Handsome Hog by Mwenye Hadithi and Adrienne Kennaway

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Handsome Hog by Mwenye Hadithi and Adrienne Kennaway

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: The story of how the warthog got his warts. Whilst Handsome Hog is a fine book in its own rights, it's impossible to escape the comparisons with Kipling's wonderful Just So Stories.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: June 2009
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0340970348

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Handsome Hog is vain, selfish and rude. He won't talk to any animal that isn't as good-looking as him. When Prickly Porcupine digs a hole for himself, Handsome Hog decides to steal it, so as to avoid getting his tusks muddy. When Lion, Cheetah and Wild Dog take exception to Handsome Hog's snide comments, it looks like it'll all end in tears. ...Or warts.

Handsome Hog has lots of promise, but the problem is that it's just so... well, Just So. Mwenye Hadithi (real name: Bruce Hobson) spins an interesting yarn, but his tale of how the warthog got his warts just makes you want to dig out your old battered copy of Kipling. His retellings of folk tales are the definitive versions, and you're immediately on the back foot if you try to compete with that.

Judged strictly on its own merits, there's lots to enjoy in Handsome Hog. There's a strong central character getting his comeuppance. There's action, adventure, and a nice chunk of slapstick humour. Adrienne Kennaway's illustrations give a sumptuous view of the African plain and its inhabitants (although some of the scenes of the animals laughing seem a bit too cartoony). Everything flows nicely, and it's a pleasant read. But - and you can't get away from it - it's not Kipling.

If you can do what I couldn't, and get past that fact, then you'll enjoy Handsome Hog. My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

Marvin's Funny Dance by Sarah McConnell is a fun tale of African animals. ROAR! by Margaret Mayo and Alex Ayliffe is lots of fun too. For a tale of comeuppance with a slightly different twist, check out That's Not Funny by Adrian Johnson. Cross Crocodile, the next book in the series, strikes a much better tone.

Buy Handsome Hog by Mwenye Hadithi and Adrienne Kennaway at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Handsome Hog by Mwenye Hadithi and Adrienne Kennaway at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Handsome Hog by Mwenye Hadithi and Adrienne Kennaway at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Handsome Hog by Mwenye Hadithi and Adrienne Kennaway at Amazon.com.


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