A first step into the world of ontology, picture-book style!
Two holes, Hamish and Hermione, try to find a new home when their Swiss cheese is eaten by mice. With nowhere now to live and wishing to be “useful,” they leave the “dreary kitchen” of the royal palace to search for other meaningful locales. The king does not appreciate Hamish’s new location on his sock. Hermione chooses the queen’s knickers, and she is equally distressed. Remember, they are holes. Their choices spiral into a comedy of errors as bike tires deflate, boats sink, and balloons burst. “Everyone thinks we are a nuisance,” says a frustrated yet confident Hamish. “But holes can be useful too.” Ingman’s hand-painted blotches of color show a surprising array of emotions with just two eyes and a mouth each, an occasional blushing cheek, and stick arms and legs. These two characters (portrayed as corporeal even though holes are defined as “nothing”) change color to match their surroundings, like chameleons. They are most frequently portrayed running away, Gingerbread Man–style, from surprised royalty and castle staff, all white. Will they ever find a place to call home? What objects need holes? Bright’s text deftly captures the quest for and fulfillment of true usefulness while allowing for more complex subtleties to percolate.
A good choice for budding philosophers. (Picture book. 4-9)