cover image The Whole Hole Story

The Whole Hole Story

Vivian McInerny, illus. by Ken Lamug. Versify, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-358-12881-6

When the hole in Zia’s pocket takes on a life of its own, is she daunted? Not at all, writes debut author McInerny, striking a genial, why-the-heck-not tone: “Zia might have been afraid except that this was an imaginary hole, so it could only be as scary as she allowed, which was, in this case, not scary at all.” In short and very fast order, the “obviously wonderful hole” becomes a fishing hole, a swimming hole, a watering hole, and then a portal to the other side of the Earth, which brown-skinned Zia traverses with a newly acquired elephant friend. Zia approaches each turn with a can-do attitude and attendant wardrobe changes, driving the giddy momentum forward as an “empty, muddy hole” becomes mud stairs “and more pies than she could count.” Lamug (Petro and the Flea King) portrays Zia as a perpetual motion machine who never does anything halfway, whether she’s celebrating her mud pie–making skills with a chorus line of baking utensils or chasing a mirror image of herself. With a charismatic protagonist like this, it’s a safe bet that this story probably won’t be the last. Ages 4–7. [em]Illustrator’s agent: Andrea Cascardi, Transatlantic Agency. (Jan.) [/em]