Children’s Book Week Review – The Hole Idea

Link to Catalogue record for The Hole Idea

The Hole Idea by Beth and Paul MacDonald and illustrated by Nathaniel Eckstrom

This book was part of the Notable list for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Awards: Early Childhood.

Finnian Jones lived in a house brimming with books. One morning, Finnian woke up eager to create a story of his own… Follow Finnian’s journey as he takes his Gran’s advice and “digs deep” to find his own ideas. Along the way he discovers much more than he expected but will he ever be able to create a story of his own?

Where do stories come from?

Where do author’s get their stories?

The main character in this book lives in a print rich house – a house with lots of books. But, one day he decides he has to come up with his own story and his gran, who looks like she might be a writer, gives him the wonderful advice that finding ideas is like digging for treasure.

I have been lucky enough to hear a few authors speak in my time as a librarian and each author has a different answer for the question but they all share that same idea.

Finnian however, is a little more literal than we as adults might be on hearing that you have to dig. He gets his shovel and starts to dig. And dig. And dig. But…nothing he finds gives him the idea…THE IDEA…until he starts to wonder and imagine.

This book is really a celebration of imagination. Nathanial Eckstrom‘s illustrations work so well with this theme and the story from the real moments to the imagined ones.

Imagination is amazing. Without imagination we wouldn’t have so many wonderful things.

Think about tablets – then watch an episode of original Star Trek and you will see their ‘padds’, someone thought that idea up and it travelled through people and innovation to become a real thing we are able to interact with right now. Look at Leonardo DiVinci’s creations – so much amazing imagination and wonder if we would have some of the things we have now if he hadn’t have imagined them first. These ideas might become tangible, they might become a computer or a room made of chocolate or they might turn into a book and fuel someone else’s imagination and inspire them to wonder and to explore and to dig deep for that idea of their own.

Encouraging imagination in children is important because it asks us to think things up, it needs us to be creative and sometimes it needs us to ignore the limitations of the world around us and dream about what could be. Imagination is a core part of excelling in so many fields from art, music, and dancing to science, technology, architecture, and theoretical fields.

But, the best thing is, that is also gives us something that is so important to us as humans – stories. Before alphabets and books and the internet, people told stories and sometimes those stories were real and sometimes they were based on the imagination of the person telling the story. I love stories and this is another book to add to my pile of books I’m really excited to share with the kids at Storytime when we are able to start up again because it reminds us all that we don’t have to have a published book to be a storyteller or to share our stories.

I would recommend this book for kids who are at that age where they are starting to make up stories through to older kids who will still enjoy it.