Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Moletown

Kuhlmann, Torben (Author/Illustrator)
NorthSouth Books 2015. 28 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9780735842083 (hardcover)
Original language: German
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

layout, multimodal, setting, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

In this nearly wordless allegorical tale, we follow the development of Moletown, as it grows from one lone mole inhabitant to a veritable industrial revolution of underground activity. Immigrant mole families move in, and construction and mining begin. A city springs up with tram lines, trench coat-clad workers, steam locomotives, clerks with too much paperwork and all the trappings of a bustling, overcrowded city until, by the end of the story, only one tiny patch of grass is left.

A simple paragraph of text first introduces Moletown and later concludes the tale. “The story of Moletown began many years ago. One day a mole moved in under a lush green meadow. He was alone at first. But not for long.” In between, words are used sparingly and pictorially on signs or vehicles.

Lush, detailed illustrations in mostly brown, rust and grey tones depict the progress of industry with a relentless drive, as mines spiral ever downward, workers with headlamps ride trams in one direction and those in brown hats and coats are ferried to offices in the other direction. Electricity and smokestacks seem to be ever-burning and billowing.

Endpapers show a glimmer of hope, with a Moletown Times newspaper headline that reads “Agreement on Green,” with black and white sketches of wind farms and tulips blossoming: an insightful glimpse into the pitfalls of an industrialized world.

  •  

    Go for a picture walk and discuss how Moletown is transformed over time. What technological changes do you observe?

  •  Moletown depicts tremendous physical change. What can you infer about the change in values that has taken place in this microsociety?
  •  

    Explore a non-fiction book about the Industrial Revolution. Compare the human industrial revolution with the mole industrial revolution portrayed in the book.

  •  At the end of the book, there is only a tiny green patch left. Discuss and write suggestions to the Moletown citizens and leaders to help them make greener choices in their city.
  •  Examine the book cover and endpapers. Make predictions about the story.
  •  

    Go for a picture walk and discuss how Moletown is transformed through time. What technology changes do you observe?

  •  

    Explore a non-fiction book about this period. Compare and contrast the human industrial revolution with the mole industrial revolution portrayed in the book.

  •  

    At the end of the book, there is only a tiny green patch left. Discuss and write suggestions to the Moletown citizens and leaders to help them make greener choices in their city.

  •  

    Research industrialization and the Industrial Revolution and discuss its benefits and disadvantages with a partner.

  •  As you read, draw parallels between the world we live in and the birth and expansion of Moletown.
  •  

    Add one or two sentences of narration for each page. Share your final product with a partner.

  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use information
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Science and Technology
  • Social Sciences