There's a hippopotamus on our roof eating cake by Hazel Edwards
Illus. by Deborah Niland. Penguin Random House Australia, 2020. 40th
Anniversary Edition, ISBN: 9781760896270. 32 pp.
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Some picture books prove to be keepers, handed down from generation to generation and this is one of those highly prized picture books that are treasured by families. Highlighting the power of the imagination, a little girls knows why there is a hole in the roof - there is a hippopotamus there eating cake and that hippopotamus can do whatever he likes. He doesn't like baths so is having a shower, he eats cake all the time and when the little girl has a bandage on her knee he has one too. And no one growls at him because he is too big.
The text is delivered in short descriptive sentences on one side of the page and these bring the narrative to life. It is wonderful to read aloud and so easy to imagine the little girl pointing out all the things that the hippopotamus can do that she is not allowed to do. The illustrations by Deborah Niland are wonderful too. The little girl is featured under the text, and is quite small in comparison to the very large, pink hippo on the opposite page. The expressions on both are priceless and children with have lots of fun looking at the bold colours and laughing at the antics of the hippo.
This 40th anniversary edition has a beautiful felt pink hippo on the cover for little hands to touch and feel, making it even more memorable.
It is not difficult to see why this has become a children's classic, and I have no doubt that it will be kept for the next generation of young children to laugh over and enjoy.