Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Blushful Hippopotamus, by Chris Raschka

 The Blushful Hippopotamus
Author: Chris Raschka
Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media
Publication Date: March 11, 2013
(Originally published by Scholastic in 1996)
Chris Raschka is the illustrator of Grump Groan Growl and Happy to Be Nappy, and the author/illustrator of Ring! Yo? and Yo! Yes?. His signature style of colourful abstract painting grounded by thick black line drawings brings an emotional energy to his work. His drawings seem to dance, exclaim, mope, crouch, just as his characters do. 

Several of his well-known (and lesser known) titles are being republished as digital downloads by Open Road Integrated Media, allowing his picture books to be viewed on any device. As an ebook, The Blushful Hippopotamus is solid. Although I'm not a big fan of children's ebooks (I just don't see the point. I would always, always prefer to read a print book, especially if it's a picture books for kids) the file worked well and was easy to read. 

Having said all that, I can't say that The Blushful Hippopotamus was my favourite Chris Raschka book. For one thing, it didn't seem clear enough what "blushful" meant (I mean, I know what it means, but I think if a young child was hearing this story they might have trouble picking it up from context) so it wasn't clear (or not clear enough) why Roosevelt the Blushful Hippopotamus was sad to be called that. I'm a big fan of Chris Raschka's work, but this is not the book that would have made me a fan if it were the only one I had read.

Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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