I received this book from First Second Books in exchange for an honest review. Welcome to the Hippopotamister Blog Tour hosted by the lovely Nori at ReadWriteLove28.
Synopsis: The zoo isn’t what it used to be. It’s run-down and falling apart. Hippo hardly ever gets any visitors. So he decides to set off for the outside with his friend Red Panda. To make it in the human world, Hippo will have to become a Hippopotamister: he’ll have to act like a human, get a job, and wear a hat as a disguise. He’s a good employee, whether he’s a construction worker, a hair stylist, or a sous chef. But what he really needs is a job where he can be himself.
My rating: 5 stars out of 5
This book is absolutely adorable. It is the perfect combination of silly, funny, and sweet! I can’t wait to read it with my nephew.
John Patrick Green has done a phenomenal job crafting an early reader version of the graphic novel.
This book is beautiful. The illustrations are colourful and intricate without being overwhelming. There is a simplicity in the design that includes finely tuned layers that create complete images to tell the story in visual ways.
Each spread has between one and four panels and so is easy to follow along. There is pleasant variety between spread layouts to move the story along and maintain a fun pace.
The colours embody the mood of the story as it changes and progresses from a gloomy rundown zoo to various workplace and then to a vibrant and celebratory conclusion.
Overall, I just want to keep slowly flipping through the pages. This book is definitely designed to give kids lots to look at and keep their attention by always providing something new to find in the illustrations.
Hippo follows his friend Red Panda around town trying out different jobs. It’s silly and fun to imagine a hippopotamus disguising himself, and with only a hat, at that! But it’s adorable and I can see the giggles coming from kids as they follow Hippo’s adventures through different jobs and the silly mess-ups that he and Red Panda find themselves in.
Easy to read, the story includes mostly dialogue (great for funny read-aloud voices!) with a little bit of narration here and there. As is key for comic books / graphic novels, it relies on the visuals to give details and movement – and comedy.
The story is funny. But it’s also sweet. Hippo and Panda learn a lot about themselves. Hippo learns about his skills and about the potential he has to make a difference, and help his friends and his zoo. That said, it’s not a preachy story at all. It’s simply fun, funny, and moves at a good pace toward a satisfying ending.
About the Author
John Patrick Green grew up on Long Island and has worked in New York City since graduating from the School of Visual Arts with a degree in graphic design. He was the comics consultant for Disney Adventures magazine, where he wrote and often drew the popular Last Laugh feature. John is the co-creator and illustrator of the graphic novel series Jax Epoch and the Quicken Forbidden and Teen Boat!, both with writer Dave Roman. He has also worked as a writer, illustrator, or designer on comics and graphic novels for Nickelodeon Magazine, DreamWorks, Scholastic Graphix, and DC Comics. John lives in Brooklyn with zero cats and way too many LEGOs.
A Super Silly Read For All
If you (and any kids in your life) like to laugh, then this is a great book to add to your shelf. It will inspire imagination and dress-up and games and silliness.
This book could even be used by teachers to talk about different occupations and about animals and zoos.
I really, really enjoyed this book, hence the five star rating. Seriously. It made me giggle. Out loud. My husband thought I was crazy.
Does Hippopotamister look like a book you’d enjoy?
Check out the rest of the blog tour stops too!
May 9, 2016: Indie Tot
May 10, 2016: Perusing Pages
May 11, 2016: Pages Unbound
May 12, 2016: Melanie Hays
May 13, 2016: Midwestern Book Nerd
May 14, 2016: Charmingly Simple
May 15, 2016: Novel Cravings
May 16, 2016: Bookish Babes
May 17, 2016: Bumbles and Fairy-Tales
May 18, 2016: Book Stacks Amber
May 19, 2016: Lyseofllyr
May 20, 2016: M & Em Read
May 21, 2016: trishajennreads
May 22, 2016: Twirling Book Princess
May 23, 2016: The Whimsical Mama
May 25, 2016: The Vivacious Hobo
May 26, 2016: Fangirl Confessions
May 27, 2016: The Plot Bunny
May 28, 2016: Reading With Cupcakes
May 29, 2016: Hermit Librarian
May 30, 2016: The Kindred Reader
May 31, 2016: Polished Page Turners