Friday, February 10, 2017

Hippopotamister by John Patrick Green, color by Cat Caro

In a small, run-down city zoo the hippo waits eagerly for his friend Red Panda to tell him stories of life in the big city. One day, Hippo decides he can't take it any more - he's going out to live in the big city and get a job like Red Panda. Of course, he'll have to be a hippopotamister to live in the human world! However, it turns out that Red Panda has, perhaps, exaggerated a little about his careers and Hippopotamister wonders - will they ever find a job where they both fit?

The text is mostly in speech bubbles while the real story goes on behind the words, in the art. Cinematic, bold and cheerfully colored, kids who look closely will see the contrast between what Red Panda says and what is actually happening and will cheer when Hippotamister finds a place where both he and his friend fit in, as well as using all his new skills.

This seemingly simple story has both humor and heart and an underlying message about confidence and making choices. While readers can certainly enjoy it as a fun story, it would also spark great discussions about friendship, doing things for yourself, and the dynamics between the two friends.

Verdict: A fun addition to your graphic novel section for younger readers. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781626722002; Published 2016 by First Second; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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