Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Moletown” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.78  ·  Rating details ·  459 ratings  ·  128 reviews
Torben Kulhmann's stunningly illustrated, nearly wordless tale offers a fascinating window into an imaginary, yet hauntingly familiar world under our feet, where a mole suddenly recognizes the precarious balance between progress and preservation. But is it too late?

Kulhmann's open ended text encourages thoughtful exploration into possible solutions, and his delightful endp
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 1st 2015 by NorthSouth Books (first published January 20th 2015)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Moletown, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Moletown

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A surrealist picture-book, almost without words, about the foundation and development of a mole city; it's a bit like John Marsden's The Rabbits and a bit like J.G. Ballard's Billennium but has a style all its own. There is a beautiful animated trailer version here.

A remarkably apposite passage from Pynchon's Against the Day, which I came across a couple of days later:
In the center of town, some huge underground construction venture was in progress, citizens stood o
Aug 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Cautionary tales for kids who can’t do a darn thing about the original problem. It’s sort of a subgenre of its very own. As I hold this lovely little book, Moletown, in my hands I am transported back in time to the moment I first encountered The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. A child of the 80s, my youth was a time when scaring kids straight was an accepted educational technique utilized in everything from environmental protection to saying no to drugs. The film version of The Lorax bore this out and gave ...more
Sep 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Moletown manages to make its case by employing very few words: the industrialization of Moletown has had a devastating impact on the environment and the moles seem stuck in a cycle of working and watching tv. Hmmmm.
Torben Kuhlmann is a brilliant illustrator but I found this book to be very dark (literally) and depressing. My kids really didn't care for this, though they loved Lindbergh- The Tale of a Flying Mouse and Armstrong- The Adventerous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon. I would highly re
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it

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.

Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ein sehr, sehr, sehr, sehr niedliches Bilderbuch und ein Spiegel unserer Gesellschaft.
Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Netgalley, NorthSouth Books and the author – Torben Kuhlmann for a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

It is hard to rate this book, as it has almost no text, but the pictures are amazing and the idea is something a lot of people are trying to shout out to the world - it is of course about progress moles make and its impact on environment.

This is a little children's book which has more pictures than actual text and I think is a perfect way for p
Moletown di Torben Kuhlmann è un piccolo gioiello: una fiaba pressoché senza testo narrativo di accompagnamento, raccontata soltanto da meravigliose tavole.

Una fiaba, tuttavia, che è anche una metafora capace di affrontare un tema attuale come quello dell’ecosostenibilità, in modo piacevole e affascinante grazie alla esuberante ricchezza visiva.

La storia racconta di una talpa che si insedia a vivere in una tana sotto un prato verde e lussureggiante. Rimase sola per poco, poiché altre talpe prest
Nearly wordless, the mole society in this book makes tons of "progress," ...but at what cost?

This is going to be a fantastic book to read along with The Lorax or The Little House. The illustrations are so rich; I think I'd like multiple copies so kids can pore over the details!
Jul 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another stunningly illustrated (this time wordless) picture book from rising star (and 2015 Golden Island prize winner of Nami Concours) Torben Kuhlmann. His detail and visual storytelling sense (in this and his 2014 Lindberg) are a pleasure to experience.
Edward Sullivan
The rise of a mole metropolis underground takes an environmental toll. A stunningly illustrated cautionary tale.
Sandra | Büchernische
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindernische
Vom Maulwurfshügel zur Metropole unter der Erde

Tief unten, unter einer saftiggrünen Wiese, lebt ein kleiner Maulwurf. Er lebte ganz alleine dort, doch das blieb nicht lange so. Nach ein paar Jahren gesellten sich immer mehr seiner Artgenossen hinzu und bauten gemütliche Maulwurfswohnungen unter der Wiese. Maulwurfshügel reihte sich an Maulwurfshügel, immer größer und größer wurde die Siedlung, bis eine richtige Stadt daraus entstanden war. Das Leben unterhalb der Grashalme hatte sich sehr veränd
May 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wonderful, i-own
wow , it was sooo pretty, the paintings and to think that there was this deep meaning behind it. it was just great
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
At what point does progress stop being a positive and instead destroy the entity it was meant to benefit? Moletown is a timely tale about a society of moles who build a society in their ancestral home. Overtime however, as their city grows and their inventions become bigger and louder, their home slowly shrinks. In this day and age as we debate the merits of policies that protect our habitat, Moletown offers a simple, yet powerful entry point for children to understand the trade offs our society ...more
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I don't need/want to repeat everything others have said in praising this book. What I do want to do is point out some subtle yet powerful moments and themes to look for and to discuss with your little reading partner, dark though they may be:

- Watch the worms. They start out maintaining their own existence in the margins, then they are pushed out and disappear as the frame expands, then they wind up being literally sold by their former neighbors. There's a slavery parallel here that's remarkable
As Bill Teale stated, "Another stunningly illustrated (this time wordless) picture book from rising star (and 2015 Golden Island prize winner of Nami Concours) Torben Kuhlmann. His detail and visual storytelling sense (in this and his 2014 Lindberg) are a pleasure to experience."
Ümit Mutlu
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Basit bir anlatım ve muhteşem çizimlerle, sanayi devrimini yaratan insanın, yarattığı bu "modern zaman yaratığının" altında ezilişini anlatan başarılı bir kitap.

Yalnız baskı kalitesi maalesef pek iyi değil.
Cara Byrne
Jul 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Bizarre, but beautiful, this nearly wordless picture book explores the industrialization of a peaceful meadow when more and more moles occupy the land underground.
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully illustrated, almost without words.
The pictures speak for themselves.
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the best children book I have ever seen. Only images very few words. Perfect.

Uno dei piú bei libri illustrati per bambini che abbia mai visto.
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Moletown is a hardcover, illustrated children's book with only a few words on the first and last pages. The story begins by telling us about one mole who discovered a beautiful, green meadow and lived there by himself underground. As the story progresses, we see more moles arrive. At first it's just a few more who live in separate areas underground. Eventually, there are too many moles to count. Underground has morphed into this giant dig, with pulleys, carts of dirt being excavated, and even ma ...more
Soobie's scared
I bought the English Edition because it was way less expensive than the German one. I'll do my penance in the near future. ^__^

I bought Moletown because I'd read Lindbergh by the same author and I feel in love with it. This one is a bit different, though. The story is told mostly via images and via words.

It's a cautionary tale, a sort of parody of what is going on in our world. The little mole, who used to be alone, slowly became part of a society and later the society started to became a sort
Okay, not exactly wordless, since it has a sentence or two at the end, and again at the beginning, but the majority of the book is a set of pictures illustrating development of the titular Moletown. There is a lot of fun and entertaining design in the pictures, though one thing that seems a bit odd to me is that most of the time the moles have their own mole-sized technology, but in some scenes they are shown using human-sized tech, evidently scavenged and adapted for their own purposes. It is a ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This is mostly a wordless picture book with only a few words in the very beginning. This would probably not be a book I would use for a read aloud, or shared experience, because the pictures are very detailed and they take a while to digest. What I would probably do with this book is pair it with a book like The Lorax and others that deliver a great environmental message in different ways. I would place it in a station and have the students discuss what they find and what the messages they think ...more
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reminiscent of both "The Lorax" and "The Little House", this is a thought-provoking nearly wordless story of one lone mole that grows to a community, to a densely-populated metropolis. The story touches on immigrants, industrialization, rapid population growth and crowding, to preservation.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ein wundervoll illustriertes Buch an dem sich Groß und Klein erfreuen kann, da es nicht nur schön anzusehen ist, sondern außerdem das Thema der Globalisierung anspricht (oder anillustriert - hahahahaha, ich bin ja schon still).
Francis Thibeault
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: albums-jeunesse
Album touchant et pognant, métaphore de l'homme qui a tout modifiée la nature et les forêts pour s'offrir un semblant de luxe. Et la dernière page de ce conte est absolument sublime tellement elle nous frappe!
Müni (MuenisBookWorld)
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love the illustrations in this book.
Torben Kuhlmann does the best drawings for children.
What I did miss in this book was the text.
There are only 1-2 sentences. That's because the pictures tell the whole story.

Sometimes a simple picture can tell a whole story.
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Kuhlmann's pictures were incredible as always, but the storyline of this near wordless book was not as fun and imaginative as his other works.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Bird Cat Dog
  • Here I Am
  • Pool
  • Spot, the Cat
  • Draw!
  • Before After
  • The Snow Rabbit
  • Bear Despair
  • Hunters of the Great Forest
  • Float
  • Little Red
  • Flora and the Peacocks
  • Hank Finds an Egg
  • Fossil
  • The Girl and the Bicycle
  • Where's Walrus? And Penguin?
  • Quest (Journey Trilogy, #2)
  • Look!
Torben Kuhlmann (1982) is a German communication designer , illustrator and picture book author. He studied Illustration and Communication Design at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences . In 2014 he published his first book, Lindbergh - The adventurous story of a flying mouse. This book is the product of his graduation thesis at the college.
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »