The hole by Kerry Brown
Ill. by Lucia Masciullo. ABC Books, 2018. ISBN 9780733335235
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Animals, Problem solving. Walking through the woods, a squirrel comes upon a hole on the path way she is using. Peering in she falls, and clings onto the top of the hole, hoping that she has not woken the beast that lives below. An ostrich passing by offers to help, and peering into the hole, becomes stuck as well. Then three small monkeys happen by and soon all five are hanging from the top of the hole.
Told in rhyming stanzas, full of alliteration, repetition and fun, the verses will be a treat read out loud, inviting listeners to predict the last lines of each couplet, and learning when some o the repeated words will appear, and so say them along with the reader. The use of the word, 'Then ...' at the end of some of the pages will appeal to the readers as they are asked to predict what will happen over the page.
The soft illustrations depict all the animals with affection, and the looks on their faces will appeal to the young readers, underlining the concern abut what lies beneath.
A field mouse happens by and also gives a hand, especially when the monster below stirs. The whole troupe hears its scritching sound and as it gets closer, so the readers will sit up and take notice. A wonderful resolution occurs, an they all sit down to eat what was in the squirrel's basket.
With some nods to fairy tales, the story will be a wonderful read aloud and engage children in developing ideas around problem solving.