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THE HOLE STORY by Eve Merriam


by Eve Merriam & illustrated by Ivan Chermayeff

Pub Date: May 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-671-88353-4
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

A clever poem teamed with tremendous design sophistication illuminates a simple idea for the very young. An oversized concept/poetry book begins with a novelty cover: Four holes through the front board reveal yellow, red, and white buttons that form the features of a cat's face. Opening the cover, readers see dozens of brilliantly colored buttons scattered across the endpapers, each, of course, with holes in it. Almost every o in the text is a solid circle, which gives the appearance of a hole, and the collage illustrations (cut-outs on full-color photographs) contain holes upon holes, like the picture of Swiss cheese on a round cracker that, upon close inspection, also has holes in it! In ``holes for candles,'' the o in each word is formed by the round, empty socket of a birthday candleholder atop a chocolate cake, which in turn sits on an intricate lacepaper doily pierced with hundreds of holes. The visual element is essential to this poem; how else to decipher ``holes for drinking'' without the photo (taken from above) of straws stuck in the mouths of soda bottles or ``to keep from sinking'' without the collage of a hand emerging from the center of a round life preserver? It's all first rate. (Picture book/poetry. 3-7)