My daughter’s first comic book/graphic novel. And one of my new FAVOURITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME.

Title: Hippopotamister
Author and Illustrator: John Patrick Green
Rating: 10
Readability:  10
Source: Raincoast Books for review

Description from Goodreads:

The zoo isn’t what it used to be. It’s run down, and Hippo hardly ever gets any visitors. So he decides to set off for the outside with his friend Red Panda. To make it in the human world, Hippo will have to become a Hippopotamister: he’ll have to act like a human, get a job, and wear a hat as a disguise. He’s a good employee, whether he’s a construction worker, a hair stylist, or a sous chef. But what he really needs is a job where he can be himself.

What I Thought:

Okay I know I tend to gush about books sometimes. But this one beyond a doubt deserves it.

Hippopotamister goes on a truly fantastic journey through the human world in search of – what? A job? A family? A home? What he discovers along the way are the tools he needs to create all of this for himself. Hilarious, captivating, and charming, this book has become one of our favourite stories of all time.

The attention to detail is amazing. The dust jacket, back and front cover, and end papers all help tell the story of Hippopotamister’s transformation. It’s easy to just slap on an identical dust jacket and leave the end papers blank, but this book goes above and beyond. Love it.

The story telling is fabulous. When I was reading this to my daughter we were both laughing out loud at Hippopotamister and Red Panda and their shenanigans. Green writes the story in such a way that it is enjoyable for both children and adults – a great accomplishment! And one as an adult I can really appreciate. But it was still perfect for my daughter, who could read along with me and enjoyed it immensely.

The jobs that Hippopotamister and Red Panda attempt are varied and super fun to watch come to fruition (or not, as the case may be.) My daughter’s favourite page has to be the one where we see the dishes that the animals have prepared. “Twigs, pebbles, and burnt rocks”, anyone?

The illustrations are perfect. Brightly coloured in a comic style, I would recommend this book as THE best introduction to graphic novels for kids I have ever come across. I can’t say enough how much I love it.

Hippopotamister John Green Illustration.jpg


This may come as a huge shock to you, but my daughter is a giant bookworm.

So much so that when we were at the zoo, and were in the hippo enclosure and the hippo was doing ACTUAL BACKFLIPS in its tank, Evelyn wanted to read this book in the wagon instead. It’s that good.


Graphic novel. Hippopotamus. Hilarity. Adorability. Perfection.

Do you have a favourite comic book or graphic novel? Give me some good suggestions! We’re hooked!