A shrew named Shredder lives in a woodland paradise of sculpted roots, glistening leaves, and filtered light, yet he's anxious and lonely: "And when he swung on a rubber band and sang a little song, there was no one to sing along." He sets off in search of something more-he's not sure what. When the silver foil cup Shredder is using for a boat capsizes, and he's rescued by a mole, Nosey's casual self-introduction ("I'm a professional digger.... Wanna dig?") is the beginning of the friendship Shredder only half-realized he was seeking. Shredder's shrew-size den, with its bottle-cap dishes and matchbox bed, will draw smiles, while the silvery rivulets in which his boat founders testify to Pixar production artist Pilcher's ability to produce breathtaking visual effects. Pleasing tension is set up between the narration, told from Shredder's point of view ("When a giant shadow came over them, they hid inside a cave"), and the extra information that Pilcher reveals on the page-the cave is a pair of worn leather work boots. Pilcher's debut will likely win Shredder more than one new friend. Ages 3 5.—PW
PreS-Gr 2 Part of a series of collaborations between Pixar Animation Studios and Disney Worldwide Publishing, this story of found friendship follows Shredder, a lonely shrew who sets out to find if there is something more to life "over there." Attracted by a reflection of light, Shredder leaves the safety of his home to explore the big world. His progress is halted when he comes upon a body of water. Coincidentally, the shiny object that drew his attention in the first place is an aluminum tin that he uses as a boat. Sadly, it is not exactly seaworthy. However, before he can drown, a mole named Nosey comes to his rescue. Because they have so much in common, the two become fast friends. Bonded together by a love of digging, similar fashion choices, and food, the shrew and mole find that companionship makes life so much sweeter. The story is told through a combination of the cinematic illustrations and the simplistic text. Children and adults alike will appreciate this story with its stunning, dark illustrations, endearing characters, and cinematic spreads that propel the story forward. Highly recommended. Jasmine L. Precopio, Fox Chapel Area School District, Pittsburgh, PA—SLJ
About the Author
In 1995, Steve Pilcher began working in feature film animation at Warner Bros. He spent eight years there, then worked freelance for Disney Feature Animation, followed by four years in the art department at Dreamworks, where he contributed to Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third. He was the Production Designer on Brave and currently works at Pixar. His art has been shown at the Nucleus Gallery in Los Angeles.