From New Zealand, Juliette MacIver and Sarah Davis are at the top of their game with a new offering from Gecko Press.
That’s NOT a HIPPOPOTAMUS tells the story of a class of children and their teacher on a visit to Don’s Safari. The hippopotamus has gone missing and the children notice. A hunt ensues and despite many choruses of: ‘I got ‘im Miss/I got ‘im Miss/I KNEW that I could spot ‘im, Miss!’ … the hippo remains elusive. (Mind you, he is featured on every spread if you are sharp-sighted enough to spot him!)
This is a wonderful book to read aloud. The rhyme is hilarious with MacIver playing with the sound of the words as the narrative skips along. Enjoy tongue twisters, like this one, as you read: ‘Golly, Miss! A lot amiss/A missing hippopotamus’
The book is a fine example of words and pictures working seamlessly together. Davis uses humour and a mad energy in her portrayal of this motley crew and their frazzled teacher. You will recognise lots of children between the pages of this book: from the know-it-all to the plotter, the optimist to the quitter. I particularly like Liam, the quiet boy, that no-one heeds, who turns out to be a very fine hippo hunter in the end.
This is a book to be read again and again with lots of space for audience participation and a guarantee of lots of laughter. I loved it.