A Hole in the Wall
Inspired by a Mark Twain fable, Hans Wilhelm presents four animal friends who have a falling out over what they each see in a hole in the wall. Looking through the hole, dog sees another dog and excitedly shares the news with his friends. One by one each friend peers into the hole and one by one each report seeing an animal identical to himself: warthog sees a warthog, lion sees a lion, elephant sees an elephant. How can this be? Someone’s not telling the truth. The four friends march angrily to the hole, peer inside, and low and behold they were all right. The hole isn’t a hole after all.
Wilhelm’s digital cartoon-style pencil illustrations show a range of expressions in the animals – curiosity, surprise, confusion, anger, determination, and happiness. Focused squarely on the animals, the illustrations contain no extraneous images that may divert attention. This abbreviated retelling of the Twain fable (included in the endnotes) is a suitable read-aloud for children age 3-6. It’s gratifying, not overtly instructive, allowing adults to explain the moral or not.