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Author & Illustrator: David McPhail   Narrator: Jim Weiss

Available Discounts

    ISBN: 9781591124061
    Release Date: 03/30/2001
    Grades: K - 3
    Reading Level: 2.7
    Length:  7 Min 31 Sec

    Audio File
    Mole Music 1 PB/1 CD
    ISBN: 9781591124061
    Mole Music CD
    ISBN: 9781591124054


    "....this delightful and lyrical tale of perserverance and hope...features excerpts from composers including Brahms, Beethoven and Mozart and subtly introduces youngsters ages 4-8 to classic violin music." - Today's Librarian


    Review by: AudioFile Magaine - February 1, 2002
    "Listening to children's books you have read aloud yourself is an interesting experience; you appreciate the positives and negatives of each performance in light of your own. Ultimately, however, it is often the musical accompaniment that makes the most difference. MOLE MUSIC, written by David McPhail and performed by Jim Weiss, is a perfect selection for a read-along. Weiss's narration of McPhail's lovely story is slow and gentle, allowing the reader time to read along and enjoy the wonderful illustrations. The violin music in the background enhances the mood--from the screeching in the beginning to the soft, gentle melodies that entertain the world in the end. The illustrations, showing the double story above and below the ground, underscore the themes of practice, peace, and humility. Likewise, it is the music that makes the difference in the read-aloud version of MAMA DON'T ALLOW, by Thacher Hurd, performed by Tom Chapin. The wonderful jazzy introductory music sets the tone, and off we go. Chapin's friendly, easy-going voice invites us along, and the read-aloud format with background music makes it easier to narrate from the balloons on the pages. Chapin's alligator voices are excellent--a little sly, a little rough, and each one unique. Even good background music can't make up for an unimpressive narrator. In MUFARO'S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS, read by Robin Miles, the narration is almost too slow, building little momentum for the story. Miles's accent is interesting, although it's hard to tell if it's intended to be some African dialect. With little differentiation among the characters and a singsong quality to the narration, Steptoe's African retelling of a version of "Cinderella" becomes monotonous. And finally, music and sound effects can help improve a less than exceptional story line. In SPACE CASE, by Edward Marshall, the music adds to the Halloween mood, but it is the computer-simulated voice for the alien and the real kids' voices in this multicast performance that make it an enjoyable listening experience. The voices and musical accompaniment only help to enhance the whole experience and make it a solid choice for younger kids."
    Review by: School Library Journal - December 1, 2001
    "This recording of David McPhail's Mole Music (Holt, 1999) brings the picture book to life. The production's classical music selections, coupled with true-to-to-life sound 'effects, embody the story and make for a full, rich listening experience. As squirrel eats an acorn above mole's burrow, we hear the joyous music of the Third Movement of Beethoven's "Pastorale." As the story continues, the elegant, haunting strains of "La Crernosa," from Mozart's Requiem, express mole's dissatisfaction with his life. Musical selections are identified on the cassette insert, and include works by Massenet, Brahms, and Beethoven; the Shaker hymn, "Simple Gifts"; and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." Crystal clear sound effects help depict the action. As mole checks the mail for his violin, a rain shower conveys his disappointment when he finds the mailbox empty. Birds chirp and flutter at his attempts to play the instrument. We even hear mole humming happily as he digs his tunnels. Horses whinny and stamp as mounted soldiers, awaiting an impending battle, hear mole's music and abandon warfare for a friendlier confrontation. Master storyteller, Jim Weiss, aptly narrates the text, giving it a slow, clear, emphatic reading. His precision timing allows the music and sound effects to enhance the story. Side one of the cassette offers page turning prompts. This book and cassette will make a handsome addition to school and public library collections."
    Review by: Today's Librarian - October 1, 2001
    "Mole, who lives alone under-ground, feels his life lacks something. After watching a violinist play beautiful music on TV, Mole buys a violin and determines to teach himself to play. His first attempt produces an awful screech, but he practices nightly and steadily improves over the years. Eventually he composes during the day while he digs and plays at night. Unknown to Mole, his music floats up through the ground and people stop to listen. As he plays, Mole imagines his songs change people's hearts. Above his head, two armies come together to fight, but their hearts change when they hear his music. McPhail's softly colored illustrations of this delightful and lyrical tale of perseverance and hope are evocative of Kenneth Grahame's Wind In the Willows. The story on an accompanying audiocassette features excerpts from composers including Brahms, Beethoven and Mozart and subtly introduces youngsters ages 4 to 8 to classical violin music."


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