I loved Lindbergh, so I was very excited to see a new title from Kuhlmann. The artwork is very similar in style, and the subject matter seems similar at first glance - small creatures doing things like humans do - but it is still very much its own story. In an almost wordless book, Kuhlmann manages to convey the history of how Moletown grows from a single mole in a beautiful green meadow, to an over-industrialized barren landscape with little hope of recovery. (Readers will be hauntingly reminded of the scenery in The Lorax after all the truffula trees are harvested.) Yet these furry little beings come to their senses and take steps to correct the problems.
Younger readers will be delighted with the amazing details in each illustration. They will easily see the progression from moles carrying pickaxes, to moles with an excavating machine, to moles with a steam-driven power drill. And they can also watch as the living quarters change from one mole in a large tunnel, to increasingly smaller rooms packed more and more closely together. Urban blight seems to transfer very well from above ground to below. (If only the common sense to fix the problems transferred in reverse as well.)
This is an excellent book to share with students while studying problems in overcrowding, straining natural resources, and solutions such as greener energy sources. They might even be inspired to write/illustrate their own versions.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.