Review Blog

Apr 08 2010

Hooray! There's a hippopotamus on our roof having a birthday party by Hazel Edwards

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Penguin, 2010. ISBN 978 0670072637.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the now classic tale, There's a hippopotamus on our roof eating cake, Puffin has republished the original along with another tale by Hazel Edwards and illustrated by Deborah Niland, concerning  that same old hippo. This time the story revolves around the young boy getting ready for the birthday party. Each double page spread has the boy's preparations on the left hand side, contrasting with those preparations by the hippo on the roof for his birthday party on the right hand side page.
As mum and the boy mix the ingredients for the cake, the hippo on the roof is licking the bowl, as each of the children tries on different costumes for the party, so too, the hippo tries out different costumes, as the children play hide and seek, the hippo hides, and so on, all making delightful contrasts, one page to the other. Readers will love the hippo and the child all over again, seeking out things on each page to smile and laugh about, while reading the straightforward prose, which brings a smile to the face through its economy and what is left unsaid.
Fran Knight

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