This book is full of holes: From underground to outer space to everywhere in between by Nora Nickum. Illus. by Robert Meganck

cover image

What is a hole?
A hollow place.
An empty space.
A part of something
where there’s nothing at all.

It is a delight to read an engaging non-fiction text that will appeal to a range of readers from young children through to adults. Possibly holes are not high on most people’s agendas but it is surprising how much they are a part of our daily lives. From the front cover featuring a large round hole with a number of diverse faces looking surprised, to the glorious endpapers in tones of blue that showcase a variety of holes, this beautifully presented book will be a joy to share with children of all ages.

From the initial question of What is a hole?, the book moves onto giving examples of a hole: on a shelf where a book has been removed, holes in nostrils, holes in clothes, holes made by animals, builders, cooks or engineers. Some are indentations where they have a bottom or open like the eye of a sewing needle or they can be found on land or underwater like blue holes deep in the ocean. Holes can be made slowly or quickly like a sinkhole or they can be deep, shallow, tiny or enormous.

There can be many holes or just one like a hoola hoop, they can be empty or full, are to get in or out of like burrows, can speed something up or slow it down. A hole can be used to breathe like a whale blowhole or beat the heat like sweating pores, can be a lifesaver or a danger, can either solve a problem or be one like the hole in the atmosphere, can be used for art or music like the sound hole in a guitar, or can be mysterious or familiar like a hole in a sock. The English language is full of holes, for example a loophole, pigeonholed, poke holes, full of holes, a square peg in a round hole.

This clever and informative book with large colour illustrations shares a simple phrase about holes on each page to engage the youngest readers, and then provides further information for older readers. It is a fascinating book that will encourage deeper thinking and wonder about our world.

Themes: Holes, Facts, Phenomena.

Kathryn Beilby