unfolds in chapters chronicling a series of these expeditions, which start out in familiar territory as they explore their country environs, first by day and then at night. But after heading into a nearby house to watch a nature documentary, they end up trapped in a packing box that’s loaded onto a moving van and are transported to unfamiliar territory: A city. Mole is nervous, but intrepid Vole is eager to explore, first by day and then at night once again. Regardless of the time of day, nature in the city is very different from what they know, and their explorations result in new friends and new perspectives. The same is true for the Black child whose family has moved to the city; her story unfolds in the background of Mole’s and Vole’s, with her initial loneliness after the move ending in new friendship. Across their escapades, Mole’s fascination with nature is as constant as Vole’s enthusiasm for exploration. The charm, warmth, and humor here extends from their individual excitement to the dynamic of their relationship to the details of each of their expeditions. ©2022 Cooperative Children’s Book Center