North South Books Inc.
Pub Date: Oct 1, 2015
Every now and again you come across a picture book that is so beautifully illustrated that you simply marvel at the work of the illustrator/author. Moletown is such a thing. By its very nature it is a children’s book, but these 32 pages containing just two short text passages at the beginning and at the end is so much more.
Torben Kuhlmann’s visual story tells the history of Mole City. Initially we see a single mole digging his hole under a nice meadow. But soon he is joined under his meadow by more and more moles. But these moles need more and more ‘things’ comforts. Soon an underground world of mole homes, jobs, transport and energy needs develops.
This is a delightful visual parable about human kind and industrialisation and how we have effected and treat the wider environment around us. Anyone who knows anything about moles will know you can spot their presence by the increasing number of mole hills on your lawn, field etc. Kuhlmann merely posits, what would happen if they then had our access to technology. He may not to the first author to have moles as underground ‘miners’, but here that basic concept is expanded.
As a warning about the destruction we are doing to our environment it works a lot better than Jostein Gaarder’s more heavy handed ‘The World According to Anna’ which I will review here soon. Perhaps it is because due to the lack of text you never feel your being lead somewhere. You are being encouraged as a ‘reader’ to tell your own story. This means it probably will get most of its fans in the six (or 46) and over category.
What I presume will be endpapers depict possible solutions ( From ‘The Moletown Times’ ) to the situation the moles have found themselves in: ideas that could very well save the moles’ world and ours.
This is the kind of book the word ‘delightful’ was invented for. I’ve spend a week pouring over it and purring about it.
If you can’t wait for publication, you can enjoy some of the illustrations from the book in this clever and enjoyable ‘trailer’
You can also visit the author’s website: http://www.torben-kuhlmann.com/
Review copy provided by North South Books Inc / Netgalley