I am so incredibly excited to be sharing about this amazing picture book with you today and participating in this blog tour. I can’t even begin to describe just how fun this book is, but before I do that…here’s a little bit of information about this awesome picture book.
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.
This was such a fun book that I found myself laughing out loud at (meaning I can only imagine how a child would react to the things happening in this book). It truly put a smile on my face. Some of my favorite things about this book…
- Illustrations. The illustrations in this book were adorable. There was so much to see in each and every picture. So many aspects of the world of Hippopotamister and Red Panda to explore that was so wonderfully done through pictures. The pictures weren’t over the top. Though there were things to discover, it wasn’t to the point where it was overwhelming.
- Jobs/Occupations. This book explored so many jobs and occupations. As the reader you get to watch as Hippopotamister and Red Panda try out a lot of different jobs to see what they are good at and where they feel they can really be themselves. The jobs are all over the place, and some of them not exactly what I would expect a hippo and red panda to attempt. And if you think about it, that gives children the idea that they should trying anything and everything until they find what is right for them and for their talents, which kind of leads into my next point…
- Life Lessons. I don’t always want to think too much into the lessons that can be pulled out of a children’s book, because sometimes you just want to read something for fun. However, this book did have some important life lessons in my eyes. First, there was the lesson of trying new things. Obvioulsy this was a new world for Hippopotamister and Red Panda, but they tried each and every new job without any fear. They may have failed, but they got up and tried something else completely new to them. This is also a book in finding how to use your talents. Red Panda and Hippopotamister found what they were talented at and what they weren’t, and found ways to use those in their jobs by the end of the book. I think that these lessons are important for children to see, but they were done in a way that was fun.
On top of those three points this book had a fun and simple dialogue that children could read on their own or with an adult. It was funny and I can definitely see kids getting a real kick out of it. Also, I seemed to totally skim over the fact that one of the characters was a red panda, because I freaked out a bit when I started to read it. Red pandas are my favorite animal!
Make sure not to miss out on this fun picture book! It’s a great introduction to graphic novels for a young age, and it will give them laughs along the way!
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.