Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
I never really thought about moles much until I read William Horwood’s Book of Silence Trilogy and his Duncton Chronicles (the actual reading order should be Chronicles and then Silence). I liked Wind in the Willows, but I was a Ratty person, if you know what I mean. But after journeying with Horwood’s Privet, Mayweed, Rooster, and others, I’ve never looked at mole the same way.
Which is why when I saw this book as a read now option on Netgalley, I downloaded it.
Kuhlmann’s mole is a fable, like most animal tales are on some level. Perhaps, it is too heavy handed. I say perhaps because I found it a little heavy handed, but this is a picture book with little text. If I was a child, I’m not sure I would have the same reaction.
It’s a simple story, and a timely one, about when is too much progress too much. It is mostly pictures, with opening and closing lines being the primary written words. There are front and back pages done like newspapers, pointing to the past and future of Moletown. More importantly, the newspaper type illustrations at the end of the book make up for the abrupt ending of the painted story.
The charm in the book is the illustrations. Kuhlmann’s illustrations are stunning and even when seen on a computer screen, incredibly detailed. There is great use light as well as flashes of humor in how the moles are depicted. It is the type of illustrated book that will be treasured not so much for the story, but the beautiful rendering of that story.