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There Was a Hole

Lily has a hole. It eats her joy, makes her angry, and--no matter what Daddy does to try to help--it just keeps growing. So Lily retreats. But a friend lets her in on a secret (he has a hole too!) and shows her the best way to repair holes: spend time on friends, family, the things you love, yourself, and kindness. Those patches don't make the hole go away, but they help. A lyrical and age-appropriate story for learning to cope with grief and loss.

Format List Price Your Price Qty
$17.99 $17.99
$28.99 $28.99
Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 1
Dewey E
Lexile 390L
ATOS Reading Level
Guided Reading Level M
Language English
Publisher Sleeping Bear Press
Available Formats Hardcover (9781534111226), PDF (9781534197879), Hosted ebook (9781534197893)
Copyright 2022
Number of Pages 32
Dimensions 9 x 9
Graphics Full-color illustrations

Kirkus Reviews - There Was a Hole

“Lehrhaupt sensitively handles a common emotional side effect of healing from grief: worrying that moving on means forgetting…By showing Lily beginning to recover due in part to the help of a friend, Lehrhaupt demonstrates that kids have the ability to help themselves and others heal from loss…An insightful portrayal of childhood loss and healing.”

STARRED REVIEW Booklist - There Was a Hole

“O’Neill’s gentle illustrations add to the story’s growing feeling of connection and hope, bringing both Lily’s feelings and her patches to life. Although the pictures hint vaguely at a more specific loss, the spare language is broad and inclusive. This book can be a tremendous help to children who have big, difficult-to-manage feelings for any reason, including grief or depression. Despite the weighty subject matter, the story has a calming effect. For many children, it will help start the process of patching their own hole.”

School Library Journal - There Was a Hole

“With simple language and short sentence structure to define what loss of any nature can feel like for a child, this quick-paced story is an accessible example of how to think about and manage possible steps towards coping with sadness and pain in a way that fills the “hole” with friends, family, self-care, and positive change. In the right adult hands, it will lead to further discussion with about how others, including professionals, can be critical supports and advisors of coping strategies. Purposely nonspecific about the type of “hole” the main character feels, this story presents a means to open a dialogue with children about learning to notice and find words for painful feelings, as well as a lesson in the emotional support others can offer.”

Author: Adam Lehrhaupt

Adam Lehrhaupt is the award-winning picture book author of more than a dozen books. He lives outside Philadelphia with his family.

Illustrator: Carrie O'Neill

Carrie O’Neill works in both digital and traditional media, incorporating handmade textures in gouache and ink into her illustrations. She lives in Olympia, Washington.

Full-color illustrations