November 25, 2011

Perfect Picture Book Friday - Mole Music

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

The Thanksgiving Contest is now officially closed.  We got WAY more entries than for the Halloweensie Contest, and they're all so imaginative and fun that my assistant judge and I are going to have our work cut out for us selecting three finalists.  But never fear - we will do it even if we have to print them out, throw them on the living room floor and see which three the dogs step on first :)  The finalists will be up for you to vote on Monday.  And now for Perfect Picture Books (and I'm obviously behind this morning because I see at least three people have already posted theirs :))

Mole Music
written and illustrated by David McPhail
Henry Holt & Co, March 1999, Fiction
Suitable for:  Preschool - Grade 2 (ages 4-8)
Themes/Topics:  how music makes us feel, power of music to harmonize and heal, practice makes perfect, sometimes we don't even realize how our actions may effect others.
Opening and brief synopsis:  "Mole lived all alone underground.  He spent his days digging tunnels.  At night he ate his supper in front of the TV and then went to bed.  Mole liked his life, but lately he had begun to feel there was something missing."  Mole longs to create beautiful music, but little does he know the effect his music will have on others.
Links to resources:  This story is perfect for a discussion of how music makes us feel, the power of music to harmonize and heal, as well as the idea that it takes practice to become good at something.  Activity GuideDiscussion questionsSupplemental Lesson Plan (Film)
Why I Like This Book:  One story is told in words, but there is a whole other story shown in the illustrations.  Mole works hard learning to play the violin.  He does it for himself, with no thought of trying to impress anyone.  He achieves his goal  - and so much more without ever being aware of it.  His simple goodness and desire to make something beautiful bring more beauty to the world than he knows.
For more books with resources please visit Perfect Picture Books!

And now, so that you don't all go into a depression because Uncle Spike finished ALL the pumpkin pie and little Jimmy made the most awful grape juice stain on your favorite table cloth and how will you ever get it out and it's Black Friday and you have so much shopping to do and the mall is a horror at this time of year etc, I will lift your spirits by telling you that on Monday - yes, only a couple days away! - I will have a fun little surprise for you.  I hope you'll like it!  So keep your chin up as you jockey for parking spaces and plow through the crowds - more fun is coming :)

Have a happy weekend!

(Please add you Perfect Picture Books to the link list below.)


  1. Indeed, why shouldn't a mole make some wonderful music. This one looks adorable. I want to see the illustrations of melodies echoing down some earth tunnels!

  2. Joanna - if you haven't read this, you're in for a treat! It's one of my favorite picture books of all time :)

  3. Looks like I'll be making another list of fun books today. I look forward to Monday. I posted a link on FB to the Thanksgiving Entries link, because I had a fun time reading the new ones while I was away (er banned) from the kitchen.

  4. That sounds lovely and there aren't that many mole books out there already. How cute, I'm definitely looking out for it. Have a great weekend Susanna!

  5. Susanna, my challenge is only having our International School library as a resource. I end up making HUGE lists of books I want to read and waiting for a visit to an anglophone country to visit libraries! My next opportunity will be Canada and USA over Christmas and New Year. This one is now on my list!

  6. Cool book. I think I would really enjoy this one. Have to look out for it.
    Thanks Susanna.

  7. Oh my, this really sounds wonderful. I love books that involve music and tradition. Will definitely have to check this one out. Hooray --we're building the list! So many great entries. You are so creative, and I'm so glad you thought of this project! Do you sleep?:)

  8. Susanna,
    This sounds like such a lovely book. I'm creating quite a list for myself here. I'll be at the library for hours next time I go!
    Have a great weekend, and I look forward to hearing Monday's surprise =D

  9. Stacy - thanks for posting - I hope lots of people came, read, and enjoyed. I wish someone would ban me from the kitchen :)

    Catherine - it is really a special one. I think you'll like it. Meanwhile, I'm creating such a list for the library from all of you that I'm going to need a truck to bring home all the books I want to read!

    Joanna - I'm laughing because of what I just wrote to Catherine above - and I don't even have the excuse of being in a non-English peaking country :)

    Diane - I think you would to. If you read it, let me know if you like it!

    Pat - I know! SO many great books! I'm so grateful to everyone who is participating so wholeheartedly, and I'm glad you're enjoying it. And no, I don't sleep as much as I should :)

    Ruth - thanks! I hope you'll like Monday's surprise... :)

  10. Mole Music sounds like the sort of book I would have used when I was a teacher. It sounds like it's got a bit of everything. It's such an unusual title too. When I opened your blog post I found myself wondering if there would ever be an end to lovely picture book titles.

  11. Mole Music sounds wonderful! I'm always on the lookout for great picture books on the arts, any facet of the arts, and Mole Music sounds as though it may need to find a permanent home on my shelves, not just be a visitor from the library.

    Thanks, Susanna!

  12. Rosalind - I know - so much is in the title, isn't it?

    Beth - I hope you do get a chance to read it. It's truly one of my all-time favorites!

  13. Love your picture book Fridays! But I actually came by to tell you that I just bought Can't Sleep Without Sheep for a Christmas gift :) And Happy Thanksgiving, belated. Hope it was turktastic!

  14. Laura - I'm so glad you like PPBF! I have you to thank. I was on the fence about it, but after you reviewed my blog I thought, OK, I better do it! And thank you so much for buying Can't Sleep Without Sheep! I hope whoever you bought it for enjoys it. If you want it signed, you can mail it to me and I'll sign it and mail it back :)

  15. Mole Music sounds like a beautiful book that I wish I had read to my children! Looking forward to your fun surprise on Monday. Julie


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