Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Review: The Whole Hole Story

A young Black girl is climbing a ladder that leads to a hole. There is confetti type things and colorful air breezing out of the hole.
The Whole HOLE Story 
Author: Vivian McInerny 
Illustrator: Ken Lamug 
Publisher: Versify 
Pages: 32 
Review copy: Digital copy via illustrator 
Availability: On shelves now 

Summary: Zia is used to the hole in her pocket—she frequently fills it with frogs and other objects. And as it gets bigger and bigger, she starts to wonder what might happen . . . if she fell right through. Would she cover it with a blanket to catch an elephant, or dig a tunnel to the other side of the world? The possibilities are endless, and readers will love following Zia’s adventurous imagination from beginning to end.

My review: What a fantastical adventure and a great one to add to my list of portal books. Zia travels through this delightful world of her own making. It's like a dream sequence, but she has determined that it will not be a scary place so all is cheerful.

The illustrations are playful and Zia's expressions are a lot of fun. It would be a great mentor text for imaginative writing or illustrating. It seems like a book that would really inspire readers to think about what they would do if they had their own portal world to explore. 

Recommendation: This will be a fun addition to any collection particularly if you are looking for fantasy picture books. I'm happy to have another example of portal fantasy to share with students during our genre unit. 

Possible Pairings: 
Picture Books
Another by Christian Robinson
Door by JiHyeon Lee
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
Journey, Quest, and Return by Aaron Becker
Lift by Minh Lê illustrated by Dan Santat
Polo and the Dragon by Régis Faller
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett illustrated by Jon Klassen
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Graphic novels
Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi
Glitch by Sarah Graley
Mal & Chad: Food Fight by Stephen McCranie
Paths & Portals by Gene Luen Yang
Where's Halmoni? by Julie Kim

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
The Barren Grounds by David Robertson
Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott
The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi
Heir Apparent by Vivan Vande Velde
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Sal & Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Alberto Hernandez
The Serpent's Secret by Sayantani DasGupta
Sisters of the Neversea by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

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