Hill and Hole is one of my favorite children’s book finds on this trip, and I’ve been searching high and low for good ones. Written by Kiwi Kyle Mewburn, it was a Storylines Notable book in New Zealand for 2011, and also won the LIANZA Russel Clarke Illustration Award and the BPANZ Best Book Design of the Year. It has very simple but poetic text and distinctive illustrations, reminding me of Eric Carle’s hand painted/collage style. The book follows the theme of wanting to be what one is not: Hill and Hole are best friends but each begins to wonder what life would be like as the other.
They ask Mole to make Hill a Hole and Hole a Hill, and he digs to make it so. They enjoy the change…for a while.
They eventually ask Wind to change them back, but Wind can only blow them to an even plain, saying “sometimes it’s easier to do things than to undo them once they’re done.” It’s really a poignant story about friendship and wondering if the grass might be greener on the other side.
The layout and design of this book are amazing. I love that it quickly rose to the top of our bedtime book pile, and one that both my two and four year old request regularly. It may be hard to find in the States- I linked it above to a New Zealand retailer as I was unable to find it at Powells or even Amazon. If they’ll send it, though, it’s well worth it.