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Hippopotamister Hardcover – May 10, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 1–4—In this colorful step into the graphic novel format for younger middle grade readers, pages with panels are interspersed with full-page illustrations in a humorous tale of friendship and adventure. Red Panda and Hippopotamus live in a run-down zoo until Red Panda decides to leave and get a job among humans, eventually convincing Hippo to join him. Red Panda gives Hippo the moniker "Hippopotamister," claiming this will help him fit in with humans. Silliness ensues as the two try a variety of jobs, almost all of which Hippopotamister miraculously excels at while Red Panda fails spectacularly. So many failures have to add up to success eventually, don't they? Indeed, Hippopotamister brainstorms a way to use skills developed in the human world to help his animal friends back at the zoo. Readers will root for modest Hippopotamister as he loyally tolerates his bossy friend. Drawn in graphite and digitally colored, the artwork is bright, clear, and enticing. In one charming spread, Hippo mopes on a rock in the urban zoo; his worried expression turns to enlightenment as the sun sets, the sky darkens, and city lights come on in the background. While the text includes a smattering of sophisticated words, the characters and situations will appeal to younger readers, making this an attractive option for children who read at or above grade level but still prefer books with colorful pictures, funny characters, and innocent story lines. VERDICT A fun and engaging selection for readers just venturing into graphic novels.—Suzanne LaPierre, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Included in School Library Journal's "Best of 2016" list.
"Clever and fun!" ―Raina Telgemeier, author of Smile
"Hip, hip, hooray for Hippopotomister!" ―Lauren Castillo, author of Nana in the City
"Delightfully sweet. Three cheers for Hippopotamister!" ―Jennifer & Matthew Holm, co-creators of Babymouse & Squish
"At it's core, Hippopotomister is a touching friendship tale in the tradition of Frog and Toad and Robot Dreams. But this book will also serve as the perfect roadway for those kids looking for a path from picture books to graphic novels." ―Nick Bruel, creator of the Bad Kitty series
"Green’s (Teen Boat!) characters burst with personality, his comedic sense shines, and his visual storytelling skills are solid." ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A charming book with a solid message about changing one's life through hard work, imagination, and openness to new experiences." ―Kirkus Reviews
"A fun and engaging selection for readers just venturing into graphic novels." ―School Library Journal
Top customer reviews
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I like the way that the two friends interact. Hippopotamister needs the inspiration and example of Red Panda to decide to try something new, even though he’s clearly got abilities. I also like how the story is more than just a series of wacky pictures, pulling together into something more substantial. Even Red Panda eventually finds the right job for himself.
The art is evocative, cartoony but recognizable, with a slightly exaggerated spectrum of colors. Kids will like seeing the zoo animals take on jobs ranging from construction worker to hairdresser to chef. The two-page spreads where Hippo and Red Panda’s results are revealed are both funny and lovely. And readers of very popular YA graphic novels may recognize Hippo’s patient when he’s a dentist.
At the end, there are how-to-draw pages for Hippopotamister and Red Panda. (The publisher provided an advance digital review copy. Review originally posted at ComicsWorthReading.com.)
Green’s dismal zoo with limp animals quickly turns into an active story about different jobs, wild and wonderful ways to screw them up, visual gags, and plenty of laughs. The ending of the book is entirely satisfying, even as readers realize where it is headed. It is a pleasure to watch it play out visually and see Hippo come into his own with his myriad of skills.
The illustrations in this graphic novel are welcoming and fun. Filled with bright colors and plenty of action, they have a wonderful feel to them. Especially effective are the images done in series with Red Panda and then Hippo trying hat after hat and job after job. The entire book is filled with a jolly humor.
Funny and lighthearted, this book also has a cheerful depth to it which is immensely satisfying. Appropriate for ages 6-9.
Pros: This graphic novel has cute illustrations and lots of gentle humor, with a satisfying ending. Kids will enjoy learning how to join Hippopotamister and Red Panda on the last page.
Cons: The lengthy job search got a bit repetitious.
Most recent customer reviews
This was a fun book with cute illustrations, easy and fun dialogue,...Read more