Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Duck and Hippo in the Rainstorm by Jonathan London, illustrated by Andrew Joyner

Some popular authors stagnate, unable to move past their popular picture book characters. Others are able to grow and try new things.

This has never been a problem for Jonathan London - best-known for his classic Froggy series, he's a prolific author of many picture books, nonfiction, even a middle grade novel. My personal favorites are his Hippo picture books and one of his latest nonfiction titles, Otters Love to Play. Australian author and illustrator Andrew Joyner is also a versatile creator whose retro-style cartoons decorate many picture books and his own beginning chapter book series, Boris, a popular series in my library.

So, I was not surprised to be delighted and amused by their collaboration. Oddball friends Duck and Hippo are out for a walk in a rainstorm. But their different sizes - and temperaments - cause some problems, especially when they run into crocodiles, a pond, and a gusty wind! Fortunately, they are both good at figuring out solutions and compromise and work together to get through their adventures and back home, safe and sound.

Joyner's colorful, bright pictures are the perfect accompaniment to this classic but fresh pair of friends. Bright splashes of red, rain-washed greens, and stormy skies surround the two on their cozy adventures. The text is a little longer than I'd usually choose for a toddler storytime, but the repetition of phrases and the predictable rise and fall of the plot will hold even wiggly little ones in thrall.

Verdict: Classic but fresh, this is sure to be a delightful addition to your storytime repertoire and collection - and a gentle reminder of the importance of getting along with friends. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781503937239; Published 2017 by Two Lions; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

No comments: