Thursday, May 9, 2019

Review - The Blushful Hippopotamus

The Blushful Hippopotamus
by Chris Raschka
Date: 1996
Publisher: Open Road Media Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

It’s not easy being a blushful hippopotamus

Baby hippo Roosevelt tries hard to ride a bike, to count, and to remember the right names of things. When he falls down, forgets a number, or calls a buffalo a “buggalo,” Roosevelt gets embarrassed. His cheeks turn red, and his sister teases him, saying he’s a blushful hippopotamus. Thankfully, Roosevelt has Lombard, an egret friend with a sense of perspective. Lombard reminds Roosevelt that though he may be blushful, he is also hopeful, thoughtful, and wonderful in many ways—and his sister’s words don’t mean a thing.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I don't know why I keep giving Chris Raschka more chances. I just don't like his books. The writing is so unbearably pretentious and I just can't see it appealing to children. For adults with the equivalent of a literary stick up their ass, fine. But I'd hate to think there are people inflicting these books upon actual kids.

This book doesn't even make sense. It's supposedly about a hippopotamus who blushes. But he blushes seemingly continuously, so the concept of blushing (and why his sister gets her panties in a wad over it) is unclear. The sister is a bully, constantly berating the younger hippopotamus for blushing when he falls over, eats ice cream, or counts things. The little hippo doesn't even appear to blush; his pages have pinkish backgrounds, which further obscures the concept of blushing, and if kids don't already know what that means, this book isn't going to help them figure it out.

The text, with its useless repetition is just as annoying as in some of Raschka's other books. And the illustrations are the same rough, uninspiring, abstract kind I've seen in Crabby Crab and Arlene Sardine (the two other Raschka books I've punished myself by reading).

I'm sorry, but I just don't see the appeal. (I'm also confused as to why I keep picking these things up. When will I learn my lesson?)

Premise: 1/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 1/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 1/5

Enjoyment: 0/5

Overall: 0.83 out of 5

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