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Zippo the Super Hippo by Kes Gray; illustrated by Nikki Dyson (2015)

[Published by MacMillan]

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I am no child psychologist, but I can tell from the cover alone that Zippo is going to be a hit with the young ‘uns. “How Lucy? How do you know this?” Well team, I can guarantee that any book with the phrase “Bottom Power” on the cover, which features a large hippo in underpants will be instant “read it again” material.

Zippo the hippo has a hankering for being super, for having a super power to be more precise. By process of elimination, he and his friend Roxi hit upon flying as the perfect power for him.

“You’re right!” said Zippo. “If I could fly, I could get a super cape and some super boots and I could fly 20150729_082518around the world being Zippo the Super Hippo!” Zippo’s attempts at launching himself elegantly in the air fail miserably, ending each time with a giant splat, and an animal squashed beneath his admirable bottom. In good news, it turns out that super bottoms can be quite a weapon against misbehaving animals. And so, Zippo the Super Hippo is born.

There are all sorts of goodies hidden in the pages of this beautifully illustrated, hilariously told story. Come on down Zippo, we’ve saved you a place in the inner circle of friends here at myfriendlucy!

Check out Zippo the Super Hippo at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Zippo the Super Hippo from Fishpond.

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How many legs? by Kes Gray; illustrated by Jim Field (2015)

[Published by Hodder Children’s Books]
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One of my favourite books of last year was the hilarious Oi Frog by Kes Gray and Jim Field. I opened How many legs? with that tricky old combination of anticipation tinged with trepidation, hoping their latest offering would be equally great. Phew, it’s okay team, you can stop holding your breath, we have another winner!

In a room ready for a party stands a small boy. He poses the question, “How many legs would there be if in this room there was only me?” That’s the easy part, from that point onwards my mental calculator started to fry, “What would all the legs come to if a frog hopped in on a kangaroo?” It was the insects that did me in, “Why would the number stay the same if a slug, a snail and a maggot came? How would the number multiply if a centipede came wiggling by?”

Luckily the book finishes with a leg summary and the answer for anyone else who finds themselves drowning in feet. Your audience will love this brilliant rhyming tale complete with bright fun illustrations and the added bonus of an extreme mental challenge. Enjoy.

Check out How many legs? at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy How many legs? from Fishpond.

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Oi Frog! by Kes Gray; illustrated by Jim Field (2014)

oi frogSome picture books percolate for a while before I’m ready to unleash my review on the world. I feel that I’m jumping the gun here today with this review but I’ve been wanting to include Oi Frog! for weeks. Imagine me sitting here with a very dopey smile on my face holding a copy of Oi Frog! This book is so great I’m struggling to get it together; here goes…

Did you know that frogs sit on logs? The only problem is, this particular frog really doesn’t want to sit on a log, it’s just not very comfortable. The cat however insists it’s the only place the frog can sit, because… it’s the rules. The cat and the frog then have one of the greatest conversations ever.

“What do seals sit on?” asked the frog.

“Don’t you know anything?” said the cat. “Seals sit on wheels, doves sit on gloves, newts sit on flutes, lizards sit on wizards and apes sit on grapes.”

More and more rhyming pairs flow forth, matched with marvellous illustrations. The mix of rhyme and conversation is beautifully balanced and the whole book is so ridiculous that it instantly earned its place amongst my favourites.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

Check out Oi Frog! at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Oi Frog! from Fishpond.