Hippospotamus by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross

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Hippospotamus by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross

Buy Hippospotamus by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Very silly, very funny, great for sharing with little ones who'll enjoy the idea of a spotamus on a bottamus!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: September 2012
Publisher: Andersen
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1849394031

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Poor hippo has found a spot on her bottom. All of her friends have an opinion about what might be wrong with her, ranging from measles to hippopox or perhaps an allergy to cake! They all have suggestions, too, as to how hippo might get rid of the spot and poor hippo tries them all. Will anything ever get rid of that nasty spot?

With Tony Ross as illustrator you're always safe in the knowledge that the story you're about to read is going to be fun! This story is no exception, with poor old hippo, and her rather large bottom, being inspected by her friends as they all try to diagnose her spot. There are weasels and lions, rhinos and crocodiles, all willing to take a look. I enjoyed Hippo's perturbed expressions throughout as everyone inspects her bottom! I also liked the gleeful way in which everyone joins in in deciding what's wrong, especially the picture of lion lifting up Hippo's tail and using a magnifying glass to look at the spot!

The story is also funny and scuttles along at a fast, rhyming pace, accompanied by the fabulous illustrations. I must confess, I do get annoyed sometimes with rhyming stories which use made-up words, for example when Hippo is attempting fox's cure we're told But Potamus got hotamus, grumpimus and grotamus and still she had the spotamus. I can understand the humour that arises from the silly made-up words, but at the same time I do find myself cringing a little, hoping that my daughter understands the difference between the real words and those created for the humour of the poem. Actually she loved it, and sensed the silly side of things, but I still felt a little uncomfortable reading some of the words aloud. It's quite possible this a personal quirk, but I just thought I'd mention it in case anyone else is a little sensitive about these things!

All the different suggestions of diseases are very funny, as are the suggested cures. I liked the Hippo's sister who suggests it is a blister and should be popped right away, and in the picture she's holding a pair of pliers, ready to pop the spot! I also like the snake's suggestion who, believing the Hippo is allergic to cake suggests that Hippo eats lettuce for a week. In this picture poor Hippo is nibbling at a lettuce leaf, and snake has a rather large lump down his throat which looks very much like a large slice of cake!

In case you're worried, poor old Hippo turns out to be absolutely fine. I won't reveal the riddle of the spot, but it's a brilliant ending and very funny. This would be great to read with older toddlers and those in the early years at school. Any small child who enjoys hearing the word bottom, really, will get a kick out of this!

For another funny story with a hippo try When I Woke Up I Was A Hippopotamus by Tom MacRae and Ross Collins or you might enjoy another Willis and Ross collaboration with Big Bad Bun.

Buy Hippospotamus by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Hippospotamus by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross at Amazon.co.uk

Buy Hippospotamus by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Hippospotamus by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross at Amazon.com.


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