Published by First Second Books
, Macmillan Genres: Animals
, Children's Picture Book
, Graphic Novel
, Middle Grade
Title: Hippopotamister by John Patrick Green
- Edition: Hardcover, 96 pages
- Published: May 10, 2016 by First Second
- Characters: Hippo, Red Panda
- Rating: 5 Stars
- Goodreads and Amazon, Macmillian
The zoo isn’t what it used to be. It’s run-down and falling apart. Hippo hardly ever gets any visitors. So he decides to set off for the outside with his friend Red Panda. To make it in the human world, Hippo will have to become a Hippopotamister: he’ll have to act like a human, get a job, and wear a hat as a disguise. He’s a good employee, whether he’s a construction worker, a hair stylist, or a sous chef. But what he really needs is a job where he can be himself.
About the Author
John Patrick Green grew up on Long Island and has worked in New York City since graduating from the School of Visual Arts with a degree in graphic design. He was the comics consultant for Disney Adventures magazine, where he wrote and often drew the popular Last Laugh feature. John is the co-creator and illustrator of the graphic novel series Jax Epoch and the Quicken Forbidden and Teen Boat!, both with writer Dave Roman. He has also worked as a writer, illustrator, or designer on comics and graphic novels for Nickelodeon Magazine, DreamWorks, Scholastic Graphix, and DC Comics. John lives in Brooklyn with zero cats and way too many LEGOs.
Hippopotamister is a charming story about two animal friends, Hippo and Red Panda. Hippo finds himself tired of his surroundings and without purpose in a zoo that is falling apart and has no visitors. Red Panda is also done with living at the zoo and convinces Hippo that he could find both of them jobs in the “outside” world. As the story proceeds, we see a series of different types of jobs that they both try to do. Hippopotamister has lots of silly parts especially with how poorly the Red Panda does at the different jobs which is sure to make even the oldest of readers giggle. Hippo seems to have a natural gift for doing a great job at just about anything he tries, but nothing seems to quite fit (plus Red Panda keeps getting them fired due to his poor work). Young readers are sure to delight in the silliness of this book but there are good lessons and morals cleverly sneaked into this story by its talented author John Patrick Green.
The pacing of the story is just right, and though 96 pages might seem like a lot but they actually fly by. The story is so engaging that there should be no issue with getting through it in one sitting. The artwork though seemingly simple is bold, detailed and colorful. I can see why the illustrations would greatly appeal to lots of readers. I loved that when you reach the end of the story Hippo does find a purpose for himself that also helps his friends at the zoo. He even finds something for Red Panda to do and that fits him perfectly. The drawing lesson at the end of the book will engage young readers to draw their own Hippo and Red Panda and to follow their own creative whim as to what adventures the Hippo and Red Panda could have next.
Hippopotamister is a fantastic and sweet story about friendship, never giving up, the importance of how everything we learn could one day be useful to us and so much more. Filled with hilarious shenanigans and a creative outlet for readers of all ages, Hippopotamister is sure to be a hit. I highly recommend it.
**A special thank you to Nori from Read Write Love 28 and Gina from First Second Books /Macmillan for the opportunity to read this adorable book.
Don’t forget to check out the other blogs on the tour!
May 10, 2016: Perusing Pages
May 11, 2016: Pages Unbound
May 12, 2016: Melanie Hays
May 13, 2016: Midwestern Book Nerd
May 14, 2016: Charmingly Simple
May 15, 2016: Novel Cravings
May 16, 2016: Bookish Babes
May 17, 2016: Bumbles and Fairy-Tales
May 18, 2016: Book Stacks Amber
May 19, 2016: Lyseofllyr
May 20, 2016: M & Em Read
May 21, 2016: Trisha Jenn Reads
May 22, 2016: Twirling Book Princess
May 23, 2016: The Whimsical Mama
May 25, 2016: The Vivacious Hobo
May 26, 2016: Fangirl Confessions
May 27, 2016: The Plot Bunny
May 28, 2016: Reading With Cupcakes
May 29, 2016: Hermit Librarian
May 30, 2016: The Kindred Reader
May 31, 2016: Polished Page Turners
*I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.