Monday, January 12, 2004

Mole Music by David McPhail

Mole leads a very mundane life consisting of hard work, punctuated by meals in front of the TV. One day, inspired by a violinist he saw on TV, Mole orders a violin for himself. Self-taught, he perseveres, practicing and practicing everyday after work until he is finally making beautiful music. (The TV meanwhile, hopefully, rots away.) Although Mole doubts that anyone is listening to his music, the narrator gently reminds us how we do impact others even though we may not know of it. And in the last scene is a the depiction of great battlefield where everyone lays down their weapon to listen to Mole's music.

What I love about this beautifully illustrated story is how the author/illustrator conveys the sense that we really don't know what the larger picture might be about or even how we may be impacting the world. We can only follow our own path, sometimes without knowing how we might be influencing the others, maybe even changing the world.

As a parent, I'm constantly searching for inspiring stories like this one to tell. Throughout the book, there is the complementary message, conveyed by the motif of the acorn which grows into a huge beautiful oak tree.

By the way, this book was also a PBS Reading Rainbow selection, although it's not a book reviewed on his website. We don't watch television but I'm sure LeVar Burton did a wonderful job with this book.

Funny how this story reminds me of blogging.