We all know kids have big, wild imaginations, and I love it when books play with that, be it encouraging that kind of play or showing grownups who are understanding. These two new titles are perfect examples!

when i woke up i was a hippo.jpgWhen I Woke Up I Was a Hippopotamus
Tom MacRae

Andersen Press
ISBN: 978 1 84939 359 1

A boy wakes up and quickly moves through several imagined lives, throwing wrench after wrench in his parents attempts to get him out of the house. His day at school is not much better, and his flight of fancy get him in some trouble. His mother, at her wits’ end, finally asks why, of all the things he imagines himself to be, he can’t be something nice? Good point, mom. He is lovely for the rest of the evening – at least, until he gets carried away in his dreams.

Told in rhyming verse and illustrated to comic effect, this book is funny, but also manages to take the wild child back down to a calmer level in a very simple, loving way that made me quite like his mom for accepting his imagination, even while she was exasperated. It’s a fun read, and should probably resonate with lots of kids and parents!

MartinOnTheMoon.jpgMartin on the Moon
Martine Audet

ISBN: 978 1 92697 316 6

Martin is new to school, and he is a little curious and a little nervous as he sits at his desk, trying to concentrate. He can’t help being reminded of other things, though, and one thought follows on another, until soon he is far, far away from the desk he sits at. When his teacher notices and asks if he’s on the moon, he is at first embarrassed, but then tells everyone about the marvelous things he’s been thinking about, only to find her receptive, and Martin ends the day with a class full of new friends.

Martin is an awfully sweet, dreamy little fellow, and the illustrations give him a slightly fuzzy, wide-eyed look the suits him well, as well as the landscapes he is imagining. I like the acceptance here, and that he is made comfortable at the end by his teacher. The whole is a nice little story for a child who is dreamy or who is nervous about starting school and worried about expectations.

  • Tracey

    These look like good ones, Alice – thanks!!

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