Moletown (Torben Kuhlmann; North South, 2015)

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moletownProfound. Moving. Thought provoking. My children didn’t like it at all. I tried to reframe this picture book for them by saying “it’s a thinking book; what do you think about parks being turned into towns?”, but they didn’t bite. They like to be entertained when we read together. Heck, so do I, but Moletown is well worth the detour into serious territory.

This book was sobering for me because the two places where I’ve lived the longest in my life used to be meadows. I also sit, on a daily basis, buried under piles of paperwork; then I go home at night to sit alone for a few hours in front of a glaring screen. I always fascinate over postage stamp sized parcels of green space in concrete jungles where families gingerly pass soccer balls around – it just doesn’t seem like enough space to play, or do much of anything. But maybe playing will soon be a thing of the past, similar to the former meadow that now forms the industrialized roof of Moletown. The question of how progress can be balanced with natural preservation may haunt you after a trip through Moletown . . . and for a long time after.