Continuing with the hippopotamus theme (if you know our younger daughter, please don’t mention this adorable Angel Dear hippo pillow… She asked for it for Christmas so doesn’t know that it’s in our house yet!), today I bring you one of our favorite books to read aloud: That’s NOT a Hippopotamus!, by Juliette Maclver and illustrated by Sarah Davis.
One thing I know that stresses many parents out is having to choose a book to read aloud to their small children’s classes… Enter terrifically fun read-aloud picture books like Escargot, The Circus Ship, and That’s NOT a Hippopotamus!. All are silly, guaranteed to make small children laugh, and all have an element of audience participation, guaranteed to keep them engaged. In fact, my girls love these so much that when I had to choose a book to read to our younger’s pre-kindergarten class for DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) Day a few weeks ago, we unanimously chose That’s Not a Hippopotamus! for the read-aloud book.
That’s NOT a Hippopotamus! is the story of a field trip to Don’s Safari gone awry, when Don himself can’t find his hippopotamus! Have no fear, though, because the class happens to be composed of “the greatest band of hippo-hunters in the land!” Unfortunately, no one but Liam really seems to know what a hippopotamus looks like…
Maclver has written this in nearly-perfect rhythm and rhyme, so it’s easy to read aloud, AND she’s included some repeated phrases that children love to read with you (or sing or shout, depending how excited they get about the hippo-hunting adventure that they’re on). Davis has also included glimpses of the evasive hippo throughout the book, which thrilled my girls when they discovered him hiding on one page. We had to go back to the beginning to find him throughout the rest of the book!
If you liked this book, check out these other silly and fairly interactive read-aloud picture books:
- Escargot by Dashka Slater, illustrated by Sydney Hanson
- The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen
- The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary An Hoberman, illustrated by Marla Frazee
What is your favorite book to read out loud to a group of children?
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