Monday, February 28, 2011

Mole Music and Family Tunes and Tales

Mole Music
Written and illustrated by David McPhail
Ages 4 and up

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 book read out loud by the children's librarian. They do it on a Saturday morning so the whole family can come and listen, and afterwards, the Junior League of Memphis has a tie-in craft that kids ages 3 to third grade can do.
  I don't know if this is a long-standing program or if it just started, but we only just discovered it. It works like this: the children's librarian sends  the book she plans to read aloud to the Symphony members in charge of that particular session, and they come up with music that goes along with the story. Before the story starts, the musicians introduce themselves and their instruments, and demonstrate what they (the instruments) do. There to accompany this month's story was a quartet consisting of two violins, a cello, and a viola. Mole Music was this month's selection. The lead violinist explained to us that they used the notes embedded in David McPhail's illustrations for their musical accompaniment of this very moving story about the power of music. One violinist played Mole, musically. It was a wonderful story and performance. I wish everyone could hear it told to the music.


  1. Sounds like your library does an excellent job with programming. What a wonderful idea...orchestral music and read-alouds!!!

  2. The Symphony members have done such a good job at interacting with the kids and making it interesting. They don't get long-winded with their intros or demos, and they keep the music coming. Plus the main event story - I think the parents like it even more than the kids! Looking around, you see absolute delight on all the parents faces.