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Hippo Goes Bananas! Hardcover – March 1, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1 Readers know from page one of this delightfully silly cumulative tale that Hippo has a toothache, but his friends have no idea what is bothering him. Cuckoo Bird runs off to tell Monkey that Hippo is going bananas and is knocking down every tree in the jungle and Monkey runs off to tell Leopard, etc. By the time all of the animals reach Hippo, the story is that he is flooding the Serengeti with trees. His pals decide that the agitated creature has skeeter fever and needs to be cooled off in the river, so they give him a great big HEAVE-HO PUSH…. In two energetic vertical spreads, Hippo thumps and klumps down the mountainside into the water, where, finally, out pops the offending molar. The toothache is gone, but now the protagonist has a headache…. O'Malley's marker-and-colored-pencil drawings are goofy and expressive, with a variety of perspectives ranging from a close-up of Hippo's mouth, to a furiously dashing parade of animals, to the split panels of Hippo's bumpy trip down the mountain. This is great fun as a read-aloud for storytime or one-on-one sharing, and beginning readers will enjoy it as well. Shelley B. Sutherland, Niles Public Library District, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

One morning, hippo wakes up with a toothache and it hurts so much that he spins in a circle and crashes into a tree. Cuckoo Bird sees this extraordinary behavior and she flies off to tell Monkey. Of course, as so often happens when a story is told, things get rather exaggerated. Cuckoo Bird tells Monkey that Hippo is “knocking down every tree in the jungle,” and for good measure she adds “and…kicking them off the cliff.” Monkey runs off to tell Leopard the news, who hears that Hippo is not only knocking down all the trees and kicking them off the cliff, but he is also “rolling them into the river.” By the time Zebra hears about this calamity, the story is that Hippo has knocked down the trees, thrown them off a cliff, rolled them into the river, which is now dammed up so that the Serengeti is flooding! What on earth are the animals going to do about Hippo and his bizarre behavior? What will happen to their world if he is allowed to run amok? Children are sure to laugh out loud when they see how Hippo’s story grows and grows as it is retold again and again. They will also laugh when they see how the problem is resolved and what happens in the end. With comical illustrations and an amusing story, this board book is sure to be a big hit with young children. -Marya Jansen-Gruber, Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Lexile Measure: AD740L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (March 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761452249
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761452249
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 10.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #556,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Stroh VINE VOICE on February 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Wasn't too wild about the way this story unfolds. It's kind of based on the very old kids game of "gossip" and how things get distorted via word of mouth. This is the basis of Hippo Goes Bananas.

Word of mouth between jungle animals on Hippo's toothache go wild with the story getting greatly distorted. But it ends kind of weird as the jungle animals roll him off a cliff to cool him off. I was a bit put of by this as it was kind of violent and the story line never got around to mentioning about the fibs on why Hippo was going bananas. I think it give a child a wrong impression about exaggerations and how to solve a problem. Rolling a hippo down a cliff does not solve a problem even if his tooth pops out.

One very positive thing about this book is the illustrations as they are top notch. Very nice and the characters show emotions on the pages.

It's okay for kids as long as they know this is just a story and fibbing or exaggerating is not okay.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My grandson loves my tablet for reading books. He loves the story. I desire to keep him reading. I was dyslexic (still am) and had difficult time reading. I have always encouraged my children and grandchildren to push through reading for pure joy that results.
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I read this book to my 5-year-old daughter and she enjoyed it a lot. Skip forward 6 hours, she comes home from school and wants me to read this book to her again. Kids do not take things literally out of books so no need to worry about the solution the animals thought out by pushing Hippo in the water. The pictures are awesome, I love the style with black outlines and blurred background. My daughter even decided to use this story for her homework in which she had to write about a story, the beginning, middle and end of it. She wrote in her own words:
Beginning: Hippo has a toothache.
Middle: The animals push him to the water.
End: His head aches.

I think the book is adorable and the animals are beautifully drawn. We have read it 5 times already since me buying it, so that's two days. I think it held the interest of my daughter. :) So definitely, a 5 star book for me.
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"Hippo Goes Bananas" by Marjorie Dennis Murray is a cute story for the "read me a story" aged child. The premise is simple: Hippo wakes up with a toothache. In his agony he bumps into a tree. This gets the attention of another animal, who hurries to tell yet another animal. As is too often the case, the story gets exaggerated each time it is retold... and it gets retold a lot of times.

The morale of the story revolves around not inventing details to make gossip more interesting. The children will readily see the folly of adding to a story, and perhaps come to understand that 1) lying is wrong, and 2) gossiping is wrong.

I recommend this for the library of kids from age 2 on up, until they can read for themselves. Once they move on to Chapter Books they likely will lose interest in this, but that still leaves a period of several years during which "Hippo Goes Bananas" will be entertaining and educational.
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This is a "predictable book" because of the highly-patterned story line (The same thing happens over-and-over). Kids love these books but this book has the added benefit of a punch line on the last page that makes my son laugh out loud every time. It actually surprised me the first time I read it because I wasn't expecting his reaction!
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
While I usually read and review adult books, with grandsons now of reading age I decided to accept a couple of children's titles to provide a different twist on these reviews. Instead of me stumbling through the books, I thought: Why not contact the experts? So, I gave HIPPO GOES BANANAS to my seven-year-old grandson, Truman Carpenter, and told him, "Take it to school."

He returned a few days later with reviews from his first-grade classmates and their teacher, Vivian Schroeder, at University Elementary in Bloomington, Indiana. Writing individual reviews in pencil on notebook pages, nine of 11 classmates gave the book five stars, one gave it four and another gave it three.

"Several students didn't catch the `telephone' aspect of what was happening each time a different animal told Hippo's story," said Schroeder. "They just take it at a literal level, so you can get some great imagery until you realize none of those horrible things happened. Hippo just has a toothache until the accidental solution at the end."

That ending prompted the four-star assessment from one young reviewer, who wrote, "I don't like the end. The story does not tell how giraffe, leopard, elephant and everybody else helped Hippo with the headache."

The book's three-star assessment came from a discerning young reader who elaborated in a note calling HIPPO GOES BANANAS "a really good book." Because she had heard the story before, she said it was not a surprise to her.

One youngster summarized his five-star rating with the note: "I think the story is excellent because Hippo knocks down the trees. To me, Hippo is very funny."

Adding my observation, I used the book as an opportunity to discuss and explain the dangers of gossip when I first helped Truman read it.
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