Diamond in the Snow

illustrated by Vanessa Cabban

One wintry afternoon, Mole finds something smooth and sparkly sticking out of the snow. “It must be a diamond!” he thinks. As Mole rushes to show his new treasure to his friends, it keeps changing shape in his hands. Could it be magic?

The lovable Mole and his loyal friends Hedgehog, Squirrel, and Rabbit are back, finding magic in the most unexpected places.

“Emmett once again charms us with the unaffected simplicity of Mole, the little woodland creature who believes anything is possible.”

“Something of the awe and wonder – that silence, stillness and sheer beauty of a pristine landscape – is captured in this enchanting winter’s tale for young listeners and readers.”
Jill Bennett, WORDPOOL

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UK Paperback
ISBN-10: 1406373532 • ISBN-13: 978-1406373530

US Hardcover
 ISBN-10: 0763631175 • ISBN-13: 9780763631178

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Author's Note

After taking more than a year to come up with the second Mole and Friends story, this third story came hot on its heels. As I’ve already remarked in my comments on No Place Like Home, one of the striking things about Vanessa Cabban’s night time illustrations for the first Mole book, Bringing Down The Moon, is the predominance of the colour blue. The second book was set in springtime and (although Vanessa had not started work on the illustrations at that point) I had envisaged that it would be predominantly green. I wanted to sustain this pattern of dominant colours and so I set this third story in wintertime so that Vanessa’s illustrations for this book could be predominantly white.

This prescriptive approach to the books’ colouring might be intimidating for some illustrators. However Vanessa is very skilled at working with a limited palette and has once again produced a set of wonderful illustrations.

Mole is always chasing after the unattainable. The premise of this book is similar to that of Bringing Down the Moon, in that Mole becomes enamoured with a beautiful object, in this case an icicle. However in this instance, Mole attains the object of his desire – only to lose it again! At first he feels foolish, but eventually he understands that something as ephemeral as an icicle can still be precious.

I’m too old to remember my first experience of snow, so I was thinking about someone else when I was writing the beginning of the story. I had a college friend, who was an overseas student from Malaysia. As we walked back from a lecture one afternoon, it began snowing heavily, something that I had mixed feelings about, as I knew it meant a treacherous walk across campus for the next couple of days. However, my friend, who had never experienced a snowfall, was thrilled. I can still recall the look of child-like wonder on his face and the way that he spun around, whooping, with his arms outstretched trying to catch the falling flakes.


A diamond in the snow – that’s what Mole is convinced he’s found when he takes a walk having emerged from his burrow to find the woods covered in a thick white blanket. But when he tries to take it home, the diamond disappears and his friends find him sad and empty handed. Hedgehog, Squirrel and Rabbit are unconvinced by his story until Mole shows them where he found his treasure. Looking up into the branches of the tree, they see hundreds of diamonds hanging there in the freezing cold and when the sun sets, the bejewelled tree truly sparkles and they are all entranced by the magical sight.
Something of the awe and wonder – that silence, stillness and sheer beauty of a pristine landscape – is captured in this enchanting winter’s tale for young listeners and readers.

   Recoding magical moments that occur in nature can lead to sappy text and overly idealized illustrations – this is NOT the case with Cabban’s illustrations or Emmett’s prose. Readers/listeners will experience the awe and joy of Mole’s first experience with snow just as if they had shared it with him … Descriptive adjectives abound in the uncompromising prose: marvellous, wonderful, fantastic, etc. The rich language reinforces Mole’s proclamation: “I told you they (icicles) were MAGIC!” Glowing with light, the illustrations give a real sense of wonder in observing nature. Sharing this lovely story should prompt parents, teachers, and care givers to get their youngsters out into the world to use their own eyes to find “magic.”

This is a beautifully told and mesmerising story with a very simple, easy to follow, story line. The text is accompanied by wonderfully simple illustrations which complement the story and create a magic of their own. Clever techniques are used to draw the reader into the story with moles tumble down the hill being divided across a double page into four columns, creating a level of excitement. This is a wonderful story to read aloud and share, especially at Christmas time.
Louise Ellis-Barrett, WRITE AWAY

Cabban hits a home run with a series of splendid illustrations that invoke the wonder, mystery and color of winter … A simple tale, gently told and richly visualized.
Nicholas A. Basbanes, ORLANDO SENTINEL

Emmett once again charms us with the unaffected simplicity of Mole, the little woodland creature who believes anything is possible … Emmett’s tender book celebrates a child’s openness to being moved by nature.