The Hare-Shaped Hole

John Dougherty, illustrated by Thomas Docherty

Hertle Hare and Bertle Turtle have always been best friends. They do everything together. And always say ‘I’m so glad you’re my buddy! So glad you’re my friend. It’s you and me always! We’re friends to the end!’ Until one day, the end comes and Hertle finds just a hole in the air where a hare ought to be.

Hertle is devastated and his sadness and anger overwhelms him until Gerda, the kindly bear shows him how to deal with his grief and how his memories of Bertle and the times they shared will help make sure Bertle is always still with him.

This is a remarkable book! The rhyming text is beautiful and the story weaves together in such a wonderful way. The combination of John Dougherty’s words and Thomas Docherty’s stunning full colour illustrations has created a book that is incredibly special and one that once read leaves an imprint on the heart of the reader. It’s one of the most life affirming books I’ve read about death and will help children and adults deal with their grief. I also think this could be used to help children understand a relative whose mind is slipping away too. I just LOVED it but be warned – have tissues at hand when you read it!!!

Reviewed by Annie Everall