Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mole Music

Mole Music

Written and Illustrated by: David McPhail
Recommended Ages: 4-8

Mole Music is an example of a perfect picture book. In 32 pages, David McPhail manages to tell a simple, poignant story on the surface, with an underlying deeper message. It's the kind of book you want every child to read over and over again. If you are looking for a gift for a young child (or someone who loves music), you really can't go wrong with Mole Music.

Mole lives alone underground, spending his days digging tunnels and his evenings watching TV. One evening he hears a man playing the violin on TV. It is the most beautiful music he has ever heard, and he decides he wants to make music himself. So he sends away for a violin. Alas, when it comes the sounds he makes on it are nothing like the sounds the man made. But Mole is persistent and he practices and practices until he plays better than the man on TV. Sometimes he wonders what it would be like to play for people, wondering if "his music could reach into people's hearts and melt away their anger and sadness."

What Mole doesn't realize is that his music is drifting above ground, drawing people to it and making them happy. For above Mole's subterranean world there is a world that is listening to his music and being changed by it.

Mole Music is beautifully enhanced by the pen and ink and watercolor illustrations that blend seamlessly with the text. There are so many wonderful lessons tied up in this book, and yet none of them seems heavy handed. What better message is there to pass on to a child than the power that one person has to change the world for the better? I highly recommend adding Mole Music to your personal library.

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