WHEN I WOKE UP I WAS A HIPPOPOTAMUS by Tom McRae

WHEN I WOKE UP I WAS A HIPPOPOTAMUS

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

Collins’ artwork serves as an immediate draw to this rambunctious tale of a comically shape-shifting young boy.

Energetic illustrations, laden with emotional expressiveness, chronicle the various creatures and things into which the boy morphs, reflecting his changing moods throughout a day. He wakens as a rhinoceros, because, as everybody knows, rhinos don’t like to get out of bed. Once up, he changes into a robot, because robots don’t particularly like breakfast. At school, he is a monkey before becoming a monster, and so on from there. MacRae’s rhymed text is a happy, singsong affair with a few challenging atonal moments that will get readers thinking about meter in poetry. There is a good deal of “telling off” in the tale—which evidently is an expression less vibrant in England, where MacRae lives, than in the United States, where something like “I couldn’t sit and listen, / and my work was rather slack. / And when the teacher told me off— / I told her off right back!” might be thought a little cheeky for even a monkey. But the boy becomes milquetoast upon a change of form in his parents—here there be dragons—shape-shifting himself into a kid, and a sweet one at that.

A sweet, if literal exploration of changing moods, it will likely have readers imagining their own transformations. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7613-8099-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Andersen Press USA
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2011




MORE BY ROSS COLLINS

ChildrenROBOT RUMPUS! by Sean Taylor
by Sean Taylor
ChildrenSPIDER STAMPEDE by Ali Sparkes
by Ali Sparkes
ChildrenFLY FRENZY by Ali Sparkes
by Ali Sparkes

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenHEAT WAVE by Eileen Spinelli
by Eileen Spinelli
ChildrenBIG AND SMALL, ROOM FOR ALL by Jo Ellen Bogart
by Jo Ellen Bogart
ChildrenYELLOW SUBMARINE by The Beatles
by The Beatles