Our first guest post! From Jess over at MalorieandElsa
THERE’S A HIPPOPOTAMUS ON OUR ROOF EATING CAKE - by Hazel Edwards, illustrated by Deborah Niland
Over 30 years ago, a book about a little girl with an imaginary hippopotamus friend was released in Australia. 20 years ago another little girl, now all grown up with a family of her own, first set eyes on that book and fell in love. Now twenty-three, that second girl handed the story down to her first born child to share a part of her imagination and childhood.
That second little girl is me, the child my two year old daughter, Malorie, and the book There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake.
There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake is an Australian classic - I don’t know of a single person my age who hasn’t owned or at least read it at some stage - and for good reason!
This is the story of a small child with a huge imagination. When she discovers there’s a hole in the roof of her house, she automatically knows why - there’s a hippopotamus on her roof eating cake! He can do whatever he likes, and what he likes to do is everything the little girl wishes she could: watch television, have a shower instead of a bath and eat cake at any time.
The story’s complexity is masked by the basic and repetitive writing style (I don’t even have to look at the book as I recite it), and the pictures whilst simple, really engage children with their block colours and heavy line work.
Malorie enjoys pointing out the things on the page, like the cake the hippo is eating or the moon and stars in the sky, and the fact that the hippo eats cake “all the time” opens up discussions about treats in moderation. When we get to that page she now says “No cake ALL THE TIME. Be sick!”.
This book is a part of me and now a part of my daughter, and I thoroughly encourage making it a part of your book collection.
This paperback book retails for AU$14.95, but you can pick it up cheaper if you shop around.
[My name is Jess, and you can read all about my book loving family on my blog, Malorie and Elsa!]
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