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Mole Music

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A spiritual story about the far-reaching effects of private actions.

Mole has always led a simple life, but lately he feels something is missing. When he first hears someone playing a violin, Mole realizes that he longs to make beautiful music, too.

Through practice and patience, Mole learns to play. And even though he plays alone, in the privacy of his underground home, his music has an effect on others that ...

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A spiritual story about the far-reaching effects of private actions.

Mole has always led a simple life, but lately he feels something is missing. When he first hears someone playing a violin, Mole realizes that he longs to make beautiful music, too.

Through practice and patience, Mole learns to play. And even though he plays alone, in the privacy of his underground home, his music has an effect on others that is more magical than Mole will ever know.

Feeling that something is missing in his simple life, Mole acquires a violin and learns to make beautiful, joyful music.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Music can comfort, entertain, and delight. But can it really change the world? Mole's music can! From David McPhail, beloved author and illustrator of the Pig Pig books and countless other favorites, comes a sweet, inspiring story about the restorative power of music

. Mole has always led a simple existence — digging tunnels by day and watching TV at night. He likes his life, but he's starting to feel that something is missing. What could it be? One night, while watching television, Mole discovers something to fill the void: He hears a man playing a violin and realizes that he wants to make beautiful music, too.

Mole orders a violin and, at first, can only make horrible screeching noises on it. But with much practice and patience, his efforts are rewarded: Mole eventually learns how to play. And as he improves year after year, he becomes happier than he'd ever been before. He flourishes, consumed by the joy of music: "During the day, as he dug tunnels, Mole hummed the music he would play at night."

As Mole plays on, he wonders what it would be like to perform for an audience, and imagines the positive effects his music could have: "He even imagined that his music could reach into people's hearts and melt away their anger and sadness." But what Mole does not know is that his music is actually changing other people's lives. McPhail's lovely watercolor illustrations convey this by showing melodious notes rising from Mole's subterranean home and mesmerizing villagers, farmers, and even royalty. Outside Mole's world, fighting armies are moved to putdowntheir weapons and embrace — making peace as Mole's music plays on.

A sweet, simple story, Mole Music resonates with hope and inspiration. The power and magic of music fills every page, encouraging readers to take the time to listen...because music can change anyone's life.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this tender-hearted picture book, McPhail (Tinker and Tom and the Star Baby) goes underground--literally--to explore the restorative powers of music. Mole feels something is missing from his life, which consists of digging tunnels all day and kicking back in front of the TV in his subterranean home each evening. One night Mole watches a man playing the violin on television ("He made the most beautiful music Mole had ever heard") and resolves to obtain his own violin and learn to play it. His initial attempts with instrument in hand could hardly be called music, but with great determination and practice, Mole soon coaxes gorgeous sounds from the strings. As Mole wonders what effect his music might have on an audience, McPhail cleverly depicts the melodious notes floating up through the ground to appreciative listeners and transforming the world into a more peaceful place. The illustrations chart the aspiring musician's progress through the seasons, as the sapling above his rooftop flourishes on a steady diet of his euphonious tunes. The brief, simply phrased text brims with big ideas that may inspire many a young musician or artist. McPhail's delicate watercolor-and-ink paintings work seamlessly in tandem with the words to deliver a truly resonant message: that music can change the world. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Mole Music is an underground musical masterpiece. Mole is entranced with the violin, orders one, and then begins the demanding learning process. As he becomes more adept, his music rises to the world above his tunnel. People stop work to listen. Let Mole's music reach into people's hearts and melt away their anger and sadness. The pictures show mole's cozy underground home, as well as life above ground. Music notes appearing in the tree above Mole's home are the notes to "Beethoven's Ode to Joy," and "Brahms' Lullaby." The book is best used with small groups or one on one because of the details in the illustrations.
Children's Literature - Judy Chernak
If you lived your entire life underground, digging tunnels and then eating a solitary dinner in front of your TV before going to sleep each night, you also might come to wonder if there was anything more to life. Mole's exploratory process was initiated by a hearing a violinist's beautiful music on television. He knew he wanted to try to create such music and ordered himself an instrument. The disappointing sounds that resulted present quite a challenge, but as he perseveres the world above ground, unbeknownst to him, also begins to change. McPhail's watercolor and ink pictures provide two simultaneous stories as they follow Mole's musical awakening below with realities of natural change above. A sapling grows; birds come and sing; farmers plant, harvest and listen; and, inevitably, armies approach...but the music affects even them. A beautiful vision of what might be if people would follow their best instincts and listen to the beauty around them.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This recording of David McPhail's Mole Music (Holt, 1999) brings the picture book to life. The production's classical music selections, coupled with true-to-life sound effects, embody the story and make for a full, rich listening experience. As squirrel eats an acorn above mole's burrow, we hear the joyous music of the Third Movement of Beethoven's "Pastorale." As the story continues, the elegant, haunting strains of "La Cremosa," from Mozart's Requiem, express mole's dissatisfaction with his life. Musical selections are identified on the cassette insert, and include works by Massenet, Brahms, and Beethoven; the Shaker hymn, "Simple Gifts"; and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." Crystal clear sound effects help depict the action. As mole checks the mail for his violin, a rain shower conveys his disappointment when he finds the mailbox empty. Birds chirp and flutter at his attempts to play the instrument. We even hear mole humming happily as he digs his tunnels. Horses whinny and stamp as mounted soldiers, awaiting an impending battle, hear mole's music and abandon warfare for a friendlier confrontation. Master storyteller, Jim Weiss, aptly narrates the text, giving it a slow, clear, emphatic reading. His precision timing allows the music and sound effects to enhance the story. Side one of the cassette offers page turning prompts. This book and cassette will make a handsome addition to school and public library collections.-Bonnie Bolton, Cleveland Public Library, OH Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Music has the capacity to make friends of enemies, in this quiet study of one introverted fellow: Mole. Mole spends his days alone in his underground hovel, until one night while eating supper in front of the television, he hears the sweet sound of a violin. "I want to make beautiful music, too," Mole claims, then sends away for a violin of his own. One note leads to another, and his music goes from screeching to symphonic. Unbeknownst to him, his years of underground practice have overarching effects, seen by readers only in the illustrations. Lilting strains of music attract birds, farmers, presidents, and queens. Mole's subterranean world, a realm of permanent night, is softly lit by glowing umber, while outside, fighting armies lay down their arms as the music plays on. With endearing characterizations stylistically akin to Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad, the beloved Mole will easily win the affections of readers and inspire young hopes for a better world. (Picture book. 4-8) .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591124061
  • Publisher: Live Oak Media
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Series: Live Oak Readalong Series
  • Format: CD
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.16 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

David McPhail is the author and illustrator of many books for children, including the popular Pig Pig stories. He lives with his family in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2010

    Mole Music

    This is a fun book to read. My two year old loves it. It's a good story. I would highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2004

    Mole Music Changes the world

    I'm a 16 year old that heard Mole Music for the first time when I was at swing choir camp last summer. One of our Clinitions read it to us. Mole music is and inspiring story about how a single person can change the world and not even know it. I would reconmend it to anyone who needs a little encouragement or anyone who just want to read one of the worlds best children's books.

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