Monday, April 8, 2013

Hippospotamus by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross (Andersen Children's Books)

We're back in the review saddle with a force to be reckoned with - the combined comical powers of Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross, excelling at what they do best - coming up with slightly gross but endlessly entertaining books where animals often suffer from all-too-human problems.

The cover illustration for this book says it all. A poor hippo, a rather large bottomed hippo at that - has a rather nasty problem. A sizeable spot on that sizeable bot.

Just like in real life, people are never backwards at coming forwards with lots of helpful advice on how to deal with a boil on your bum and poor Hippo listens to some quite good, some quite bad, and some downright alarming suggestions on how to deal with 'le blemish dans la derriere!'

It takes a rather clever little boy to get right to the root of the problem in a rather amusing (if slightly stomach-churning) twist.

If your children are anything like Charlotte, they never get tired of anything slightly lavatorial and of course it's obvious that Willis and Ross know this only too well! Fast paced, great rhymes (proving that Jeanne Willis can still cut it when it comes to an amusing couplet or three) and hilarious illustrations, we just hope this doesn't feel all too familiar to any of our readers. Ooch!

Charlotte's Best Bit: The crocodile's miracle cure suggestion. Eye watering!

Daddy's favourite bit: I loved the collection of expressions Ross gives the poor hippo. Sublime!
Liked this? See also "Who's in the Loo" and "Misery Moo" too!

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