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Mole Music

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  481 ratings  ·  96 reviews
A spiritual story about the far-reaching effects of private actions.

Mole has always led a simple life, but lately he feels something is missing. When he first hears someone playing a violin, Mole realizes that he longs to make beautiful music, too.

Through practice and patience, Mole learns to play. And even though he plays alone, in the privacy of h
Paperback, 32 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Square Fish (first published 1999)
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Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  481 ratings  ·  96 reviews

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Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My five-year-old son picked out this book from the library last week.

Sometimes I feel like Mole. I feel like I work in a tunnel and alone and I wonder if any of the work I do matters. It does matter -- I may never know how -- but it does matter.

What a wonderful lesson for very young children to learn early in life. Listen to your soul and make your own "music". I doubt if many of the children hearing or reading this understand fully that important message, but it is likely they will not forget
Feb 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Mole felt a bit empty, so he sent away for a violin and taught himself to play. We can see what he can't, the world above him, so we can see the effects of his improving music. As he gets to be very good he daydreams about changing the world with his music, unaware that he already has.

This one has simple words and simple pictures to go with it, but a message that is suited for just about any age group. Actually, what it reminds me of is Jordi's Star or maybe The Tin Forest in its mes
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is my list of All Time Favorite Children's Books. It has beautiful and symbolic illustrations with the message that one person can really change the world...and not even know about it.
Oct 25, 2015 rated it liked it
This is the story of a mole who lived alone. One day he got tired of doing the same thing. One day he was watching television and he saw someone playing music so he decided to play the violin. At the beginning only horrible sounds came out of his violin but with practice he got better and better until one day beautiful tunes came our of his violin. He imagined that a large audience could listen to his songs and maybe his music could change the world but what he did not know is that he had audien ...more
Katie Bristow Myers
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful story! Gorgeous illustrations to accompany the delightful story. I highly recommend this book!
Yuyin Wang
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Be sure to listen to the audiobook version read by Jim Weiss! His warm, gentle voice plus the music that goes with the reading are just unforgettable! I listened to this audiobook numerous time with my older three kids when they were little. But #4 was not born yet at that time. Now she herself is playing violin. One day she is playing the music that was used in the audiobook. When she played a wrong note in the end, her unmusical dad protested. She was puzzled. How come daddy suddenly knows she ...more
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Mole Music" is one of the most inspiring picture books I have read in a while. The concept is simple. Mole, who lives underground, feels like something is missing from his life, and starts practicing the violin, becoming better and better at it. All day at work, he begins to hum the music he’ll practice at night. Mole doesn't know that his music is affecting the world above him. Mole’s music is making the world a better place and is inspiring others and making their lives more enjoyable. I love ...more
Luisa Knight
A message that says music can change the world and turn war into friendship.

Ages: 4 - 8

**Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloadable PDFs) which enable you to clean up your book before reading it! Visit my website: The Book Radar.
Mary Ann
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nicely composed story with two story lines......Mole wants to make music and he works very hard to play the violin. He wonders what it would be like if others could hear him play but what he doesn't know is that his music is being heard above ground by many people...and it has made their lives better. Themes: how we influence others, joy of music
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my new favorites. Mole teaches himself to play violin, getting better and better as he imagines the power of the music he plays. He doesn't know that up above his burrow, all that he imagines is coming true as people hear his music.
Mole sees someone play a violin on TV and so he decides that he wants to play too. He enthusiastically teaches himself to play but feels bad that his music doesn't bless the life of anyone. His creativity and caring seem to go unnoticed, or does it?
Miss Erica
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mole sees someone play a violin on TV and so he decides that he wants to play too. He enthusiastically teaches himself to play but feels bad that his music doesn't bless the life of anyone. His creativity and caring seem to go unnoticed, or does it?
Miss Sarah
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
A mole learns to play the violin and wonders what his music could do for the world as he plays underground. He doesn't see what is happening above ground. Preschool and up. Heavy picture importance but very beautiful.
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, music
Short but sweet book about how one good deed, no matter how small, can change the world
Jennifer Wiser
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elementary
A good book to introduce classes to the value of music.
Ms Threlkeld
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wonderful celebration of the power of music.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great story. I really enjoyed it.
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lovely story that goes well with music when read out loud.
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Feeling that something is missing in his simple life of digging tunnels, Mole acquires a violin and learns to make beautiful, joyful music. This, in turn, makes an impact on the world around him.
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, owned, music
Perseverance and the inestimable power of beauty. Love McPhail's works.
Kevin Summers
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
I really like how, as Mole plays more and more violin, his television gathers cobwebs, then gets placed into an abandoned tunnel, and finally disappears.
Mary McDaneld
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: el230
"Mole Music" has to be one of my favorite books in the whole world. The way the author shows the Mole trying something new, practicing every day, and working extremely hard can show kids never to give up. The illustrations and story line help to develop the book and character in a way that is relatable and fun. I love this one.
Inhabiting Books
Mole spends his life digging tunnels and feels something is missing from his life. One night after hearing a beautiful violin performance on TV, Mole sends for a violin. When it arrives, he is discouraged at first by how badly he plays. But with persistence he builds his skill, and his playing becomes a solace in his lonely life.

Our library does a program called Family Tunes & Tales that we LOVE, where 3 to 5 members of the Memphis Symphony come and play music that corresponds to a bo
Jared White
I really love this book. I love the illustrations and the story is wonderful. Mole has a routine that he does everyday: he digs his tunnels, eats his dinner while he watches tv, and then goes to bed. He's somewhat happy but feels there's something missing and then one night, as he watches tv, he sees someone play violin and falls in love with the music. Mole is determined to have a violin and learn to play it. Slowly, he does. Through the years he plays and plays, imagining he's playing for an a ...more
The Book Maven
An enterprising mole decides to bring more beauty to his life by learning how to play the violin. Oh, if only that were the limits of this ultimately disappointing picture book. The illustrations are gorgeous, but the message is not one that I'd be really enthusiastic for my child to internalize: the mole begins to dream about becoming a concert violinist, performing for queens and presidents, touching peoples' lives and changing the world...

...and then he laughs at himself, talks hi
Crystal Smith
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Mole Music s a lovely picture book about a mole who spends his days digging tunnels. He is happy enough, but realizes that something is missing from his life. When he sees a man playing the violin on television, he is inspired and says to himself, “I want to make beautiful music, too.”

He receives a violin by mail order and teaches himself to play. It takes time for him to master the instrument, but he persists. He eventually learns to play even better than the man on television, and
I love this book! Mole is simply darling. The illustrations are fabulous and the story laid out in the text is wonderful. It's a great book for showing children (and adults!) that patience provides rewards and that the most important thing in life is enjoying what you do, even if nobody else is around to witness your achievements. In other words, take pride in your accomplishments! I especially liked that unbeknownst to Mole, his music had a positive impact on the world above him. This is anothe ...more
Ashley Stone
Mole is bored with his life underground. He watches his television one night and sees someone playing a violin so he decides to order a violin for himself. When the violin arrives, Mole plays horribly but as time goes by he gets much better and never realizes that he has an audience above the ground that loves his music. This book would do wonders with a theme of music appreciation or something along the lines of “practice makes perfect.” I loved the idea that the mole was entertaining an audien ...more
Jun 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Cushion Concert, Monticello Public Library, June 17, 2011

Mole learns to play the violin and dreams of someday playing for an audience and changing the world. Unbeknownst to him, his music is floating up above his tunnels and forest creatures, plants, and even opposing armies are listening to his music. A lovely introduction to the power of music.

The library used this book as an introduction to a "cushion concert" where a violinist from the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra cam
Holly Brown
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In this book, Mole spends his time digging tunnels. One day, as he is watching TV, he sees somebody playing a violin and decides that he wants to learn to play the violin. He starts out not playing well at first, but he keeps practicing. His violin playing changes the world around him.

I am a musician, so I love that this book is teaching the importance of music! I love seeing how Mole's music changes the world around him.

I would use this book to show my students the impor
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David was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts and attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. While there, he began illustrating. He is now an award-winning author and illustrator of nearly 200 books beloved by children, parents and librarians across the United States. McPhail has garnered many prestigious awards, including a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year ...more