Book Review

#PictureBook Review: Moletown by Torben Kuhlmann

MoletownMoletown by Torben Kuhlmann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: North South Books

older reader picture book

Moletown is a thinly veiled cautionary tale of the history of Moletown. It all started when one mole moved under a lush green meadown. Then a few more moles came. And some more… and things underground began to change.

This is an almost wordless story. Kuhlmann puts text at the beginning and the end and there are words throughout the illustrations. But the story is mostly told by his beautiful illustrations. I almost hesitate to say beautiful because the story is not a pretty one. What starts out as a lush green field soon becomes grimy, overcrowded, congested, and industrial.

“Generations later, the moles’ green meadow had completely disappeared. Almost.” We see the field covered in molehills with smokey chimneys coming out of the ground. There could be hope because the end papers show a newspaper headline “Agreement on Green”. There are images of two moles shaking hands, a mole holding a “Save the Trees” protest sign, and wind turbines instead of chimneys coming out of the ground. But one wonders… does this change come too late?

This is a good title for an older reader (4-6 or 7) who will be able to grasp what is happening. I think my 3 year old would comprehend what was taking place and become emotionally burdened by it. Not to say that isn’t an appropriate response…

This would also be good for those who love the message of Seuss’ The Lorax (as I do!). I would highly recommend this for purchase of a public library collection and possibly even a book tween book club Lorax comparison.

Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced edition in exchange for my honest opinion!

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