This picture book stars a funny class of little children who go to the zoo with their teacher (who already looks stressed at the beginning of the trip!) to see the animals including a hippopotamus. However, when they arrive at the zoo they find the hippo has gone.
The pictures then run on across the double page with a line of trooping children in search of the hippo with a repeat pattern of ‘I see him Miss!’. The only trouble is that it is never the right animal: they see a giraffe, an elephant, a snake … never a hippo. A different child always leads the hunt and spots the wrong animal but on each page eagle eyed Liam (you sometimes have to look carefully for him, he’s in a little jumper) spots the hippo. But his even more harassed teacher doesn’t really take any notice of him when he tries to get her attention on each page.
There is rhythm and rhyme to the text and some repeats. ‘The very best hippo hunters’ would be great to share aloud each time the page introduces the next wrong hippo creature. The repeat of ‘I see him Miss’ would also be a good one for everybody to join in.
The illustrations are bold like the children themselves. They’re a feisty lot, this class, and they eagerly undertake the hippo hunt. As they get bolder their poor teacher gets more stressed. It would be a rich read for, particularly a Nursery/Reception class as there’s a bit of ‘Going on a bear hunt’ feel to this Hippo trail and it should definitely be bought to life with a hippo march just like the picture book children do on each page.