The Hole in the Middle (Hardcover)

By Paul Budnitz, Aya Kakeda (Illustrator)

Hyperion Books, 9781423137610, 40pp.

Publication Date: June 7, 2011



Morgan has a hole in his middle, and it gives him a strange, empty feeling -- sort of like always being a little bit hungry. His best friend Yumi tries to help, but nothing seems to make Morgan feel better. Not music, not picnics... not even reminding himself to forget about the feeling. Then Yumi gets sick, and Morgan bakes her a cake. Cheering Yumi up means that Morgan doesn't stop to think about the hole in his middle. Only then does the hole start to shrink... until it's exactly the same size as a belly button.
With bright, whimsical illustrations by up-and-coming artist Aya Kakeda, this simple, inventive tale gently reminds us that our own problems sometimes go away when we focus on our friends.

About the Author

Paul Budnitz is the founder and president of the company Kidrobot, where he designs toys, fashion apparel, and cartoons. He is also a filmmaker, photographer, and computer programmer. His inspiration for The Hole in the Middle came one day when he was sitting very still and noticed that his middle was empty. This is his first book for children. He and his family live in Boulder, Colorado.

Aya Kakeda is a fine artist and illustrator who has shown her work in galleries in New York, Hollywood, and Tokyo. Her editorial illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and many other publications. She was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. This is her picture book debut.