The Hare-Shaped Hole (Hardcover)
The Hare-Shaped Hole is a beautiful, touching and poignant picture book that gently explores themes of grief and loss.
Hertle and Bertle were always a pair, though one was a turtle and one was a hare.
They were utterly buddies, and best friends forever, and whenever you looked, you would find them together... until quite unexpectedly... the end came. When Hertle disappears for good, Bertle can only see a Hertle-shaped hole where his friend should be. He pleads with it, get angry with it, but the hole still won't bring his Hertle back. It seems like hope is lost... until Gerda the kindly bear finds him.
She explains that he must fill the hole with his memories of Hertle. And slowly... Bertle begins to feel a little bit better.
Powerful and moving text from children's author and poet John Dougherty is paired perfectly with warm illustrations from the wonderfully talented Thomas Docherty, in a thoughtful and sensitive approach to this difficult topic.
This moving picture book will be loved and treasured by children and adults alike. With kids, it can be used to start a gentle conversation about death and grief. And as a gift for a grieving friend, it’s the ideal gesture. Anyone who has lost a pet or loved one will be comforted by Bertle’s journey to acceptance and reassured by the fact that, eventually, things do get better.
John Dougherty was born in Larne, Northern Ireland, and not many years later they made him go to school–an experience he didn’t find entirely enjoyable. Fortunately, the joys of reading helped him through the difficult times. It’s therefore not completely surprising that when he grew up he became first a teacher (the nice sort), and then an award-winning writer of stories and poetry for children. He also writes songs, some of which he performs with First Draft, a band made up of three children’s authors and a bookseller. He now lives in England with his two children.
Thomas Docherty is an author and illustrator of children's books, who is based in Swansea. His first picture book, The Little Boat was shortlisted for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal, and he has also worked on several books with his wife Helen Docherty, including The Snatchabook and The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight. His books have been sold around the world and have eben translated into more than 25 languages.
"A beautiful, gentle, rhyming exploration of grief and mourning"—Joseph Coelho, Waterstones Children's Laureate
"Explaining grief to children is one of the hardest things of all but Hare-Shaped Hole does it beautifully. Bertle Turtle experiences every emotion as he tries to come to terms with the loss of his best friend, Hertle Hare, but eventually realises that she'll always live on in his heart and his mind. It's a book full of love, empathy and wisdom. Hare-Shaped Hole is a fantastic collaboration between author John Dougherty and illustrator Thomas Docherty and needs to find a place in primary schools across the country."—Jon Biddle
"An exceptionally tender exploration of a universal experience."—Booklist
"sweety tender book...Warmly colored artwork is a perfect complement to the story."—School Library Journal
"This book is a delight and perfect for working with children on bereavement, grief and loss […] deserves to be in every classroom in the UK" —ELSA Support
"Truly a wonderful read"—Grief Encounter
"A beautiful book"—Winston's Wish
“Beautiful guidance on how to keep the memories of those we love and miss alive within us.” —The Grief Gang Podcast
“The perfect starter book for introducing children to conversations about death and dying.”—Cumberland News
‘A touching story that navigates the stages of grief with grace, this is a beautifully written story with breath-taking illustrations. An excellent book that I’ve no doubt will bring some readers a lot of comfort.’—Books Ireland Magazine
"This is a deceptively deep story about love and loss, enlivened by charming art."—Storytime Magazine
“When Hertle the hare goes away, Bertle can only see a Hertle-shaped hole and he misses his friend. A sweet and poignant story about loss.”—The Bookseller
"The Hare-Shaped Hole tackles ideas around grief and bereavement with sensitivity and warmth, and could help you and your children start tricky conversations." —BookTrust
"Powerful and moving text... highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, kindergarten, and community library collections." —Midwest Book Review