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Monday, March 20, 2017

Duck and Hippo in the Rainstorm, written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Andrew Joyner. two lions, Amazon. Thomas Allen & Son, 2017. $ 25.99 ages 3 and up

"They puddle-jumped together.
They plopped through mud


And they dropped a stick off
a bridge and watched it rush
on down the creek.


Happy first day of spring, everyone!

When I was teaching kindergarten my students loved Jonathan London's Froggy books. There have been many over the years. Froggy had some of the same experiences his young fans had. As with series books, they liked knowing a little more about Froggy and his family each time a new book was added to our classroom library. Now, we have this first book in a brand new series. I do hope you are happy to meet Duck and Hippo whose adventures will continue with another adventure in August, Duck and Hippo Lost and Found.

Although we still have snow on the ground and March is not over yet, knowledge that it is the first day of spring brings hope for April showers, May flowers, and a return to warmth. Kids like nothing better than splashing through puddles, sailing inanimate objects in the flowing waters created during a spring thaw, or following a rainstorm. Meet Duck and Hippo as they enjoy those same things together.

They are friends, and they are very different ... in looks and in personality. Those differences are cause for concern occasionally. Hippo, elegantly dressed and enjoying a spot of tea, is interrupted by a knock at the door and an invitation from a friend. Duck wants Hippo to join him for a walk in the rain. Duck has an umbrella, Hippo has rain boots. They head off with the agreement that Duck will share his umbrella!

"But there was no room for Hippo!
He tried walking in front of Duck.
   But that didn't work.

He tried walking behind Duck.
   But that didn't work.

Then Duck stood on Hippo's feet,
and Hippo held the umbrella.
   And that worked just fine!"

Silly situations, repetitive language, appealing new characters, and the promise of future adventure ... what more can we ask of the prolific Mr. London? Andrew Joyner adds expressive, impressive artwork to assure that little readers have a budding new friendship to appreciate and enjoy.

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