The Hole Story

What happens when you drill a hole through your book?  Oyvind Torseter has done a remarkable thing and made a hole a fully developed character in his charming book The Hole, published by EnchantedLion Books (2012).  It’s an almost entirely wordless book, but Torseter’s visual storytelling creates a page turning adventure.  Most of the pleasure is seeing where the hole has got to – because even though it’s in the center of the book, in the illustrations it moves around dramatically.  My scans don’t do it justice, you really want to see this book up close and personal.
In deceptively simple line drawings, Torseter introduces a character moving boxes into an apartment.  When he sits down to dinner he discovers a hole in the wall.


When he investigates further, he finds the hole has moved.  This hole is a little devilish.
Suddenly we’re in a surreal world where there are people who can help with renegade holes.

After the hole is captured, it has to be transported to a lab.

Our innocent man thinks the hole is safe in his box, but the hole is having its own adventure. Page after page shows the hole touring around the city and having a great time.
It continues to do so, even after it’s been studied by experts.
I’ve shared this book with some young friends in the Bridge Meadowscommunity, and they, too, were amazed by the way the hole seemed to move around.  The story is loopy and unique and inspired great conversations about how art can play visual tricks on you.
Reba’s amazed by the hole’s trickery


It’s a well bound book that lies flat and invites investigation

This is a great book for all ages – although it’s marketed for children, it’s really a book for anyone who loves illustration. It sparked our imaginations about what the hole would do after the book was closed.

Lydia studies the drawings and tries to figure out how the hole gets around so well

Both Lydia and Reba thought it was cool enough to want to read it again.  We loved that a complex story could be told in this unique way.

When I read it, I thought of artist Paul Klee’s statement that “a line is a dot that went for a walk.”   This hole goes for a walk and a ride and it takes flight. My sense of wonder took flight, too.

Øyvind Torseter is a Norwegian artist, illustrator, comic book artist, and author. In addition to his own books, books illustrated by Torseter include the beautiful and poignant My Father’s Arms Are A Boatby Stein Erik Lunde. During his career, Torseter has emerged as one of Norway’s foremost illustrators.   We hope his books keep getting published here in America.
Enchanted Lion publishes unique and amazing books from all over the world.  Check out their website to find great books:
The most intriguing hole you’ll ever look through

Thanks for reading my blog.  I welcome any comments.

6 thoughts on “The Hole Story

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