Friday, October 23, 2015


by Torben Kuhlmann
NorthSouth, 2015. Picture Book.

A single mole builds his house underneath a beautiful meadow and foolishly believes that he is alone. Soon after settling in, he is joined by more moles who wish to expand his simple home. Once other moles join in, one mole's house becomes a village, then a town, and finally a humongous industrial city. After some time, all that is left of the mole's original meadow is a tiny patch of grass.

Moletown explores the rise and fall of a civilization, though it isn't as dour as that description implies. The book shows how our society adapts and changes as populations increase, and how simple things like electricity can change the way we live. Amazingly, this book tells its story with almost no words -- only using text to introduce and conclude. The rest is an illustrated journey into this mole empire, and Kuhlmann luxuriates in the smoke and gears of his city. The book rewards close inspection, as details are everywhere, but even better than the beautiful imagery are the questions this book will surely yield from its young readers.

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